The construction of the black British community in the Voice and the New Nation

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Abstract

This article compares the way in which two black British tabloids, The Voice and the New Nation, construct the Afro-Caribbean community and their diasporic identities in the late 1990s, when the second title was launched. The analysis shows that The Voice reflects a more essentialist mode of thinking about Afro-Caribbean identities in Britain, contrary to the New Nation which questions this essentialist identity. While the essentialist mode was necessary for the politics of the early 1980s, when some form of equivalence had to be established between different black groups in the fight against racism, by the mid 1990s at least part of the black community had entered the middle-class mainstream. As a result, the New Nation focused on the achievements of this middle-class portion of the community and wanted to break free from the doom-and-gloom stories reflecting the experience of the 1980s. The starting point of this article is that media representations produce the framework of social cognition regarding black identities. The launch of the New Nation in 1996 signalled a new framework in which the diasporic imagination and the relationships between black and white communities and the relationship between race and class are re-examined
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-749
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Black press
  • community
  • diaspora
  • identity

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