‘In ‘Racism and Reaction’ I was at pains to explore the idea that post-war racism in Britain ‘begins with the profound forgetfulness’ about the conjoining of race and empire that has overtaken British life since the 1950s… The spatial organization of empire was an important factor in the process of forgetting. It was one thing to be deeply mired, as Britain was, in exchanging trinkets for captives in West Africa, shipping them across the Atlantic in the genocidal Middle Passage, selling their bodies into plantation slavery, exploiting their forced labour, consuming the commodities they produced and repatriating the profits of an activity they could safely conduct hundreds of miles away without compromising the nation’s self image as a ‘sceptered isle’ or a ‘green and pleasant land.’ It was quite another – an abrogation of a law of nature – to have the natives’ descendants next door, renting a room in your house, clipping your ticket on the bus and touching your body in hospital.’

– Stuart Hall, Familiar Stranger