Thomas L Blair
The GRIOT Online The Chronicleworld for Black Britain and the Diaspora
Thomas L Blair copyright Editions Blair
News, Editorials, Opinions on Race/related Issues
– Strengthening communities
– Creating healthy environments
– Furthering equality and equity
– Fact-based commentaries & public service
– Investigative journalism&cultural criticism
Thomas L Blair
THE GRIOT Online: Chronicleworld for Black Britain and the Diaspora Published by Editions Blair E-Books 18 May 2022 © All Rights Reserved
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both copyright owner and the publisher of this book.
The greatest care has been taken in compiling this book. However, no responsibility can be accepted by the author and publishers or compilers for the accuracy of the information presented. Opinions expressed do not necessarily coincide with the editorial views of author or copyright holder Edition Blair.
Editions Blair has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
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Thomas L Blair
INSPIRATION: To Know and Serve
Editions Blair E-Books 2022©
– The Essential
Publisher Thomas L Blair, Editions Blair Frequency Monthly
First issue November 1997; 25 years ago Current issue 2022
Based in Hertford, Hertfordshire Language English
Introduction: The GRIOT Online
Race and Media Bias: Spark that Ignited the Chronicleworld The Shaping of Black London to the 21st Century Black London in British History
EUREKA! Origin and Guiding Principles
Writings, Chronicleworld Volumes and Publications Chronicleworld: What Readers Say and Search For Press Articles on Inaugural Issues 1997-1998
The GRIOT Online
Chronicleworld for Black Britain and the Diaspora
The Chronicle World weblog is the UK‘s leading independent online news magazine on Black Britain. Its publishing mission, in the best West African griot tradition, is to lead on the regeneration of British West Indian and African communities and their urban habitat.
Founded in 1997 by sociologist, town planner and cyber-scholar Professor Thomas L Blair, the Weblog is seen as central to the narrative of Black people in modern societies from the second half of the 20th century, according to the British Library catalog and Social Welfare Portal.
The popular commentaries cover the Black urban crisis, the Black Lives Matter protests and the Windrush scandal. In-depth articles deal with the impact of BREXIT (the UK leaving the European Union) on immigration. Special studies explore the disastrous effects of the Covid pandemic on Black health workers in the NHS and care homes.
Opinion pieces cover diverse reparations issues. One is the trans-shipment of Africans to slavery in the colonial Caribbean. Another is compensating Windrush workers who came to serve Britain‘s health care and transport after World War II.
Backed by hard research, the Chronicleworld articles sound the alarm when Black communities’ role in politics and the workplace are threatened. In addition, its editorials chart the national acceptance of diversity, equity and equality.
The Chronicleworld is ―Black‖ in the sense that each edition is written for readers in Black Britain, Afro-Europe and the African Diaspora. This community-based feature is a common attribute of every “ethnic press” in or directed toward kith and kin in Britain. Prime online and print examples are The Irish Post, The Muslim News, The Jewish Chronicle and The Voice ―Britain’s Favourite Black Newspaper”.
Race and Media Bias:
The Spark that ignited the Chronicleworld
My move from the collegial cloisters to the internet did not happen by chance. To be utterly frank: I was tired of the false objectivity, the closed minds, the so called “balanced view” of academics and the “blame the victim” official reports. They revealed they knew little about British Black African and Afro-Caribbean people. This is the most likely reason I went digital in 1997 with a demand for true representation that includes human empathy on the part of an “involved observer.”
My inaugural theme – criticism of the wayward national media — was captured perfectly by Vanessa Thorpe of The Guardian when she interviewed me about my guiding principles (Tuesday 27 January 1998 in The Independent culture section). https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/power to-the-people-via-the-internet-1141096.html
Headlined ―Power to the People, via the Internet‖, the Chronicleworld burst into cyberspace and a year later The Guardian reported ―A new online journal is providing a new media voice for Britain’s black community. Vanessa Thorpe talks to Professor Thom Blair about his hopes for `The Chronicle’‖.
Ms Thorpe wrote and I quote with added subheads
“By now we all know the problem. We know the government has difficulty solving problems in areas with a great concentration of black people. But there is still a hope that Africans and Afro-Caribbeans can use their own creative energies right where they live.”
So argues Professor Thom Blair, the indomitable consultant sociologist who brings out the second issue of his digital magazine at the end of the month. The Chronicle… is certainly an ambitious project. Sitting at a screen in his Hertfordshire home, the professor wants to reach a whole new generation of young black achievers. He wants them to read The Chronicle and he wants them to contribute.
Finding new voices is the goal
“We don’t know who is out there,” he explains. “And finding these new voices is the role of the Net because there is a blanket over many aspects of the media that stops it highlighting the existence of most blacks – except rapists and criminals.”
It is no surprise, then, to hear that one of the magazine’s first targets will be the apparent media conspiracy that has allowed positive images of blacks to emerge only in the marginal fields of sport, fashion and pop music.
Inform and encourage the use of the info-media
The antidote, Professor Blair believes, is simply to inform Britain’s black urban communities; to let them talk to each other and find their own solutions and spokespeople by means of information technology.
“It is not all fashion and the body of [fashion model] Naomi Campbell. Where are the Afro-Caribbean violinists? The scientists? Blacks need more information about themselves. We need a marriage between the cultures of technology and self-expression. And this is the arena for The Chronicle.”
Crisis in the Black urban habitat
Professor Blair, who arrived in Britain from New York 30 years ago, is an international urban planning adviser who has lectured in Europe and the United States and has taught environmental and social planning for 18 years at the former Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster).
During this period he has witnessed the failure of repeated schemes to improve the lives of inner-city blacks: first, the inevitable injection of large amounts of cash, than the forlorn wait for the benefits to “trickle-down”.
Planning for Change
“In fact, the social infrastructure is the thing to deal with straight away. Of course, I could have told you that 30 years ago, but the crucial thing today is that there are now more and more black people finding their homes in the public sector in the cities,” he says.
“Local participation is the key to regeneration and reinvention in these places. We want to include the black Pentecostal churches, the pirate radio stations, the youth workers, and even those people with other languages. We want to reach them through the computer access being set up in many community centres.
“In this way, The Chronicle hopes to be part of a wave of feeling in black communities, that they want to be heard.”
Urban planners must be community-minded
Professor Blair recalls a seminal incident in his career. A group of white urban planners were busy setting up health service provision for an urban area which included council-run estates with a large black presence. Would there, the professor asked, be provision for mobile surgeries to test for sickle cell anaemia? The planners had never even heard of this destructive inherited disorder, which is particular to the African and Afro-Caribbean community.
That’s why Professor Blair and the Chronicleworld went online
Fuelled by such encounters with well-meaning ignorance… the professor decided to fund and edit his own quarterly magazine. He is, he says, still eager to attract support and finance from others for the project, but he stresses that the whole point of The Chronicle is that it is cheap to produce. “This is exactly why the Internet has fantastic potential. People like me and my contributors can just have a go.”
Urbanism, poetics and practical solutions
Articles will feature the poet and essayist John La Rose and the Caribbean’s unofficial cultural ambassador, the Grenadian Alex Pascall, who writes on the culture of calypso and reggae. There will also be a regular page … dealing with urban policy. “It is called `Regeneration Time’, and it will aim to be both motivational and practical. It is a page devoted to providing practical solutions for dealing with black life in the modern world.”
So far the online magazine has attracted more than 200 hits, but judging by the success of similar black projects, such as American Visions Society Online in the US and the Jamaican-influenced British online magazine Yush, which earns itself about 50,000 hits a week, the professor may well be tapping into one of the most rapidly expanding areas of Net interest.
The challenges ahead
It will be important, though, he knows, to keep tabs on his audience. As a serious and academic enterprise, at first The Chronicle is bound to be talking mainly to professionals and students, yet the professor can see no reason for his reach to end there.
“We could act as a focal point for the problems and the prospects of all black urban communities, precisely because they are a group that is not reflected in the media.
“The Chronicle will argue that we must end the policy of `colour-blindness’. We have to allow special enhancement for areas where there are large black populations living in difficult conditions.”
Changing the media mind-set and hiring practices
One area that is crying out for such positive social discrimination is the white-dominated media itself, Professor Blair believes. And here, he says, his own journal can offer practical help.
“Where are all the black reporters?” he demands. “If they don’t exist, why don’t we help to train them before they go on into mainstream journalism?”
|The Shaping Of Black London to the 21st Century The increased awareness of the settlement of Black people in Britain‘s capital is a source of pride, dignity and inspiration to Black people. It is also a firm basis for promoting understanding among all the nation‘s peoples. Used here, Black London has a spatial and social perspective. It complements literary and historical approaches. It deals with cities, people, and public policy. It charts the origins, rise and prospects of the African Diaspora in Britain.|
|AD 50 Roman London|
|Earliest Londoners come from all over Europe and Africa|
African Roman Emperor Septimus Severus ruled large parts of Britain, Europe, the Middle East and Africa 193-211. Southwark Bridge is earliest African connection in Southeast London.
16th century Catherine of Aragon lands at Deptford in 1501 with her African attendants.
Black trumpeter at court 1507; and ―John Blanke‖ served Henry VII at Greenwich and later Henry VIII.
1555 ―Certain Black slaves‖ arrive from Africa with John Lok; and marks beginning of continuous Black presence in London.
Late 16th century, opening up of West African trade. Africans became part of London‘s population in seafaring centres like Deptford.1593First record of a Black person, ―Cornelius‖, in parish register 1593.
1596-1601Fear of increased Black population in London and other towns leads to Royal proclamation by Queen Elizabeth I to arrest and expel all ―Negroes and Blackamores‖ from her kingdom.
Mid-17th to late 18th century First era of large-scale settlement of Blacks in Britain. Spans period of Britain‘s involvement in the tri-continental slave trade. Black slaves attended as sea captains sauntered through the streets.
1674 Blacks appear as criminals or victims in the earliest Old Bailey court records in London.
1700s Significant presence of Black people brought as slave-servants of returning ex-colonial officials, traders, plantation owners, and military personnel.
Growing evidence of the Black presence in London‘s northern, eastern and southern areas. This included free slaves and seamen from West Africa and South Asia.
In Tottenham, All Hallows Church baptismal register records ―John Cyras, Captain Madden‘s Black‖ in March 1718, and at St Mary‘s Church, Hornsey ―John Moore, a Black from Captain Boulton‘s‖ 8th October 1725 and ―Captain Lissles Black from Highgate‖ in 1733.
1731 London Mayor bans Blacks from job training fearing panic over competition and growing non white population.
Many are reduced to beggary through lack of jobs and racial discrimination.
1750s Blacks sought refuge in the city‘s poorer quarters traditionally housing working-class whites and multi-racial, –cultural groups, Chinese, Asians and Jews, Irish, Germans, and Huguenots.
1760s First estimates of Black London communities. They number 10,000-15,000 of the nation‘s 20,000 Black people.
The status of Black people in society becomes part of public debate.
Widespread view that Blacks were less than human is expressed in slave sales and advertisements.
1756 Mounting Black response to slavery through covert means, resistance and flight, leads to population increase.
Oluadah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho and Ottobah Cugoano are notable Black anti-slavery activists. Increasing public demand for Black freedom from slavery.
Supporters include city‘s workers and urban poor who themselves suffered under the ruling classes of the day.
Mid-18th century London Blacks vociferously contested slavery and the slave sales widespread in Britain.
The legal status of these practices was never clearly defined. But there was evidence of race-based inequalities. Slavery of whites was forbidden. Free Blacks could not be enslaved. However, those brought as slaves to Britain were considered bound to their owners.1772Lord Mansfield court ruling that a slave who has deserted his master could not be taken by force to be sold abroad.
Verdict triggers Black flight from their owners, the decline of slavery in England, and calls by Equiano and others for the abolition of the slave trade.
Clandestine Black quarter‘s develop.1775-83In the wake of the American Revolution hundreds of ―Black loyalists‖, the African-American slave-soldiers who fought on the side of the British, arrived in London.
Deprived of pensions, many of them were popular characters who sang and danced for pennies; others were indigent and begged in the streets.
1786 London‘s Blacks and Asians (Lascars) lived among whites in such areas as Mile End, Stepney, Paddington, and St. Giles. Some were free-men, householders or tenants.
Many became the Black Poor: ex-low-wage soldiers, seafarers, dockhands and plantation workers, but with few desirable skills in an evolving urban capitalist economy.
1788 Black Londoners create active domestic, social and political life among themselves.
Yet, they often shared the same cramped dwellings, taverns and dancehalls as whites. Inter-mixing fed the growing panic that ―London abounds with Black men and an increasing number of mulattos by white women‖
.1789 Blacks and Southeast Asian Lascars did not fit easily into the Poor Law welfare strategies for indigent whites of the period.
A special Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor laid plans for the Settlement of Blacks in Sierra Leone, West Africa
.1789 Publication of the memoirs of Equiano, the outstanding Black personality, The Interesting Narratives of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.
1792-1815 Further groups of Black soldiers and seamen settle in London after services in the Napoleonic wars.
Late 18th century The slave trade declines greatly in economic importance to Britain with the evolution of industrial capitalism.
The resurgence of intolerance is buttressed by prejudicial ―scientific racism‖.
This effectively ends the first period of large-scale Black immigration to London and Britain.
Estimates indicate a drop in London’s Black population. This may be due to a decline in immigration, some out-migration to and settlement in North America, Africa and the Caribbean, and to the gradual absorption of Blacks and their descendants into the white population.
1807 The British slave trade is abolished
1833-34 Parliament abolishes slavery throughout the British Empire.
Steady decline in numbers and visibility of London‘s Black population. Fewer were brought in by West Indian planters and there were restrictions on immigrants from Africa.
1880s New build-up of small Black dockside communities in London‘s Canning Town, and in Liverpool and Cardiff, as new shipping links develop with the Caribbean and West Africa.
20th century London-born Black people begin to make a mark in London life.
Continuous influx of African students, sportsmen, students, and business persons. Some stay and gain positions as doctors, politicians and community activists.
World War I Black communities grow with the fresh arrival of Black merchant seamen and soldiers.
They revive settled Black communities in dockside areas of London as well as Liverpool and Cardiff; some take refuge with whites.
Continuous presence of small groups of students, professionals, workers from Africa and the Caribbean.
World War II Caribbean and West Africans arrive in small numbers as wartime workers, merchant seamen and service personnel in the army, navy and air forces.
Black Londoners gain from challenge to hotel discrimination. Learie Constantine, welfare officer in the RAF, refused service in a London Hotel, wins damages.
Post-war period 1948 Black London greets Britain‘s first group of invited post-war Caribbean worker/immigrants arriving on the SS Empire Windrush.
Many of the 492 passengers settle in Brixton now a prominent Black district.
1950s to 1960s Mass in-migration from all over the English-speaking Caribbean, particularly Jamaica and Trinidad, marked the arrival of the next Black settlers. Many are ―invited‖ to fill labour requirements in hospitals, transport and railways and contribute to rebuilding the post-war urban economy.
Causes of migration vary, but there is little doubt that the entry of workers, families, relatives, spouses and children created households. This gave Black London the shape and character of a UK community, more than simply a transplanted bit of the empire.
Working class Black London is born as one of the city‘s diverse and often deprived working class, including English and white ethnic groups.
Trinidad-born Samuel Selvon‘s Lonely Londoners (1956) learn new city tricks in the fleshpots of Soho and Piccadilly, ―liming‖ or hanging out in taverns and street corners in Bayswater and Notting Hill – anywhere away from the boredom of low wage work and dreary crowded, unsanitary dwellings. George Lamming takes up the narrative in The Emigrants (1956) along with Colin MacInnes in City of Spades (1957).
1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act (1962) and a succession of laws severely restrict Black entry to Britain. It ends this Black settlement period. But marks the struggle against race prejudice and intolerance.
They were London‘s new outsiders; the ―dark strangers‖ shaped as much by accent, colour and sought for comfort and safety in group solidarity as by the forces of racism.
Finding housing was notoriously difficult. ―No Irish, No Blacks, No dogs‖ was the message in many lodging house windows.
Recruited Caribbean workers faced racist agitation, most virulent when whites feared job competition.
1975 David Pitt, Grenada-born Black London medic and civil rights leader, brings a new popular Caribbean voice to the House of Lords.
Nancy Foner chronicles the new Black London in Jamaica farewell: Jamaican migrants in London. Routledge, 1979.
1981 Brixton, now London‘s premier African Caribbean district, erupts as smouldering tension reveals youths‘ joblessness and police harassment.
Disturbances follow in large cities, Liverpool and Manchester. Later, Lord Scarman‘s Report highlights unsocial policing tactics and need to combat racism.
1980s Black Londoners and youth benefit from Labour-controlled Greater London Council‘s initiatives. Councillors promoted equal opportunity and repeal of ―repressive and racially discriminatory immigration and nationality laws and practices in the United Kingdom‖.
1985 Broadwater Farm Estate rioters expose unrest among African Caribbean residents. Local politician Bernie Grant became Black champion nationally for condemning police actions. He gains a loyal following among the unemployed, the Black community and the left.
1987 Black population, workers, and community activists support wins election of three Black Londoners, Bernie Grant, Diane Abbott and Paul Boateng as Members of Parliament.
1991-97 Black Londoners numbered half a million people in the 1991 census, of which an increasing proportion were London- or British-born. Population change includes new mixed-race persons and in migration of overseas people from Africa and Latin America.
1993 Black Londoners‘ state-aided development goals in jeopardy. Voluntary groups launch report titled Funded to fail: nuff pain no gain: the under-resourcing of the African Caribbean voluntary sector in London.
1993 London death of teenager Stephen Lawrence sparks a campaign against race-hate crimes by his parents, Doreen and Neville.
Despite modest socio-economic gains, and individual celebrity and wealth, discrimination remained a problem.
1995 Brixton erupts again as the death of a Black man in police custody triggers protests and riots.
1996 London hosts the formation of Operation Black Vote to promote Black voting and civic participation.
Black and minority ethnic parliamentarians increase to six in 1992 and nine in the 1997 elections.
1998 Black London celebrates the 50th anniversary of West Indian’s arrival on the SS Windrush. Brixtonians promote Public Square as a landmark.
1999 Black Londoners welcome the MacPherson report‘s damning assessment of police ―institutional racism‖ in Stephen Lawrence case.
2000 Death of the Hon. Bernie Grant, MP for Tottenham, and respected champion from that significantly African Caribbean city district.
Capsule history by Thomas L. Blair ©
Black London in British History
Black London is, of course, a vital strand of Black History in the British Isles, from Roman times to the 21st century. One notable academic source is The Oxford Companion to Black British History, edited by David Dabydeen, John Gilmore and Cecily Jones, London, 2007
Moreover, London Metropolitan Archives continues to unearth evidence of the presence, study and representation of Black people in London‘s history.
The texts of Black intellectuals, political and community movements must be added to this treasure trove, lest the Black experience remains invisible in the national heritage – see Decolonising Knowledge: Expanding the Black Experience in Britain‘s Heritage, by Thomas L Blair, An e-book from Editions Blair ©2013,
Useful studies relevant to Shaping Black London include:
Banton, Michael (1955), The Coloured Quarter. Jonathan Cape. London.
Braidwood, Stephen J. Black poor and white philanthropists: London‘s Blacks and the foundation of the Sierra Leone Settlement 1786-1791. Liverpool University Press, 1994.
Carretta, Vincent (editor) Unchained voices: an anthology of Black authors in the English speaking world of the eighteenth century/ edited by Vincent Carretta. USA: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.
Collicott, Sylvia L. (1986), Connections. Haringey. Local-National-World Links. Haringey Community Information Service, London.
File, Nigel and Chris Power (1981), Black Settlers in Britain 1555-1958. Heinemann Educational.
Gundara, Jagdish S. and Ian Duffield, eds. (1992), Essays on the History of Blacks in Britain. Avebury, Aldershot.
Merriman, Nick ed. (1993), The Peopling of London: Fifteen Thousand Years of Settlement from Overseas. Museum of London, London.
Scobie, Edward (1972) Black Britannia: A History of Blacks in Britain. Johnson Publishing. Chicago. Shyllon, F.Q. (1977), Black People in Britain 1555-1833. Oxford University Press.
Shyllon, Folarin, ―The Black Presence and Experience in Britain: An Analytical Overview,‖ in Gundara and Duffield eds. (1992), Essays on the History of Blacks in Britain. Avebury, Aldershot.
Walvin, James (1971), The Black Presence: A Documentary History of the Negro in England, 1555- 1860. Orbach and Chambers.
Walvin, James (1973), Black and White: The Negro and English Society 1555-1945. Penguin, London.
Comments, corrections and additions will be gratefully received.
Re-Writing Futures For Black Londoners In The 21st Century
Black Londoners have been shaping their histories for centuries. Settlers in Georgian times escaped the lash of their colonial masters. Latterly, the Windrush generation made their way to the ―mother country‖, their centre of the world.
However, there is a salutary lesson here. If an excluded your social group suffers three or more terrors of disadvantage over a period of centuries without parole, you should do something about it.
Evidence shows Black Londoners are colour-coded out of the economic, social and cultural opportunities their white neighbours take for granted.
Therefore, the agenda for the future must include personalities, events and actions to counter threats and enhance opportunities.
Certainly, Black Londoners will use the city‘s changing race-class demographics to their benefit. Significantly, Black Africans (480,000) have surpassed Black Caribbeans (361, 581). They add a new African dimension to ―being Black‖. Though continental Africans, Nigerians and Ghanaians are among the poorest Black Londoners, the enterprising ones among them are making headway. Women, traditionally small traders, are moving ahead in health and education. British-born Africans are employed in business, parliamentary and local politics, diplomacy, media, tv, finance, senior public sector and technical professions.
This added demographic will power a surge in Black political activity in a city where more than a third of the rising population of 7.5m will be African and Caribbean and Asian and ―minority ethnics‖. This will empower them as electoral majorities in inner London boroughs where they reside.
Furthermore, Black strivers and aspiring achievers will advance in the emergent class mobility charts. (The old ones were a severely divided tripartite of upper, middle and working class).
In the more fluid and porous divisions of the 21st century, Black Britons will aim to move upward rank by rank — from the most precarious underclass where many are to emergent public service workers to well-off educated and established middle classes.
Some Black personalities and multi-millionaires in sports, fashion, pop culture, crime, business, and politics, may even be accepted in the highest rank of elites.
However, I must pause. Recent evidence shows that social mobility – which is all the rage — is a ―comforting illusion‖.
Many Blacks no longer earn enough to escape poverty. The bright Black poor have been held back for decades, according to authoritative reports. There is not enough Room at the Top, admit the most progressive politicians, echoing the film that roused popular working class expectations.
Re-defining the Black presence will be a formidable task. However, it cannot be accomplished by Black Britons alone. Vanguard activists understand that progress is based on two key game-changing movements: collective action for social justice and changing the shape of the urban economy.
Expressing this solidarity, Black public intellectuals will forsake the ivy towers of academe and link high theory to popular forces. Political and community leaders, workers and youth, and their allies will rebrand ―being Black‖ as a positive force for change for all deprived sections of London.
These restless currents will relieve some of the terrors of disadvantage still facing Black Londoners. Moreover, thrusting upwards in the urban society and economy, and forward for race equality and justice, they will broaden the democratic base of the capital of one of the world‘s rich democracies.
Eureka! Chronicleworld Origin And Guiding Principles
“I am convinced that, despite all the race-based marginalisation, the ability to mix, blend, change, radicalise, reinvent and serve up something distinctive in a hostile urban environment is at the core of “being Black in Britain”. – Professor Thomas L Blair
Late 20th century
The Chronicleworld.org was the first Black owned, independent, non-profit internet journal to respond to the issues, events and debates affecting Britain’s Black community’s at the millennial post 1997. In our web articles, questions and answers were debated, social problems examined, and policy agendas promoted.
In 1997, the Chronicleworld appeared in support of Black criticism of the media. It promoted the principle that within any community there is a wealth of knowledge and experience which, if used in creative ways, can be channelled into collective action to achieve the communities’ desired goals.
Early 21st century
By the 21st century the Chronicleworld reported on Black Londoner‘s campaigns in line with lay leaders concerns. One was their overwhelming remain vote in the Brexit referendum 2016 vote to remain in the European Union, when whites voted overwhelmingly to leave. Another was extensive commentaries on why do more Black and Asian health and care workers die from the Covid-19 pandemic than whites? A third was major articles on how to create smart cities that encourage diversity, equity and inclusion in health, housing institutions and workplaces
By editing and publishing the Chronicleworld for decades, I came to recognise that the passage of Black Britons from colonial status and emigration to stretching their muscles and minds in metropolitan London, their Citadel of Modernism, is truly trans-millennial.
Writings, The Chronicleworld Volumes and Publications
Published every year since 1997, each of 18 volumes to date covers an area that would commonly be found in sociology and social policy syllabuses. They would not be out of place on researchers’ computers, on archivists’ laptops, and the smartphones of parliamentarians, civil rights, and community leaders.
I authored most of the texts and, in addition to guest columnists, the articles encouraged theoretically informed and empirical work and opinions from a Black British perspective. The keywords have always been the Evolving Black Experience; Regeneration time; and Share the dream.
The Chronicleworld is a kind of cyber-store of African and Caribbean British experiences. It showcases the skills and ideas needed for success at work, study, leisure, and community advancement.
A range of topics and questions attract readers’ interest in Black culture. For example: ∙ Why are the triumphs of Black communities under-reported?
∙ What are the policy requirements to build healthy and prosperous Black communities?
∙ Why are the Black communities so insistent on transforming and transcending their difficulties?
∙ How can Black communities support improved immigration policies that affect Black migrants?
These questions not only assist our understanding of the urban cauldron they point the way to ameliorative action. As a result, many readers and reviewers say the Chronicleworld offers insights into their own heritages, without sacrificing their involvement in contemporary society.
Editions Blair publisher
Professor Blair‘s Chronicleworld publishing arm, Editions Blair, delivers high-quality information, book reviews, cultural criticism and ideas to students, professionals, and corporate, educational and community leaders.
The more than 80 digital volumes of the Chronicleworld articles are lodged in The British Library Social Welfare Portal along with Thomas L Blair printed books in the main library catalog http://explore.bl.uk/.
Vol. 1 Black Britain – Issues and ideals for the Millennium establishes the basic principles of the Chronicleworld ISBN 978-1-908480-30-9 Debut Edition of the Chronicleworld.org 1997
Volume 2 Black Britain – Share the dream. is essential reading for academics, professionals, policy makers and community leaders ISBN 978-1-908480-31-6
Vol 3 Black Britain – Our Olympian Struggle draws attention to Black contributions in the cultural arts. ISBN 978-1-908480-32-3
Vol 4 Black Britain – Cross the Digital Divide offers fresh perspectives on the relief of info-poverty ISBN 978-1-908480-33-0
Vol 5 Black Britain – Organising for Media Diversity explores issues of cyber-advocacy ISBN 978-1- 908480-34-7
Vol 6 Black Britain – Toward a liveable Black London notes a new stream of Black consciousness ISBN 978-1-908480-35-4
Vol 7 Black Britain – In Defense of the Diaspora explores issues common to Black peoples in Britain, Europe and the world ISBN 978-1-908480-36-1
Vol 8 Black Britain – Reconnecting youth to society is an attainable goal ISBN 978-1-908480-38-5
Vol 9 Black Britain – Revitalising leadership and communities reports progress in civic participation ISBN 978-1-908480-37-8
Vol 10 Black Britain – Classical music – new arena for Black performers reveals some unrecognised firsts ISBN 978-1-908480-39-2
Vol 11 Black Britain – Moving forward celebrates community advancement
Vol 12 Black Britain – Passions and roots are explored and explained
Vol 13 Black Britain – Ten of the best achievers highlights the ingredients for success ISBN 978-1- 908480-42-2
Vol 14 Black Britain – Triumph over adversity focuses on the ways and means to-do-it ISBN 978-1- 908480-43-9
Vol 15 Black Britain – Cast the ‗net wide seeks to expand social interaction ISBN 978-1-908480-44-6
Vol 16 Black Britain – Positive action, Constant learning should be the mantra of Black communities in the 21st century
Vol 17 Black Britain – A covenant of faith and action sets forth the guiding principle of the Chronicleworld.org
Vol 18 Black Britain — The Essential Guide introduces readers to the Chronicleworld.org Digest Series ISBN 978-1-908480-47-7
Chronicleworld: What Readers Say and Search For
The Chronicleworld‘s incisive coverage of the issues, ideas and institutions that matter to Black Britons has triggered favourable comments from prominent media, people and organisations. [Herein the quotes though the web URLs may be out of action].
―The Chronicle is Britain’s first Internet magazine monitoring Black British communities. Edited by an urban scholar, it delivers authoritative information, book reviews and ideas to students, professionals, and corporate, educational and community clients. The Chronicle is a cyber-store of African British experiences and a showcase of the skills and ideas Africans need for success at work, study, leisure, and community advancement.‖— Alexa.com
In addition, Professor Blair explores ways of connecting the potential of the Internet to demands for social justice and equality in the 21st century. His pioneering work is recognised on the British Library‘s website http://explore.bl.uk/ .Also click on http://www.webarchive.org.uk and search for Chronicleworld.
Readers value the Chronicleworld‘s practical and motivational concerns. They illustrate the importance of memories, reliable information, critical thought, and action-ideas
―Professor Blair’s international experience is reflected in the site, which he writes and edits himself. Communication across the Black Diaspora, it stressed, is crucial to The Chronicle’s vision, and makes the Web the perfect vehicle for the magazine.
With upwards of 800 hits since launch, The Chronicle has yet to make it into the mainstream of electronic media, but Blair’s vision is not to compete with the mainstream. “If we are managing to reach the right people, and by the e-mails I am receiving I know we are, then I am happy,” he says.‖ Cassie Biggs, 10/3/98 for the Teletext web site
Social scientists agree. See –SOSIG – World – Further Education Teaching Materials http://www.sosig.ac.uk/roads/subject-listing/World/furteach.html Editor: Institute of Education.
German schools‘ advisors on Immigrants in Britain, say ―Chronicleworld.org Hier finden Sie viele News und Artikel über Black Britain‖. <For further citations, see AskJeeves, and Excite and Google>.
British Council Germany tells its readers – ―First for information, news and ideas shaping Black life in modern Britain. Chronicle is the online magazine for Britain‘s Black community, with links to the best media on the web and lots of well-written features‖.
The 100 Great Black Britons http://www.100greatBlackbritons.com/links.html cites ―Chronicle World – Changing Black Britain as a major resource Magazine addressing the concerns of Black Britons includes a newsgroup and articles on topical events as well as careers, business and the arts.‖
E-mails from a Black student of commerce and marketing at the University of Birmingham asked‖: Can you help identify Black communities, their media choices, and buying habits?
A college student in upstate New York asked for help ―with a thesis on the death of my godmother Cynthia Jarrett and the Broadwater Farm uprising in Tottenham 1985‖
Press Articles on Inaugural Issues 1997-1998
Online journalists at the New York Times on the Web nominate THE CHRONICLE: www.chronicleworld.org as “A biting, well-written zine about Black life in Britain” and a useful reference in the Arts, Music and Popular Culture, Technology and Knowledge Networks.
Editors at the British TV Channel 4 – Black and Asian History Map call the www.chronicleworld.org “a comprehensive site full of information on the Black British presence plus news, current affairs and a rich archive of material”.
LA Times sees New Star on the Net” Another 1998 newcomer is the Chronicle, an Internet magazine for British Black achievers: http://www.thechronicle.demon.co.uk” William D. Montalbano, Times Staff Writer Los Angeles Times, front page Monday, March 23, 1998
A lengthy report in a French language media cites Professor Blair’s aim to give a place to Black people in British and European societies.
Médiation – Changer la vie des citadins noirs NEW Thomas Blair veut redonner aux citadins noirs d’Europe une place dans la société. Il a créé un journal sur Internet: The Chronicle.
Proposer, aux citadins noirs d’Europe, un point de rencontre où ils pourraient trouver des informations les concernant et chercher des solutions à leurs problèmes, tel est le but du travail de Thomas Blair. Il a créé, il y a un an, The Chronicle, un journal trimestriel sur Internet. The Chronicle est une publication gratuite, à laquelle participent journalistes et chercheurs.
Ce qui les rassemble ? La volonté de pallier le manque d’informations sur les Noirs qui habitent dans les villes. Les rédacteurs du Chronicle effectuent ainsi des enquêtes minutieuses où les espoirs et intérêts des citadins noirs sont mis en avant. La diffusion de la culture, mais aussi de l’histoire,
propres aux membres de la diaspora africaine, sont deux autres objets d’attention des auteurs. S’y est désormais ajouté un centre d’intérêt répondant aux attentes des lecteurs : internet, pour ” savoir comment l’info-technologie se mélange à l’expérience des citadins noirs “, explique Thomas Blair.
Enfin, dans le but d’élargir le dialogue et de ” partager les idées entre les héritiers de la diaspora des communautés africaines “, certains articles sont écrits dans la langue de Molière. …Mais son ambition s’inscrit aussi dans une perspective historique : ” Les tracts politiques des radicaux de la classe travailliste du XIXè siècle, comme Robert Wedderburn, et la revue anti-esclavagiste North Star de Frederick Douglass sont des modèles classiques. De nos jours, The Voice, The Caribbean Times (…) ont tous été francs dans leur condamnation de l’injustice raciale. Aussi, je ne fais que suivre les pas marqués par d’autres avant moi. Mais, peut-être, avec quelque chose de nouveau “, suggère-t-il.
Compte-tenu de l’évolution sociale de la diaspora noire, The Chronicle s’adresse donc à un public spécifique : ” Après un demi-siècle de migration des campagnes vers les villes, les Noirs sont des citadins partout dans le monde; (…) mais les communautés noires doivent
faire face à des pressions quotidiennes à Londres, Amsterdam, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto ou New York.
Plusieurs doivent supporter le fardeau de la discrimination “, déclare Thomas Blair, avant de prévenir que dans les villes, ” la pauvreté de l’information [sur les Noirs] pourrait facilement devenir une autre barrière au progrès individuel et collectif”. Céline Boileau L’Autre Afrique
No.76 Du 20 Au Janvier 1999, p.34 http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8945/ethnic.html SOUNDBYTES: Thomas Blair(10/3/98) http://www.teletext.co.uk/couk/search/blair.htm