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The League of Coloured Peoples in the United Kingdom, 1931-1947

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During the 1930s and 1940s, it was commonly believed that United Kingdom had conquered racial prejudice with the nineteenth-century abolition of the slave trade largely led by Johnians William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson. However, the presence of a colour bar in the UK proved otherwise. Some British citizens, immigrants, and students recognized the need for greater social equality and formed race organisations to combat prejudice, with the most significant of these being the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP). The LCP sought to assuage race relations and address explicit and implicit discrimination in the UK and the Empire. The group frequently interacted with the Colonial Office, The Times, and contemporaries engaged in the parallel civil rights struggle in the United States. The presence of the League of Coloured Peoples in the UK in the 1930s and 1940s and the successes of this civil rights organisation highlight the state of British race relations during this period and reflect the connections between UK and US civil rights.

This talk is part of the SBR Graduate Talks series.

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