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This paper interrogates the white in white supremacism or, to put it differently, it seeks to ‘think black’ about British fascism. It does so through an examination of white supremacist political organisations in twentieth-century Britain, from the first self-identifying fascist movement in the 1920s through to the National Front in the 1970s. Using the work of activists and thinkers like George Padmore, Cedric Robinson and other members of the Black radical tradition, it argues that we can productively rethink the nature of British white supremacism and, more broadly, revise our understanding of the politics of race in modern British history. These activists and theorists refused to see fascism as a historical aberration, instead analysing and attacking fascism in light of what they considered its close relationship with the longer history of European colonialism. The paper uses the insights of Black political theorists and activists – often developed in response to the immediate circumstances of their day – and applies them historically. Just as they understood that British white supremacism could not be fought in isolation, this paper argues that it cannot be studied – at least not critically – in isolation either. 


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but booking is required.