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The Notting Hill Race Riots 1958 - source related questions and answers

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Introduction

Multi-cultural Britain Coursework Part Two The Notting Hill Race Riots 1958 Question 1- Source A is a piece from an article which appeared in Searchlight Magazine in 1999. The author is trying to convey that the Notting Hill race riots were a turning point in race relations in Britain. This source was written by Gary Macfarlane who is most likely anti-Nazi as he wrote this article for an anti-Nazi magazine, this fact establishes that he is for race relations and immigration but might exaggerate how bad his right wing oppositions are. Another fact about this source is that it was written in 1999, over 40 years after the riots so he might have hindsight or evidence that would make this source more accurate. It is written in a powerful tone as it links the race riots to Hitler, one of the most racist men in history. In my opinion, the author wrote this article because he wanted people to know that it was not the whole of the British population that was racist but only some white and Nazi minorities and that black people, mostly youths, were starting to fight back to these minorities after years of torment. ...read more.

Middle

This source is useful for showing that ignorance was the source of the riots but I know there were other causes such as racism, which questions its reliability. Source C states that the trouble at Notting Hill was not caused by pure prejudices of race and colour but by competition breeding discontent. This source was written in 1958 by the Home Secretary at the time, R A Butler and it is written in a factual way. I assume it was written to say that British people are not racist, they are just competitive as he is a member of parliament, he wants to try and prevent Britain losing face. This source is useful for showing that competition was the main reason fro the riots but again we know there were other reasons which questions its reliability. Source D is a British Historians interpretation of the race riots. This source was written by a British historian who may well have hindsight as he writes about the after shocks of the riots but we do not know the date it was written. It is written in a very factual way as I think its purpose was to show that after the race riots racism decreased and this shocked some people e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

Using my own knowledge I agree with source D because I know that after the Notting Hill Race Riots British peoples' attitude changed towards racist people and they began to stick up for black people. My OHK also agrees with source E as I know that it was not easy for black people to find accommodation in the 1950's as landlords did not want coloured people renting their homes. However, using my OHK I do not agree with source H because even though there was a lot of racism at the time not everyone contributed in making the black peoples lives a misery and he does not mention these people or that only a small minority were racist. In conclusion I think that study sources B-H are quite useful for explaining why the Notting Hill race riots happened especially sources B, C and G. Source B is useful as it gives a possible reason for the riots-ignorance. Source C is useful also because it suggests another possible reason for the riots-competition. Source G is also useful as it describes the rivalry between the 'Teddy boys' and the 'Black boys' which is another possible cause for the riots. Finally, in my opinion the Notting Hill Race Riots were not caused by pure racism but by bitter rivalry between the black youths and white communities because only a minority of Britons were racist. ...read more.

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