A Letter From Birmingham JailJaimeJayleenProject1FinalRevised
Thought I was the only one turned out I was everyone.
In London I was anything but a tourist. I fit in so well. In the tube, along the sidewalks, in the market, at an obscure restaurant. I wasn’t under any suspicion, I didn’t feel like the only one, I just felt like another person, I was everyone. I didn’t have to question who I was in any space I entered. I felt comfortable. I wanted to fit but there had already been space for me. I said sorry with a British accent anyways. Why was I feeling so good? What veil had been lifted over my head? I forgot I was in Brexit country but not for too long.
Ebke, Almuth. 2016. “From ‘Bloody Brixton’ to ‘Burning Britain’: Placing the Riots of 1981 in British Post-Imperial History.” In A European Youth Revolt: European Perspectives on Youth Protest and Social Movements in the 1980s, edited by Knud Andresen and Bart van der Steen, 258–70. Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-137-56570-9_18.
Ebke’s “From ‘Bloody Brixton’ to ‘Burning Britain’: Placing the Riots of 1981 in British Post-Imperial History” is an essay from A European Youth Revolt a collection of studies analyzing social movements through historical research. Ebke analyzes the Brixton Riots to uncovering why people – the general public and historians alike – started to think about problems of belonging in the space of social movement and Britain’s contemporary preoccupation with identity and belonging. While analysis of identity alongside the Brixton Riots is not unique to Ebke’s work, her emphasis on belonging as a large contributing factor to the riots set the article apart from other scholarly work which focused heavily on community-police relationships.