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The struggle for black British literature

Professor Prabhu Guptara, William Carey University, India

Date/Time: 6th October 2011

Professor Guptara looked at black British literature – that literature written in English by African, Asian, Caribbean and other writers originating from the former British Empire – and considers the role it occupies in British culture and society in the twenty-first century. Young people today are not always aware of the struggle for acceptance for black British or ethnic minority art and culture, a struggle that has moved away from simply finding acceptance, to finding a voice in contemporary Britain. The same holds true for the language of black literature, which ranges from expression in its original language to traditional English, as represented by Nirad Chaudhuri, and the hybrid form perfected by Salman Rushdie. While black British artists, writers, actors and rappers have become accepted into the mainstream, there is still resistance to black British literature and Professor Guptara considers the causes.