How Far Have We Come? - Runnymede Trust

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Runnymede Perspectives

How Far Have We Come? Lessons from the 1965 Race Relations Act

Edited by Omar Khan

Runnymede: Intelligence for a Multi-ethnic Britain Runnymede is the UK’s leading independent thinktank on race equality and race relations. Through highquality research and thought leadership, we: • Identify barriers to race equality and good race relations; • Provide evidence to support action for social change; • Influence policy at all levels.

Disclaimer This publication is part of the Runnymede Perspectives series, the aim of which is to foment free and exploratory thinking on race, ethnicity and equality. The facts presented and views expressed in this publication are, however, those of the individual authors and not necessariliy those of the Runnymede Trust.

Acknowledgements We are grateful to all of the contributors and participants who attended the day-long conference on 29 July on which this collection is based and those who have written specifically for this publication. We are grateful to the Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC) for their support of this event, publication and the Runnymede Academic Forum (AH/K007564/1). We are also grateful to the University of Kent for additional support for the conference. ISBN: 978-1-909546-13-4 Published by Runnymede in December 2015, this document is copyright © Runnymede 2015. Some rights reserved.

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CONTENTS Introduction: Can commemorations of the past guide us towards the future for race equality? Omar Khan


SECTION I: THE 1965 RACE RELATIONS ACT AND ITS SOCIO-LEGAL CONTEXT 1. What Magna Carta and the Race Relations Act mean to us today Rabinder Singh 2. Race relations after 50 years Geoffrey Bindman



SECTION II: RACE AND MAGNA CARTA IN THE 17TH-19TH CENTURIES 3. Civil liberties and the genesis of racial inequality: freeing the trade in enslaved Africans William A Pettigrew


4. The Chartists: activists for civil rights Malcolm Chase


SECTION III: ACTIVISM AND RACE EQUALITY FROM THE 1960s TO TODAY 5. Up against the state: activism, legislation and the struggle for racial justice in Britain Gus John


6. How should we evaluate the race relations acts fifty years on? Jenny Bourne


SECTION IV: IMPLEMENTING RACE EQUALITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 7. Equal rights for all: the limits of Magna Carta and the 1965 Race Relations Act Omar Khan


8. Public policy development: how can it better realise rights for Black and minority ethnic people? Callton Young


9. Mind