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British Afro-Caribbean community

The British Afro-Caribbean community is generally regarded as the most "integrated" ethnic grouping of the United Kingdom.

Inter-racial marriages are much more frequent than amongst other ethnic groups, and roughly eight times more common proportionally than in the United States. Afro-Caribbean women are succeeding relatively well in terms of employment and earnings. However in common with other ethnic groups the community suffers a high unemployment rate and high levels of child poverty.

Culturally the community is best known for the annual Notting Hill Carnival, now a true multi-cultural experience, attracting 1.5 million people from Britain and around the world, making it the largest street festival in Europe.


As a result of the losses during World War II, the British government began encouraging mass immigration for the first time in order ot fill shortages in the labour market.

This included Poles and Italians from Europe, however to provide the numbers required the government turned to the countries of the empire and commonwealth countries. Many West Indians were attracted by better prospects in the "mother country".

The ship Empire Windrush brought the first group of several hundred immigrants to Tilbury near London in June 22, 1948. Many only intended to stay for a few years. A number returned to rejoin the RAF.

While there was plenty of work in the UK, housing was in short supply following the wartime bombing, and the shortage lead to some of the first clashes with the established white community. Clashes continued and worsened into the 1950s, and there were riots in cities including London, Birmingham and Nottingham. As tensions rose, political pressure caused successive governments to restrict immigration, until by 1972 only holders of work permits, or people with parents or grandparents born in the UK could gain entry - effectively stemming most black immigration.

The failure to properly investiigate the 1993 racist murder of Stephen Lawrence severely damaged relations with the police and the justice system.

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