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Brief history of black people in the UK

Black British

This is a ethnic classification phase used to describe citizens of Britain who happen to be black. Although originally used to identify people who could trace their roots to the Afro-Caribbean community, it was later also used to identify people from Africa as well. It should be noted though that on some occasions is it used to describe British people of Asian descent.

Mass migration from the Caribbean really started after the end of WWII, as there was a labour shortage in the UK and immigration was encouraged. Many initially found manual jobs in the National Health Service or as bus conductors in public transport. Both of these were industries that were short of staff.  

In modern Britain most black British people tend to live in the major cities, some of the biggest concentrations are in cities like Manchester, London, Birmingham and Bristol. Most tend to live in specific areas and are not spread around the city evenly, for instance the Birmingham area of Handsworth has a significant population.  

During the 1990’s immigration to the UK increased markedly from African, who in many cases have brought with them their own culture and traditions. Occasionally this ethnic group will be referred to as British African.

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