Comparisons between the phenomenon of immigration in France and Great Britain are often hindered by hackneyed stereotypes. Yet there have been a number of similarities and even perfect correspondences between the two countries, notably a discounted example directly linked with the issue of heritage. In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, both countries witnessed a flurry of newspapers published by minority groups, which relished in the creative radicalism of the leftwing/pro-immigration policy in the wake of 1968. Race Today in Brixton and Sans Frontière in Barbès have occupied relatively marginal, precarious positions within their respective national cultures, but could both claim a certain degree of credit for the change in social attitudes in the long-term. These newspapers bore the hallmark of the dominant ideologies in their respective New Left circles: activism centred on the idea of "race" in Great Britain, as opposed to the universalist "no borders" theme characteristic of the French leftwing post- 1968. Their content nonetheless shares common points at the crossroads between politics and culture, with a fertile blend of "firstgeneration" and "second-generation" militantism. Both newspapers contributed to transmitting the heritage of immigration and the "memory of the people", according to a regular column in Sans Frontière. On both sides, contributors continued to broadcast the heritage of immigration in the mainstream national media after the two newspapers ceased to exist. A potential mutual contact point did indeed exist at the time, since Race Today became interested in the March for Equality in 1983 and the Talbot strike in 1984, thereby forging links with certain strands of the emerging "Beur" movements in addition to the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books in London. However, the pages of 3 / 6 Race Today do not contain any reference to Sans Frontière. This article will attempt to explain this paradox. What were the successes and failures of transmitting immigrant heritage between generations, between minority and majority communities and either side of the Channel? Are there any differences in the way each newspaper has been preserved for posterity?
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 31 Jan 2013|