The Black British Voices Project (BBVP) will lead the survey over the summerLouis Ashworth

Content note: This article contains mentions of racism.

The Black British Voices Project (BBVP), built upon a partnership between the University of Cambridge, the black-led consultancy I-Cubed Ltd, and the Voice, Britain’s only Black national newspaper, is launching a new survey to explore the evolution of Black British identities over time.

Through the survey, which will examine themes such as education, business, health and media, the project leaders hope to provide an up-to-date portrait of Black British communities.

According to researchers, the survey will offer Black British people an opportunity to “define themselves in an autonomous way” for the first time.

Dr Kenny Monrose, a Cambridge sociologist and author, will be leading the research, which is backed by Dr Maggie Semple OBE, a founder of I-Cubed Ltd and a lead ambassador for the BBVP.

Dr Semple stated that “the narrative of being black in Britain has been written and rewritten by so many different people, but what we’ve yet to hear and see is a commentary built on good data that draws on themes that matter to Black people today.”

The survey, which will build on focus groups run by Monroset the end of last year, is scheduled to run throughout the summer. Additionally, Monrose will conduct interviews with Black people across British society, including academics, celebrities and politicians.


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The research also aims to chart the fluctuations in Black British identity.

Monrose feels that although in the 1970s and 1980s many Black Britons defined themselves by their heritage, the Windrush scandal and its effect on Black people’s right to be recognised as British citizens have formed part of a shift which has led to younger generations identifying primarily as Black and British.

Paulette Simpson CBE, director of the Voice, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Cambridge University and I-Cubed on this project.”She added that “today, Black Britons are still largely misunderstood and misrepresented in many facets of life. We must manage and communicate our own narrative on how it feels to be Black and British.”

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