chapter  3
12 Pages

Race is Ordinary

WithPaul Williams

Paul Gilroy implies the trauma Fanon wrote about has been transcended on the streets of twenty-first-century London, where 'race is ordinary'. 'Conviviality' is what happens when people are in regular contact with diverse languages, food, skin colours and religions. Gilroy's special interest is where this takes place in Britain's big cities: the 'rubbing up next to each other' of cultural groups creates convivial relations between individuals and groups where incompatibility was perceived. For decades, Bosnia had been part of Yugoslavia, a federation of states in south-east Europe; the other republics were Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Gilroy is taught under the umbrella of postcolonial studies. Gilroy is nauseated by postcolonialism's facile interpretation of London as the capital city of 'cultural syncretism, class-based inter-mixture and democratic mutual regard' – in other words, as a paragon of hybridity. Gilroy sees corporate multiculturalism and conviviality as distinct and antagonistic. Corporate multiculturalism uses images of black people possessing naturally sculpted and beautiful bodies.