Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/922/23837

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2016

Non-fiction: Pitch Black

Fighting racism in football

Marching against racism, photo by Paul Mattsson

Marching against racism, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Tony Aitman

Raph Parkinson's letter in the Socialist issue 920 on racism in football highlights an issue which has sadly been long present in the game. A recent book by Emy Onuora - 'Pitch Black: the story of black British footballers' - looks at the history of racism in football, and the effect this has had on the footballers themselves.

There are other books which deal with this, but what sets this book apart from the rest is the detail, the passion Emy clearly has for football, and his socialist perspective. Emy was an active supporter of Militant, the Socialist Party's predecessor, and Liverpool City Council in its epic battle with the Tory government in the 1970s and 80s. This outlook continues to inform his ideas.

Anyone in Liverpool will tell you I am not the greatest fan of football. 50 years ago I went to my only football match - I know England beat Mexico, but by how many goals and who scored I could not say for the life of me. Yet this book had me engrossed from start to finish.

Pitch Black is a tour de force. From the days when racism overtly showed its ugly face with the throwing of bananas onto the pitch, with greater shows of violence in reserve, to the days when it is hidden in the boardrooms and hospitality suites.

It includes interviews with over 20 current and former players such as John Barnes, Viv Anderson and Cyrille Regis. Pitch Black critically and controversially scrutinises the attitudes of Fifa, the FA and the media over the last half-century. It allows today's generation of footballers and fans to discover the history of the world's most popular sport.

Pitch Black does not confine itself to just events in the UK, but looks at wider implications, such as the infamous South Africa tour of 1982. This revealed the disgraceful roles of the likes of Jimmy Hill and Brian Clough.

Clough, explains Emy, had been one of the original signatories to the formation of a national anti-racist campaign. But he was prepared to compromise his principles when it came to money, which meant appeasing the racist apartheid regime in South Africa at the time.

Pitch Black is an important book for football fans and anyone interested in the struggle against racism. As Emy says: "football reflects society and within society as a whole, racism persists."

The fight against racism in football is integrally linked to the fight to change society. An understanding of its history is vital to anyone involved in that struggle.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 26 October 2016:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Protest and strike to save our NHS

Health campaigners announce national NHS demo

Hundreds march and rally to defend Tyneside hospital


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Jungle' camp destruction is no solution

Welsh budget: Labour government makes Tory cuts

Academies mired in debt and corruption

Homeless sleeping rough: councils must build housing

Four in five self-employed workers living in poverty


Corbyn & Labour

Readmit expelled socialists

Wallasey whitewash must be condemned

Battle in Leeds council over care home closure


Jarrow March for Jobs 2011

Jarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth


Socialist Party workplace news

Teaching assistant pledges ongoing fight against pay cuts

A day in the life of a midwife

Striking Sheffield bin workers picket scabs

Crossrail sparks get organised

Unison higher education seminar points no way forward over pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Housing campaigners meet to plan resistance to the Housing Act

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I really can't wait for Socialism 2016"

"We are all Daniel Blake!"


International socialist news and analysis

US presidential election: The disastrous failure of 'lesser evilism'

Ireland: Jobstown protester found guilty


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Book review: Fighting racism in football

TV: No Place to Call Home

Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 October 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Football:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Football & high wages

triangleHillsborough justice eluded

triangleBoot racism out of football - reclaim the game!

triangleBury expelled from football league: Boot out the bosses ruining our game

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Racism:

triangleTV: Noughts and Crosses

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How was Thatcher’s poll tax beaten?

triangleGermany: Right-wing terror attacks - fight racism, fight capitalism!

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

Black:

triangleBlack and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

triangleBuilding a working-class movement for Tamil rights

triangleNHS in critical condition

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Liverpool - a city that dared to fight

The Socialist:

triangleMick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

Racist:

triangleProtest against Modi's racist law

Socialist Party:

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2020 episodes

Africa:

triangleSouth Africa: 60 years marking the Sharpeville Massacre

South Africa:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

Media:

triangleThe role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

Militant:

triangleHelp us continue to fight for workers and socialism

Asian:

triangleRacist jobs discrimination same for 50 years - unions must fight for jobs for all

Sport:

triangleCapitalism v cricket

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

20/5/20

Obituary

Obituary: Rob Crabb

20/5/20

Letters

Going viral: letters to the editors

20/5/20

Upton Sinclair

The Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions

13/5/20

Letters

Going Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

6/5/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

6/5/20

Review

TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?

27/4/20

Coronavirus

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters

22/4/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters

15/4/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis

8/4/20

Socialist Party

Labour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on

7/4/20

Coronavirus

Going viral

31/3/20

Coronavirus

Going viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

25/3/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

18/3/20

TV

TV: Noughts and Crosses

18/3/20

Coronavirus

Going viral: socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999