Made in Britain: uncovering the life-histories of Black-British champions in cycling
DR MARLON MONCRIEFFE ON THE PUBLICATION OF HIS NEW BOOK LOOKING AT BLACK CHAMPIONS IN CYCLING. Racism and cycling became a talking point for a brief period in the cycling world following the huge waves of Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests triggered by the killing of the African American George Floyd, a black man suffocated to death by a white American policeman in May 2020.Many cycling journalists suddenly started looking for former and current black cyclists, seeking to rewrite and publish their experiences of racism. For me – a black British man, a former racing cyclist, now an academic who had been researching and writing about the black experience in cycling for many years by that point – it was peculiar to witness. Nothing can stop white writers from sharing their analysis and interpretations of the black cyclist’s experience of racism. But where the white interpreted written narrative of the black experience in cycling is given greater credibility than the penned black narrative lens of analysis, this can perpetuate racism.
Sunday Times Cycling Book of The Year 2022 Desire Discrimination Determination – Black Champions in Cycling is the first book of its kind, providing a collation of international and historical stories of the black athlete experience in the world of competitive cycling. Written by Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, this book makes a groundbreaking contribution of knowledge desperately needed in the global cycling industry, taking on issues regarding access, diversity, inclusion, representation and anti-racism in policy and practice. This book provides much-needed insight into the rich history of black cyclists that has been largely overlooked until now. Dr Moncrieffe takes his own racing experiences, research, and analytical expertise through a wide range of stories, personal reflections, and oral testimonies and interviews. We learn from different generations of well-known black cyclists from across the UK, USA and beyond including; Major Taylor, Maurice Burton, Russell Williams, Kittie Knox, Nelson Vails, Justin and Cory Williams, Shanaze Reade, Kévin Reza, Tre Whyte, Rashaan Bahati, David Clarke and Charlie Reynolds and many more.
The abstract statement ‘No room for racism’ in cycling needs to be reified as a concrete reality in action and practice. Participation and representation of British cyclists at all levels from grassroots to professionals should be advanced and celebrated through the multiple ethnicities of British people.
A lot of my early academic work has been framed by Franz Fanon's depiction of European colonialism and racism. These continue to have a grotesque impact on the lives of Black people including their generational displacement across the world for 400 years. Fanon's psychoanalytic interpretations can be transferred to all social spaces of suffocation experienced by the black man in the western and white-centred world. The cycling world as well. Copy and paste link to the the article here: https://www.antiracismcycling.com/part-2-leadership-raising-the-profile-of-black-excellence-in-cycling-through-anti-racist-education/
The year 2020 began with a publication of my work via Issue 23 of Conquista Magazine. This publication gave my reflections on the 2018 and 2019 UK public exhibitions 'Made in Britain: Uncovering the Life-Histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling'. Copy and paste this link to the article: https://www.antiracismcycling.com/the-narrative-of-anti-racism-in-cycling/
Bringing together Maurice Burton and Justin Williams for this special discussion was a brilliant idea. We spoke about the past, the present and the future possibilities for black people as leading lights in transforming how cycling can be seen and known for the better. This was a conversation that expanded upon my long-term academic research copy and paste this link: https://www.antiracismcycling.com/the-past-the-present-the-possibilities/
Dr. Marlon Moncrieffe believes the pro peloton's anti-racist gesture during the Tour de France needs to go further. Dr. Moncrieffe recommends launching an official anti-racism advisory group.
This year’s edition of the Tour de France, cycling’s most prestigious event, begins on August 29. It would be a huge surprise if we see any riders during the event taking the knee and raising their fists in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and anti-racism, as has taken place this summer in sports such as football, cricket and rugby. Download and the article. See weblink https://theconversation.com/tour-de-france-2020-facing-up-to-professional-cyclings-history-of-anti-blackness-142092
The explosion of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK and the USA has grabbed the attention of the cycling media, which is using its platform to explore the once-forbidden topic of racism in cycling. The passed-over stories of commonly unknown elite and professional Black athletes of the sport are being picked over for sharing a reflective understanding of how their cycling careers were stymied by pro cycling's sheer whiteness. The global cycling media is almost entirely comprised of white journalists and commentators, which is perhaps why the topics of racism and whiteness in cycling are rarely discussed with mainstream audiences. This topic and these stories have been talked about backstage for years. This article gives voice on the issues from the elite Black-British cycling athletes perspective.
https://www.theroadbook.co.uk/2020/06/04/dr-marlon-moncrieffe-blackbritishlivesmatterincycling/ This short article presents a small sample of oral testimonies from the research 'Made in Britain: Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling'. The author argues that the choking of the African-American George Floyd who was murdered by a white policeman in the USA is symbolic of champion Black-British cyclists past and present in their own career experiences of 'whiteness'.
Athlete-turned academic Dr. Marlon Moncrieffe takes us through his project 'Made in Britain: Uncovering the Life Histories of Black-British Champions.' in which he explores the careers of British-born black athletes such as the accomplished six-day racer Maurice Burton and the more contemporary BMX stars of Tre Whyte, Shanaze Read, Kye Whyte and Quillan Isidore. Our cover celebrates this body of work.
Athlete turned academic Dr Marlon MONCRIEFFE takes us through his project ‘Made in Britain: Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling”, in which he explores the careers of British born black athletes such as the accomplished six-day racer Maurice Burton and the more contemporary BMX stars of Tre Whyte, Shanaze Reade, Kye Whyte and Quillan Isidore. Our cover celebrates the body of this work.
See Instagram. @blackchampions_ My current project is called: ‘Made in Britain' Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling. It is an interdisciplinary approach to research via education, sports sociology and history. It applies a critical multicultural lens to present oral testimonies and photography, illustrating the stories and careers of these remarkable athletes. An exhibition of the works will be held from 10th to 20th December at University Brighton Galleries, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY. For further information, please contact: Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, School of Education, University of Brighton. Email: M.L.Moncrieffe@brighton.ac.uk Please do come along to enjoy this work.
‘Made in Britain’: uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions of Cycling. MARLON L. MONCRIEFFE University of Brighton, UK Email: M.L.Moncrieffe@brighton.ac.uk Tel: 01273 603 367 Abstract Great Britain’s emergence as a world force in the sport of cycling over the last twenty years has given rise to a golden age (Wynn, 2015). Prestigious honours such as knighthoods, damehoods, MBEs, OBEs, CBEs have been bestowed upon Great Britain’s top cyclists such as Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Sarah Storey. Their popularity can also be viewed through a winning run (2008, 2011 and 2012) in the publicly voted BBC Sport Personality of Year, cementing their status as national heroes. However, elite cycling like many other high profile sports such as Golf, Tennis and Swimming is generally seen as being participated by white people, where their dominance can be associated with critical theoretical lens of ‘Whiteness’ (Carrington and McDonald, 2001; Delgado and Stefanic, 2012; Hylton, 2010). My paper will present on my plans to use autoethnography as a method of data production for uncovering the life-histories of Black-British champions of cycling (Chang, 2016). I discuss my intention to uncover and bring together the marginalised stories of those Black-British athletes who have become national champions; European champions; world champions in their own right and have represented Great Britain internationally in the sport of their choice. Key words: Whiteness; marginalised histories; autoethnography References Carrington, B., & McDonald, I. (Eds.). (2002). Race', sport and British society. Routledge. Chang, H. (2016). Autoethnography as method. Routledge. Delgado, R. and Stefanic, J. (2012) Critical Race Theory: an introduction, 2nd ed, New York: New York University Press. Hylton, K. (2010). How a turn to critical race theory can contribute to our understanding of ‘race’, racism and anti-racism in sport. International review for the sociology of sport, 45(3), 335-354. Wynn, N. (2015) Why right now is Britain’s Golden Age of Cycling http://www.cyclingweekly.com/cycling-weekly/why-right-now-is-britains-golden-age-of-cycling-186021#1uxI7s0yGCe6Dh55.99 (17 April 2017).