Handsworth, an inner-city district to the north of Birmingham’s city centre, became an important subject of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies’ ThreeWorkersWebwork.  Chas Critcher, a postgraduate at the Centre, also ran a community advice Centre in Handsworth.  When in a sixteen-year-old youth of mixed ethnic origin was sentenced to an unprecadented twenty years in prison for the ‘mugging’ of a white passer-by, Chas and his colleagues at the Centre began a major research project that eventually became Policing the Crisis, a seminal book that charted what the authors identified as the collapse of the post-war consensus and the growing ‘moral panic’ over the presence of black youth in inner-city areas of Britain.  This photograph was taken by Brian Homer, a Handsworth-based photographer in the 1970s, a time when black communities were the subject of increasing racism, hostility from the police and vilification in the media.

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