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Indebted to Black film makers and scholars who have documented the rich histories of resistance to Black children and young people rendered 'subnormal' in British schools, this paper investigates the educational experiences of Black adults neglected by statutory adult education provision. To do this, the paper documents the educational practices and processes of a literacy project set up for Caribbean adults in 1970s London. Detailing the multiple complex modes of survival that unfolded at the project over its decade-long existence, the paper shines light on the experiences of voluntarism, consciousness-raising, and precarity that were fostered and negotiated by the project's staff and users. In so doing, the paper introduces new conceptual and empirical agendas for scholarship on the historical geographies of informal and alternative education spaces.

Jacob Fairless Nicolson is a Visiting Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies. He is a cultural and historical geographer interested in marginalisation and resistance, non-formal education, and postcolonialism. He completed his PhD investigating non-formal education spaces set up for Black children, young people, and adults in post-WWII London at the Department of Geography, King’s College London in 2021. He is currently undertaking a research project at the IAS investigated how discourses of exclusion or inclusion shape pathways into research careers for students from non-traditional backgrounds studying Geography and cognate disciplines. Some of his work is published as Jacob Fairless Nicolson (2020) ‘From London to Grenada and back again: youth exchange geographies and the Grenadian revolution, 1979–1983,’ Antipode, https://doi.org/10.1111/anti.12598


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