African British is to be excluded as a category from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2007 test questions for the 2011 census. The label 'black' British used is to be used in its place.
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Should the 2007 tests for the 2011 census have actually tested ‘African British’, or should official African identity have remained stagnant with the eurocentric ‘black’ definition.Click here to speak out and share your perspective on this article.
As an African British organisation, Ligali is one of many representing the case for eradicating colour coding and replacing it with more accurate ethnicity classifications. During our ONS meetings with the Census Diversity Advisory Group (formally SPAG) we have raised the moral incongruity of the perpetuation of racist ideology irrespective of its widespread institutional usage. To its credit our concerns have been acknowledged with the ONS agreeing to help organise consultation events in tandem with grass roots organisations from both ‘pro’ and ‘against’ camps to discuss this specific issue. Nonetheless, the failure to use the upcoming census test as an opportunity to test the African British v ‘black’ British question reveals that whilst the ONS recognises there is a need to move forwards and challenge this intellectual impasse, it lacks the political courage to do so. The irony of this matter is that whilst the ONS seeks to be ‘inclusive’ at all costs recognising the likes of ‘Jedi’ Britons in its coding framework, it is perpetuating the socio-political exclusion of those who self define as African British.