Tageszeitung (Taz): „Genetischer Reduktionismus ist falsch“ (genetic reductionism is false) (interview)

Usain Bolt after his victory and world record ...

Heute,  Interview mit US Forscher bezuegl. Rassismus, genetischen Reduktionismus und Sport.  Warum sind Jamaikaner wie Usain Bolt und Yohan Blake so gut im Sport?


Today interview with John Hoberman about genetic determinism, sport, black athletes and Barack Obama (German)

Black and Jewish violence justifying militants (2001)

This is the conclusion of  my upgrade paper of my PhD attempt (2001) on the justification of violence as a means of action amongst Jewish and Black militants.  This talk was held at Univ. of Leeds and later at SOAS.  I worked on this phD both at U. of Leeds and later at UCL London.

Conclusions:  Hearing Aids ( Justification of violence as a means of action amongst Blacks and Jews)

The main reason why I discontinued the project was due to the need to work to earn a living and my inability to secure a full bursary, although I did win a British Academy  AHRB university fee covering award. I am not excluding the possibility to return to this one day given the right circumstances.

What is Music of Black Origin Anyway? Radio feature about Mobo Awards (16/11/2000)

This feature was broadcasted in 2000 on DW – transcript follows

all rights reserved

Click here to listen

At the beginning of October, London hosted the MOBO awards, MOBO standing for Music of Black Origin. It is important to consider MOBO within Europe’s and North America’s history. “Black music” supposedly means by people with a black skin colour. For years, many black artists were pushed behind. Their songs were often copied by white performers to satisfy audiences, alienated by blacks. In the eighties and nineties, attempts to label music were made, to try to correct, decades of exclusion.

MOBO supporters hold the view that the drum was invented in Africa –as most music has a drum based rhythm – most music is held to be black. But why be specific here, if, most likely, the totality of humanity originated in Africa? Different folk traditions made use of drums –not always due to an African migration.

So. can music be separated into black and white? Kanya King is one of the founders and main driving forces behind MOBO, which this years saw fames like Lauryn Hill, and Armand van Helden, both of darker complexion, and Fat Boy Slim and Emi-nem, on the lighter side of shades. With her I discussed the meaning and history of MOBO:

Kanya King: “The MOBO award was founded through award and celebrity artists involved in the broad spectrum of music of black origin and that encompasses Hip Hop R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Reggae et cetera. Basically the MOBO awards are unique because they celebrate the basis of much popular music today, as well as saluting the rich history and cultural diversity apparent in today’s multi-cultural society. It’s only been going three years, this will be the fourth year. It goes out worldwide to an audience of over a 100 Million people.

I think there became a time when I said look, I’d been to see a lot of organisations I had the door slammed in my face: “Oh look this is niche music, It’s a niche event! “ I said: No it’s not a niche event! You only have to look at the sales pattern and politics of music today and you re realising we’re defining the future of world music. You know, the acts that we’re talking’ about are securing number one global hits around the world. In a way I said, what we’re trying to do is something positive. We’re trying to celebrate the music, we’re also trying to celebrate genres that often get overlooked in other mainstream award ceremonies.”

Daniel Zylbersztajn: ”But it seems like at the moment we have a little bit of circulation from awards to awards, especially big people like Lauryn Hill, Puff Daddy is certainly somebody who has been recognised by MTV awards and what have you!!

Kanya King: “These artists feel comfortably not only n specialist charts but also in mainstream charts. So there is a lot of talent out there. We have an award called the unsigned act award. Basically what we are trying to do is to provide a platform for them. What we’re saying is, most people would wholeheartedly agree that most forms of popular music today have their roots in black heritage, and that’s what we’re doing trying to celebrate that fact. It doesn’t matter the colour or creed of an artist.. It’s a bout the music that counts.

Daniel Zylbersztajn: “African musicians in Europe are pretty much marginalised, and also would deserve an award!?”

Kanya King: “You’ve got Hip Hop and R&B, that’s African music! It started with the drum! Gospel music and Reggae music is marginalised! What we’re trying to do is say there are many forms of African music. And African music is R&B and Hip-Hop as well!

Daniel Zylbersztajn: “But why haven’t you got an award for African music?”

Kanya King: “We haven’t got an award for English music!

Daniel Zylbersztajn: “I thought that the award us called music of black origin?”

Kanya King: “Why do we need to call an award for African music when it should be either highlife or Zoot – we have a ninety minute slot and we obviously try to reflect, you know, a reggae act performance. A dance act performance, a hip-hop act performance, a gospel act performance. If we can – we only have ninety minutes of television, so we can’t reflect everything although we’d love to. It’s a very difficult choice, because what you’re trying to do is to give something have something for everyone and even though we have people say: Oh. Can we have not have more reggae acts on our show performing – you should have more dance acts, you try to reflect as much as you can, obviously with the time that you have. What’s also important is that rock music as well, we have black artists. People see that very much as a white genre, obviously you have to look where it’s come from. What we’re trying to do is to focus on music that doesn’t necessarily always get the recognition.!”

Daniel Zylberstajn: “Can you explain a little bit, how was it like when you grew up? How was it like for most black people, in this country about this recognition?”

Kanya King: “Gosh – when I was growing up, it was very very difficult to hear my influences, I mean whether it’s Sam Cook, John Holt or Steve Wonder, I think the sales patterns and politics of music is changing, and it’s no longer niche music, it’s part of the main stream today which is very important and this is really what we were campaigning for to make sure that black music is not marginalised, like it has been done in the past.”

Kanya King organiser of the MOBO.

If MOBO would specify black musical invention that occurred at specific locations, maybe the growth of rap and hip-hop in poverty ridden black populated urban areas in the USA, It would maybe have more validity. MOBO only circles between Britain, the Caribbean and the U.S.A. Today, Hip-Hop and other music forms are made in other world locations too! Most critically, a black origin music award begs its opposite – a white award –an impossibility in contemporary Europe, except for white supremacists. Further, what exactly do the generalising words black or white people mean anyway? They seem to gain meaning only in the context of a Europe and America for several centuries prejudiced towards people of a darker complexion. In the musical context consider also that Europe’s own native musical traditions – white music in the ears of MOBO – have and are still often ridiculed as backwards and primitive, those who believe Europe is the only place with a higher culture. Perhaps what we really need is to re-evalue our understandings of music, beyond black and white?

For Deutsche Welle, I am Daniel Zylbersztajn in London.

2000 Interview with Kanya King, organizer of the MOBO award, on background and history of MOBO.

Originally aired on Cool.

recorded, presented and produced by Daniel Zylbersztajn,

School Council’s International cross Study – Draft

Below is the draft of an unpublished part of research I conducted in 2000

School Councils international examples.


Copyright Daniel Zylbersztajn 2000/2009

For publication and user rights contact author via dz.research@yahoo.co.uk

The next part of our research looked at various examples from all over the world.

What will I find in this section?

· This section will allow you to chose from a world wide variety of attempts and ways to increase students participation at school.

· Will sow you how your own work may fit within an international context.

· Will allow you to organise school councils to reflect more diverse backgrounds of students in your school, and give it validity to all.

· May assist you in connecting teaching issues on participation in an international context.

· Will allow you to interrogate “the British” ways with different models

What will not find in this section?

· The term international study, can be misleading. This is not a comparative analysis of international democratic and citizenship education of each country to each other. Such would be a considerably intensive and difficult project. The paper gives you a general idea on how issues of school councils and student representation are thought through in different locations, outside of Britain. In addition there are many countries which are federal unions, with independet educational authorities per state. In such cases information may be only state-wide (e.g. USA, Germany, Belgium a.o.)

· We have actively looked for the examples that have implemented school councils. We have ignored locations where school councils or similar bodies are not in place or only just formulating. To investigate the reasons why certain countries, or states are lacing behind with such organisation might bean interesting study by itself but is beyond our remit.

· We have not aimed to investigate students’ school representations in communist orders, as well as one party states. This includes countries such as China, Cuba, Vietnam and several countries of the Mhagreb, Near and Middle East.

· We did not investigate for obvious reasons oppressive regimes, often led by military dictatorships, because they discourage discending voices in general, often to the degree of imminent threath to ones life. In terms of citizenship education armies are of course the best model for the creation of obedient non questioning persons. We did establish that is was often those countries who had recently left diasastorous and oppressive eras in their histories that sought to establish the growth of a new generation citizens that dared to challenge, were allowed to ask questions, and be empowered to express their stances and opinions

Which sources did we use?

· We have conducted a comprehensive literature review which soon revealed that sources where quite difficult to btain on the subject of school councils. The review was thus followed by

· Web based research: This revealed itself to be successful in order to learn about the more Western countries

· Direct contact with a.) representatives of school councils, especially on state and national level

b.) governmental officials in democratic and citizenship education

Where useful we have listed further references in order to assist further research and interests. Please note that some of the suggested web-pages may change from time to time, and reflect the time this research was conducted (January 2000-July 2000)

How should I use this section?

We have tried to make this style as accessible as possible. Each case will be put in a framework, that gives you information on each example, such as the main educational points you need to be aware of in terms of (Political setting, Educational strategy). You may skip some parts, and read only the .

Theoretical Considerations:

Democratic representation is understood differently not only from school to school but there are also differences in the way particular geographical and cultural histories reached the point of initiation of democratic programmes. There are different ways of explaining the notion of democratic participation itself. The answers one receives here are allowing us to contextualise our own experiences. Where are we today in terms of where others already are, or are not yet? Are there definitions and meanings for other people that could enhance the points we have gathered in favour of school councils or even against them. Must we assume that what seems right from our stand-point

is the only model for school democratisation.

It is our obligation to at least point out to still unresolved and often contradictory argumentations in the field of democratisation. It begs us to take very serious any strong believes in favour and against particular forms of students representation at school, not the least a valueable interogation of our own value systems and beliefs. To accept a given and total one way road to ideal democratic representation both at school or on parliamentary level, is to accept defeat, and deny any further development of our own political development, and thus the political development of the young persons we are trying to empower. In the May 2000 London Assembly elections, considered to be an important mile-stone in (re-)democratisation, electoral voting turn out was as low as 34 percent, a shocking trend that has been observable year by year. This is a political and democratic disaster which forces us to look again and try harder, be less vocal about what we have, looking at countries like South Africa, where people stood in one mile quues to register their votes.

It is striking how even within Europe the implementation and workings of school councils (not to talk of national governments) differ whilst at the same time equal in spirit. Who argues that Westminster, or Washington are the models to follow for Europe or even the world, should not forget that the imperial powers forced arrogantly their value and political systems onto their colonial areas, to the loss of local established orders, many of which were democratically in the first place, although they may not have carried that label.

Many countries especially in the “developing world” are also missing in this study. This is of course partly to do with extra time that would have been required to contact educational instituions in these places. But also because for quite a few, and especially in such societies in which with the globalisation of a world-wide economic structure former cultural networks have vanished (and not always for better) , access to at least some of what has become today the only valid form of education (Western style, school based), is much more an issue, than to consider how these institutions are governed. But we must bear in mind that in the light of the destruction and enpovertisation of many places, the teachings of common discourse, tolerance and care, as evident in the active models of school councils and democratisation of school education, carries a different message, than a mere economic opportunist model (which may not even require school based education), where the lucky few, live secluded from the voiceless masses. Giving people voices and teaching them to be responsible for each other, tolerant and to work towards amicable solutions, whilst allowing them to do so from young age, will in its most optimistic guise permit fairer societies, as well as prevent the prouwness to sudden political uprisings. Real success can only be reached if followed by real opportunities after school, on local, national and international level. Democracy, Tolerance, Problem Solution and Compromise needs to be experienced at school level.


Legislation and Implementation

This section will concentrate on the why school councils came about in various countries, what their expected official purpose is, and how many councils in fact exist.

Departure Oppression. Destination: School Council.

School Councils as experiment to bring about an empowered next generation.

This section includes references to the following coutries / states:

Chile – Greece – Estonia – Germany –

Namibia – Russia – South Africa – USA (Maryland)

A look at school councils internationally most often reveals something about the political history of a region or area. It is striking to see that school- councils are often isntituted with a moment of change and shedding off a specific era of oppression. The spirit in which they are set is very much the one: Our children should learn how to oppose oppression. School councils and school democratisation for the the benefit of the students are often the imaginary key in the initial conceptualisations of the new post-dictatorial or else oppressive regiemes. Chile, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and South Africa are all example here.

In other countries the school-students themselves at the time of political climate change demand more co-responsibility and autonomy within schools. These are te cases in Germany and the USA for example. After the “Third Reich” Germany students became increasingly dissatisfied with the slow changes in education. Although the new post war government had istituted a version of the SMV (pupil’s co responsibility forum) German education remained in principle very hierchical and prudent, and due to a lack of enough new teachers, schools often had no hoice but to employ the old initially banned teachers from the Nazi era. This let to consistent and persistent school student protests, which particularly addresses the value system of the adults. Inspiration and resource as for so many other rardical (questioning the established order) movements of the 1960’s were neo-marxist philosopies advocating a “society without repression and oppression of desires and emotions.” It was only through the persistence of the students that finally in 1968 on a conference of the federal ministries of education it was decreed:

“The participation of pupils’ representatives is required at conferences of the teachers, under

specific conditions. The support of individual pupils, if they so wish, can be carried out by the

pupil’s representatives, under consideration of the law, hereby especially in cases of

disciplinary actionand complaints. The representativbes must be given the right to examine

all edicts and decisions of the school’s governors, as far as they ae relevant to the pupils.

There should be regular meetings on themes of contemporary school matters, between the

school management and the representatives of the pupils. The representatives should also b

part of the planning and shaping of the curriculum.”[1]

Similarly in the USA in 1969 Montgomery, Maryland school students demanded a change amidst university student Vietnam protests, and the civil rights strives, a sixteen or seventeen years old high school student Norman Solomon wrote this address to the US. State Maryland, Montgomery County (Maryland) Board of Education, on behalf of ‘The Montgomery County Student Alliance’, a group of high school students in February 1969[2]:


[…]11. Students must have the right to print and distribute their own publications…

12. Students have the right to have the freedom to decide what they want to print in student

newspapers, literary magazines and yearbooks…

13. Outside speakers must be given the chance to speak to students without favouritism or

discrimination. Military recruiters, for example, address assemblies at each county high school every year, but the same right has been refused to groups presenting different or opposing viewpoints. Students must make decisions to invite speakers and arrange assemblies… […]

15. Relevant courses must be developed to meet the students’ interests.. Students should be surveyed as to what courses they would like to see offered, and the results should play a determining role in the direction of course offerings…

16. Students should be free to arrange voluntary seminars to be held during school day. If schools are really to become relevant, students must be allowed – indeed encouraged – to set up discussions, hold workshops and seminars, hear speakers who are well informed about the subjects that interest students…[…]

18. Informing Students of their rights. The school should take the responsibility of informing each student of his rights in dealing with administrators and teachers. If the School board agrees that students do have rights, then it must be willing to make these rights directly known to each student. […]

23. School Board Hearings for Students

It is important that school officials come into contact with the concerns of the students. The Board could schedule hearings every two weeks at which time students would be invited to testify and voice complaints and suggestions.

24. Student Voice on School Board

The school board would do well to include representation of students. Every semester the School Board could supervise the election of student representatives from among county high school students, printing a special bulletin for each high school student which would give the positions of each of the students, who had volunteered to run for the positions.”

30 years later the U.S. State Maryland has one of the most impressive school council systems in place. We will later look at it in some more detail.

Not all initial intentions will eventually turn out to be operative school councils in praxis. One example would be Greece, which between 1967 and 1974 was under military rule. Once more citizenship was to mean to be able to tackle official bodies. Student self governments were instituted as part of better praxis in schools in order that “ for {school students] to be educated into good citizens through early experiences in the democratic forms of decision making and decision enacting. All types of student representations (at the class and school unity level) and some participation of student representatives in the formal decision-making process at the school aim at the development of democratic citizens through the experience of representation and participation.”[3]

In Greece the school student self governments developed into more political bodies, side-lining representation per se, an observation we shall later focus on in detail in the case of Finland.

A conservative observer wrote in 1998 about the Greek self governments:

… in the last three years the most favourite activity in the student communities at a national level (especially at the Lyzeum[4]) is to organise and administer ‘sit-ins’ as a modern form of protest.It is clear that a sit-in as the arbitrary blocking of a public service (education) is beyond the rights of the students. In that sense, it is interesting to notice that the cradle of citizenship education in the school – the student community – came to foster exactly the type of action it was supposed to prevent: deviation from the rules of the ‘democratic game’ as the means to obtain a highly respected goal.”[5]

It is important to point out that this development may be due to a lack in sufficient training and guidance.

More recently in the last decade (1990s) countries like Chile, Estonia, South Africa and Russia became to consider how to include democratic experience in school. We have examined the cases of Estonia, Russia, South Africa and Chile. Whilst Russia at the heart of the former Soviet empire is the archetype model of a shift from Communist functionary representation to democractic ellected representation, the post cold war era for Estonia also meant the independence from Soviet imperialism in 1991, and South Africa the end of Apartheid opression. Chile likewise is currently recovering from a brutal military fascist regime. We have also followed up the success of integration of the states in Germany which used to form the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR), East Germany.

Since glasnost and perestroica and the consequent first free elections Russia has worked quite a bit on its democratic requirements for schools since thelate 1980s. They have instituted an obligtory school board in every secondary school, on which students sit alongside teachers and parents. The school board is separate to the governors, but is just as important in decision making. The Russian parliament has also allowed for voluntary students self governments to exist within a school, which are basically student councils. The councils role is merely representative, with the Russian education legislation forbidding any political activities.

There are no connections between the citizenship education of Russia and the active experiences of the student governments. The citizenship education consists out of citizenship education in the lower and sociology in the higher schools with law as an option is some schools. The knowledge of students of these two subjects is reported to be quite high, which proves interest.

On the work of the school councils the following report from Failya Ismaeva, co-ordinator of international programmes of the Association of School Students in Russia, is very interesting

“While working in the school council students have opportunity to:

– get involved in the social processes throughout the school life on their own devises

– act independently without the help of adults

– the students self government main aim is to gain experiences on how to co-operate with the schools authorities as equal partners.”[6]

On the question of represntation for all Failya Ismaeva, pointed out to one of the national student associations main cocepts: “the first level of social motivation is encouragement, in other words non-profit bonuses.” She pointed out that in general school students enjoy being and getting things done togehether, and getting a feeling that their work is important for themselves and those they represent.


“Students’ councils can be a r eally good place to develop your organisational skills, to meet new people and to make something good for your school envoronment.”[7]

This is the opinion of Rosa Rotko from the Estonian (national) student council union, who is the co-operating body with functional school councils in estonuia, and gives out advise. She reports that in her school the school student council would be working really well and effectively. However she recognises that it is an exception, explaining that not every school in Estonia had a student school council. Estonia’s citizenship education is leaned towards the shift from an objeing citizen to an active citizen, but Rosa Rotko complains that it “it is always really hard to make pupils understand, that student councils should be more than just parties (party as in rave) organanising committees.” [8]She then moves on to explain a significant point which has also been raised by the young persons from other countries:

“ A main difficulty can be resistance of the school board or principal. The problem is quite known, especially in the Russian speaking schools in Estonia. [9] If the principal doesn’t allow pupils to form the council, then there is not going to be one. Probably the teachers and principals are afraid of giving “the power” to the pupils. Another difficulty is making the council work effectively. There must be a person who can lead the whole group, and leading is not that simple, especially for pupils who don’t have any earlier experience… There should [also] not be a constant competition about whio is president, who is vice president, … forgetting the actual aim – making school life more interesting and better..” [10]

Rosa Rotko pointed out that although the school council can be a very good model for democracy, she felt it could achieve the opposite, if student councils fail to represent the other school students:

“I have to admot, it is the same as in the Estonian politics, that pupils (ore people) don’t understand why they need a student council. … If the council is ignoring other pupils and their needs then it is very likely that they can’t use their voice. The student council is a really good place to learn democracy, but because most councils are not well organised, it is not very clear how pupils can learn about democracy. It can be the opposite, only one leader has the power to decide, the others are not interested, or the principal still decides everything…”[11]

It is striking that these comments may have come just as well from a great number of schools in Great Britain, proud of its century old democracy, whilst Estonia’s is not even ten years old.

The so called “new states” of Germany pose an interesting case in the list of geographic locations which were, until 1989 (the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall) under Soviet rule. A summarising comment about the state of school student representation in the GDR, thus until 1989 reports:

“The participation (Mitwirkung) of pupils was set in the school regulation (Schulordnung), which guaranteed the rights in the school of the GDR to:

– ability to gain inclusive knowledge and potential, fully

– to widen their abilities and talents, and

– to actively share in the making (Gestaltung) of life at school and in society.

But in reality narrow borders existed for this. These were already clear from the understanding of pedagogical principles of the GDR, in whose centre stood the leading and contolling of children and young persons.”[12]

Saxony-Anhalt is one of those states, which through the process of re-unifications (Wiedervereinigung) were to adopt adopt the federal system of the Federal republic of Germany (FRG), or formerly West Germany. It is significant to note that there was no process of approriation and coming together of educational concepts, but mere adoption of the only right concept.[13]

In order to achieve a speedy transformation of the old communist school system into the Western German model a registered charitable organisation, the “Association for the Advancement of Democratic Pupil’s Participation (Förderverein Demokratischer SchuelerInnenMitwirkung E.V. (FDS)) was set up. Its members are current and former members of the school student representatives in the state, and their purpose is to give seminars, exchange information, and provide school councils with speakers. Their key principle is ‘Democracy lives through Activisim’. It is important to note that this association is working independently of the state wide congress of school council representatives (Landesschülervertretung (LSV). As such it stands out uniquley from the majority of most other student school council bodies, as the only independent advisory body. In terms of high-headed representatives that was pointed out so vividly by the Estonian representative , the FDS’s spokes-person Steffen Ille, who was himself two years consecutively secretary of the state LSV explains that there is an emphaisis in trying to keep in contact with the base. This is eased in the state through a yearly congress at which all school student representatives can attend. But Steffen Ille did agree on the point of difficulties with teachers and principals who had learned to be teachers in another school era (the communist one). He answered a question posed to him by us, whether it was difficult to change the old political banning from schools (for it had potentially severe implications in terms of punishments), and if at all it was possible to get or allow school students to be campaign especially against the leadership.

“In deed, the rights of participation in management and hereby in particular against the leadership are not realised frequently. Often discussions are only varied [real word used here is bunt = colourful], until the leader has declared his / her position. The pupils seldom understand, that they have real rights to take a different view to the school directorate, and that they can and are allowed to take initiative in that respect.”[14]

And for once here is a voice that openly admits, that if tehre are any lessons for democracy, they only exist for the view ellected representatives. As lessons for democracy Steffen Ille lists “the understanding of the mechanisms of formations opinions and of the formation of majorities in this regard, such as “culture” of discussion, leadership initiative in discussions, the ability of utilizing the media, such as school student papers and posters, and to understand and consider the interests of other groups (parents, teachers).” [15]

Interestingly Steffen Ille lists a phenopmenon that may well explain the “failure” of the Greek scenario described earlier. Warning about failures in achievements he advises:

“Permanent failure in achieving self-set aims brings with itself a rejection of democratic structures. In this regard it is abolutely necessary to norture the ability of self criticism and self-adjustment in relation to one’s own actions. This can be done for inatance through an ellected teacher in a confidential supervisory role (Vertrauenslehrer).”[16]

FDS Internetlink (German) http://fdsev.schuldemokratie.de

Sources on International Experiences relating to pupil’s school-councils

Compiled for Goldsmiths Education Studies (school-council research project)

by Daniel Zylbersztajn

February 2000

This paper includes original references and transcripts.



Council of Europe




– General


– Baaden Würtenberg

– Bavaria

– Saarland





– A

– B

– C



South Africa



– General

– New York

– Maryland


Bullet Points: Military Oppression 1973-1988 with final departure of Pinochet in 1990. 10 March 1990 (last day of Pinochet) law passed that “each school can work out its own curriculum”

1992 Ministry of Education of Chile publishes draft proposal of fundamental objectives and minimal content:

“ *Ethical formation of student includes the development of personal autonomy and acceptance of racial ethical, religious and political differences, and positive acceptance of tolerance and dialogue as a way of overcoming differences.

* Development of students personal and social abilities

* Openness to relevant and emerging themes, including human rights […]

Elected student councils now play a decisive role in this regard, as arenas, where students reflect on and debate their needs. “

Taken from In Fernando Guzman in Gathaka (1994), p.6 [Emphasis added]

Mineduc_Info wrote:

Dear Daniel: Students Councils are very common in Chile. In fact most of the secondary schools have one. We have send your e-mail to Jorge Castillo who works with them. He should be in Santiago by March. I believe he can help you.

Paz Nalegach


Council of Europe

“Democracy is best learned in a democratic setting, where participation is encouraged, where views can be expressed openly and discussed, where there is freedom of expression for pupils and teachers and where there is fairness and justice”

Recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly 1985

The resolution stresses the “importance of ensuring that young people are properly prepared for political and institutional life”.. It is said that young people are should be encouraged to “to participate fully political and institutional life.” Participation of young people in democratic life means at some point “the readiness to become involved in a club, an association, a trade-union, a party.” “Democracy depend on a broad spectrum of organised citizens in a plurality of associations. This is particularly valid for young citizens.” … They should be ready to stand up for their convictions in a collectivity … in a youth organisation or political party.” “We must encourage a policy of participation of young people at all levels of political and institutional life.” The recommendation stresses the importance of the participation experience: “ For young people [participation] is the way to get into responsibility and understanding the mechanisms of democracy.”

Quoted in Fogelman, Point 15.8.7: Report by the Rapporteur Général, chapter in: Edwards, Munn & Fogelman, (1994), pp. 13-21



“…Student councils are an accepted part of life in Denmark … In Denmark the Danish folkesole law requires that every school have a school have a school council or board composed of two students, seven parents, and two employees. At one school, the student representatives were seventh and eight graders elected by the student council. Their rektor (principal or headmaster) said that although much of the business of the school board was boring for the students, “sometimes they speak.” The student councils usually comprise two representatives from each class. At one school the student council; discussed and found solutions to real problems such as providing towels in the bathrooms, a pay telephone for student use, a refrigerator for their milk, and goals for soccer. At another folkskole the student council had to allocate some of its funds to repair damage done by unknown student vandals. In one class, where the two representatives had little interest in the council, their disinterest spread to the rest of the class. Nevertheless, they all remain active in class meetings, which were seen by teachers to be the basis of democratic preparation.

Danish gymnasier, like folkeskoler, have both a student council and a school board with representatives from the students, as well as teachers, and parents. One student council dealt with the smoking policy and other rules and regulations, leaving the planing. One student council dealt with the smoking policy and other rules and regulations, leaving the planning of parties to another committee. Another committee worked on obtaining mew soccer playing fields, and condom dispensing machines in the school. At only one school did students complain that regardless of their recommendations. The rektor did what he wanted. The student council at many of the Danish schools worked with the national organisations of students to organise Operation Work Day. Until 1997 when a new policy was instituted on that day there was now school, and students did various jobs to raise money for a charity. Millions of kroners were raised for relief in Somalia, for refugees in the former Yugoslavia, and for rainforests in Brazil. “

“Students answered a … question, with 36 percent in 1986 and 10 percent in 1993, saying they did belong to a national student union or political organisation.

Danish students indicated comparatively high levels of political interest and efficacy. They often followed the news and discussed it with family, friends, and teachers. They often tried to persuade others to views and exhibited a high level of political confidence. They participated in class decision making and indirectly in school decision making. They observed debates and engaged in discussion about a national referendum. Danish students, who appear to be the most politicised students in this study (also including English , German, US, and Dutch students), attend schools in which political discussion participation is practised, and they live in a wider political culture, in which political discussion and participation. are also prevalent. It is not surprising then that in a context of democratic discourse and participation, that that young Danish youth construct a view of the political realm that both reflects and supports participatory democracy to a greater extent, than is evident in the other countries in this study.”

Taken from Hahn (1998), p. 96f, 99

B. )

“Public primary and secondary school in Denmark also engage in a very high level of independence, compared to schools in other countries. There is a national curriculum, but the board of each school has the power to change it. School boards, typically consisting out of 2 parents, 2 teachers, and 2 pupils, have decision-making powers over most school-related issues. Beyond this students have an unlimited choice of schools…

Danes firmly believe, that the freedom to choose makes people more responsible. All parties in parliament support this basic idea, albeit to a greater or lesser extent. […]

Freedom is the opposite of indifference. What the world needs, is people who care, people who demand freedom follow their conscience. To work to that end is to educate for democracy.”

Taken from Bertel Haarder: Democracy the Freedom to choose, in Gathaka (1994), p.7


The following longer section is one of the best descriptions of a functioning school-councils, including a debate of the achievements, problems and suggestions. The extracts here have been copied in full from

Jensen & Walker (1989), pp 151-161

“Nils Danielsen:

(i) Helping pupils to help themselves: pupils’ councils and participation

Danish law requires all schools to establish a pupils’ council. These councils are typically made up of two elected pupils from each of the classes between the sixth grade (12-year-olds) and the tenth grade (16-year-olds). … ! But a remark often to be heard in most schools, all over Denmark, is as follows: ‘Our pupils’ council doesn’t work!’ And it is natural to ask, as we have done, why? Why don’t pupils’ councils work?

Among other things, a frequent explanation is that there is something wrong with the belief that just because pupils have been elected to a council, the following will automatically arise. That these pupils will possess a good and necessary knowledge of the structure of the school and how decisions are made within that structure. That they will have mastered the techniques of running meetings and of working as a council. And that they will feel safe and accepted by each other, despite differences in age and familiarity. In addition, certain practical difficulties arise. Pupils’ council might need help in writing out agendas and in keeping minutes; they may be uncertain about how to distribute business arrangements and outcomes of discussion; and they will inevitably lack certain powers for calling pupils’ representatives to the committees of the school or the council.

With the intention of facing these difficulties or similar problems, many schools in Denmark have established a contact-teacher system. In general this system is based upon an approach by which certain teachers are specifically charged with developing pupils’ influence. Normally the ‘contact-teacher’ is elected by and from the teachers’ council and has to report on his or her work at teacher council meetings. The contact-teacher is charged with the task of supporting the work of the pupils’ council by functioning as the administration for the council and its executive committee. They also arrange courses for the council, courses which aim to help members of the council to get to know each other and to better understand the organisation of their school and courses which are designed to help representatives to practise political debate and to learn what possibilities are available for their council itself.

To give some idea of how the contact-teacher system operates, in what follows, I will describe just what happened in one year at Stavnsholtskolen, Farum.

One year with the pupils’ council

Even before the summer holidays, the new 6th-10th classes have elected two representatives for the pupils’ council. The council (about 16 pupils) is invited to a two-day course at the very beginning of the school year. This course takes place in the facilities of the Continuation School in another part of the town, which makes it a real course, away from everyday school.

At the course the pupils are provided with knowledge of the importance of the council in the school system, of its own rules and of pupils’ organisations such as LOE and FLO (the pupils’ unions). The pupils meet the president of the teachers’ council who is on a panel, together with the presidents of the parent-teacher committee and the education committee.

At the course, the pupils’ council begins to work out a list of tasks its members want to address. This plan-for-the-year means that the pupils’ council always has something to do. When urgent matters of current interest have been dealt with, the year-plan is studied. This plan is copied and placed in the representatives’ council folder. A very important part of the course is a complete pupils’ council meeting which the contact-teacher uses as a basis for exploring meetings and debating techniques.

The two-day course begins with role-play and simulation exercises. These help the pupils to get to know one another and to discover each other’s opinions. This means that the last item of the course, which is election for different posts, can take place on a reasonable basis. At this stage the members of the pupils’ council are very enthusiastic and most elections are hotly contested.

The daily work of the pupils’ council

The executive committee of the pupils’ council makes a point of summoning the full council shortly after the course is completed. The agenda for the meeting has one permanent item, ‘News from the Committees’. This prevents the appointed committees and the representatives from the committees of the school from neglecting their duties and it reminds them of the importance of informing the pupils’ council. Most topics debated by the pupils’ council are sent to the classes for discussion before the council comes to a decision at a later meeting.

After agreeing on a proposal, the pupils will pass their ideas on to the appropriate body in the school. Members of the council have to get used to writing letters – a written question demands a written answer and can often expose certain uncertainties more sharply than a spoken message.

The contact-teacher will see to it that the administrative office in the school gives the pupils’ council the same support as is given to the teachers’ council with respect to such issues as the writing-out of agendas, minutes and the like. Agendas and minutes are distributed by having a call made on the loudspeaker system of the school. A marking system provides a survey of the classes that haven’t collected their papers. In addition, minutes of the pupils’ council meetings are sent to class teachers of the 6th-10th grades and are displayed on the teachers’ notice board.

The executive committee of the council has a weekly meeting at which the full council’s work is discussed and prepared and where letters to be presented to the council are drafted out. In this way, it is possible for the pupils’ council to take an interest in an extensive range of school matters.

The tasks of the pupils’ council

The council will discuss any event happening in the school. For instance, it may suggest topics or themes for ‘feature-weeks’, it may evaluate the annual sports day or it may join in the work of the committee of cultural affairs. Other questions arise:

‘Is the information about the subjects you may choose in the 8th-10th classes sufficient?’

‘Are we to have one or two terminal examinations in the 9th class?’

‘Are there other examples of discussion topics for the pupils’ council?’

An adopted resolution of allocating one weekly lesson per class for open discussion caused a lively debate in the classes and the pupils’ council. The purpose and importance of school subjects were debated and the observations of the pupils’ council gained support from the parent-teacher committee. The renovation of a living room, in which pupils may spend time during the breaks was another task of the pupils’ council.

The pupils’ council now manages far more tasks than they did previously. One reason for this is the desire of the parent-teacher committee to know the attitude of the pupils’ council to as many subjects as possible.

Attending a course again!

The pupils’ council hold a monthly meeting. Camps, practical trainee work, holidays and end of term examinations, however, interrupt the work. These interruptions sometimes threaten the stability of the pupils’ council work. Partly because of that, we find that a second course for the pupils’ council is of great importance. This course-day takes place in February or March, and its purpose is to evaluate the time, which has passed since the first course. Members thoroughly discuss the course of pupils’ council meetings, the results and the level of co-operation with other parties in the school.

Evaluations have generally been very positive, and, proud of its own results, the pupils’ council looks forward to the work of the spring term. Tasks are finished and pupils heading for examinations are replaced by younger persons in the different committees. The election of members for the following year’s pupils’ council takes place on the 1st of May at the latest, and new members are invited to attend the final meeting of the old council.

The pupils’ council’s own lesson:

The contact-teacher system has improved the workings of the pupils’ council. Difficulties arise, however, when topics are to be discussed in the classes during the pupils’ own lesson. The working methods of the pupils’ council (having a chair and a reporter) has had some influence on the pupils’ own lessons, but it is still difficult for the two pupils’ council members to make their classmates take an interest in the pupils’ council work. The reason for this is partly the nature of representative democracy (of course, it is more fun when you take part yourself) and partly that most of the topics from the pupils’ council are so complicated that the representatives have difficulty in explaining them. However, the pupils’ council has tried to awaken the interest of other pupils in different ways. The best procedure seems to be the holding of frequent meetings for all the pupils in the 7th-10th classes as a supplement to council work that takes place in the pupils’ own lesson.

The contact-teacher’s role

The contact-teacher tries to ensure that tasks concerning school administration are dealt with. At the pupils’ council meetings the contact-teacher is at the pupils’ disposal when they need guidance, although the contact-teacher only contributes if important information is lacking in the debate or if the pupils’ council needs guidance about voting or protecting minority interests.

After council meetings, the reporter will need the help of the contact-teacher to make sure that the minutes which are sent out for discussion in the classes are precise and correct. Other tasks for the contact-teacher are to inform other teachers about the work of the pupils’ council, to give support to the pupils on boards and in committees, and to ensure that decisions made in the pupils’ council are realised.

The contact-teacher’s duties as regards the pupils’ council can be compared with those of the education committee and headmaster as regards the parent-teacher committee. The popularly elected are those to decide, and it is the official’s duty to see that the basis for making decisions is a secure one.

The importance of the contact-teacher system to the school and the pupils

It is very satisfactory that the pupils’ council, which represents the numerically largest group in school, should express opinions about school matters. For nearly all the pupils who take part in the work of the pupils’ council it is true to say that the work gives them their first experiences of spheres of interest and organisation. These experiences can be decisive in motivating them to join organising work at some other time and place, be it party-political, grass-roots movements, or trade union work.

The contact-teacher system for the pupils’ council has meant that some pupils devote quite a lot of their energies and their ideas to the pupils’ council and, through that, the school. And it seems refreshing and renewing when pupils reflect on how to make their school better.

(ii) The need for a pupils’ statute in a democratic school

Frederik Smit:

Danielsen’s account of how the contact-teacher system at Stavnsholt School helps to support the smooth functioning of the pupils’ council (see above) provides us with some clear ideas of how these councils can be made more effective. Danielsen suggests that one obstacle to the effective operation of pupils’ councils is that, often, the pupils themselves lack the skills necessary to run councils and to organise proper discussion. Furthermore, pupils often have only a limited understanding of the ins and outs of how their school works and are thus limited in the contribution they can make to the decision-making process. It seems obvious, therefore, that pupils’ councils need guidance from teachers. At Stavnsholi the basic aim was to use teachers as a resource to give pupils the necessary knowledge, skills and support required for their council to become an effective and functioning democratic influence. This approach was obviously very valuable. However, I wish to argue that, on its own, it is not enough if one wishes to strengthen the pupils’ weak position in the organisation of a school and to involve these pupils as equal partners, with adults, in the crucial area of decision-making. What pupils also need is clarification of their legal status at school.

Pupils’ rights and duties

It appears that when pupils take a seat on a pupils’ council they find it important to know where they stand with regards to their exact rights and duties as pupils at school. Pupils’ representatives in pupils’ councils feel a need to know exactly what possibilities they have to act as representatives of the pupils, how they can best stand up for pupils’ rights and what authority they have. In most schools these matters lack clarity.

A well-defined legal status of pupils is in accordance with a democratically functioning school. It also fits in nicely with the view that pupils as young citizens demand a recognisable place of their own in the social context within which they function. Of course, discussions about the legal status of pupils in the educational system are as old as the system itself. What educational system would there be without any pupils?

Until, let us say, the end of the sixties, pupils were mainly considered as more or less passive consumers. They were offered X number of available courses, which they were allowed to make use of, and that was about it. From the end of the sixties – especially under the influence of the general ‘wave of democratisation’- this view began to change somewhat. There was an increasing awareness that pupils not only have duties but also rights, and that as part of the school community they should be involved in matters that concern them. At many schools in The Netherlands these issues came into the open – sometimes through school or students’ papers, sometimes through school ‘parliaments’ or pupils’ councils. During this period one sometimes came across the term ‘pupils’ statute’. Such a statute is the whole collection of rules and regulations which define a pupil’s legal status at school; they embody both pupils’ rights and pupils’ duties and thus the rights and duties of other members of the school community, in relation to the pupils. The Education Participation Act of 1981 actually made the first real formal acknowledgement of the fact that pupils ought to be involved in major school issues. It was also in this Act that the term’pupils’statute’was first mentioned. It is only from 1984 onwards that the necessity of a pupils’ statute began to evolve. It seems inevitable that after prisoners, patients, consumers and soldiers, it is now the turn of the legal status of pupils to receive the attention to which it is entitled.


On the basis of the findings of the contact-teacher system with pupils’ committees in Denmark and the experience with pupils’ councils at Dutch schools, the following recommendations can be postulated:

I .At each school a pupils’ statute will have to be drawn up in which the pupils’ rights and duties in all the various fields are recorded.

2. Pupil members of a pupils’ council should be given the opportunity to attend training courses because there is a demonstrable need for them to obtain knowledge and skills, in order to be able to participate in decision-making processes at school.

3. The role of the pupils’ council must be well defined so that a clear division of tasks can be brought about between the pupils’ staff/management.

4. In order to prepare for meetings of the pupils’ council, pupils should receive necessary information from staff and school management in good time and without them having to ask for it so that they can consult fellow pupils, obtain additional information and can consult ‘experts’, if necessary.

5. The agenda of the pupils’ councils should not only be distributed among members, but also among fellow pupils. This guarantees that everyone will be informed about the time, place and items on the agenda of the meetings in question.

6. Every school year, the pupils’ council should write an annual report on its activities and results so that these become real and noticeable to pupils, parents and staff members at school.


For pupils, school is not only a place for the transfer of knowledge, skills and perceptions, but it is also used by them as a place to meet people of the same age, a place that is suitable for them to experiment and to c me face to face with different ways of life. Education should provide for space for a youth culture of its own, space that should be given at school. A pupils’ statute may express ways in which this space is formally defined. It can contribute to a smooth way of running things at school and can give support to pupils in their experience of how a democratic school can function. “

Source is given at the beginning of chapter!


The following extracts were taken from:

Pavo Kärenlampi: The Fight for School Democracy in Finland, http://linnea.helsinki.fi/elektra/kartsum.html (February 2000)

The Fight for School Democracy in Finland


The phenomenon studied in this work can be described as a wave movement that kept sweeping over Finland for more than two decades. In the beginning and until mid ’70s, the wave was rapidly rising. The highest crest was reached in 1973 and 1974, when the Finnish school world was involved in fervent discussions about the increase of the pupils’ power in school-internal decision-making, and at the same time, about giving more authority to the school councils. The wave kept rolling throughout the ’70s until it started to die down in the ’80s. The energetic interest in school councils cooled down, and representatives of various parties in Parliament spoke about overheating. By the mid-eighties, the concept of school councils had become history.

The school democracy movement was ideologically rooted in the centuries-old ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, as well as in the humanistic and democratic conception of man. Promotion of participatory democracy in schools had been one of the major objectives of the international student movement of the 60’s. In Finland, the major political forces working for the implementation of school democracy were the Social Democrat movement, the Centre Party and the People’s Democratic movement.

A unique phenomenon globally, the so-called “cross-voting” system was adopted as the election system for the grammar school councils. According to the system each enfranchised teacher and student could vote for one student candidate and for one teacher candidate. Due to the larger number of students, cross-voting led in practice to student rule. The cross-voting system was a Finnish innovation, which had been developed by the inner circle of “Teiniliitto”, the Federation of Students at secondary and upper-secondary schools. This type of election was officially presented in the report of the school democracy working group, published in 1970. The argument for the cross-voting system was that it would eliminate the juxtaposition of students and teachers.

However, the juxtaposition was not eliminated in the schools, which had adopted cross-voting. The teachers felt discriminated against, because they could not choose their ‘own representatives. Teachers asked, whether the

system, marketed as democracy, would lead to student rule. Here we must point out that students did not assume real power, not even in the cross-voting schools- the school principal was not only the pedagogic and

administrative director, but also the preparing officer of the school councils.

The teacher party still enjoyed general authority over the student party.

In the first school council elections in 1973, the cross-voting system was adopted in 90 grammar schools while the corresponding number was 101 in the secondary school elections. When the councils for 1975 were elected, the number of schools allowed to use the cross-voting system was down to 41, and that marked the end of cross-voting as the form of election of administrative bodies in compulsory schools. The study of the Teiniliitto source material showed that the purpose of the majority in the board of the federation, was to limit the powers of the teaching staff, most of whom were regarded as being conservative.

The aim of the general-democratic front of Teiniliitto (Social Democrats, People’s Democrats, Centre Party and Liberal Party representatives) was to make the school-internal use of power correspond to the views of the students.

In the cross-voting schools, the teachers competing for the votes of the students, were faced with a situation in which the students had formed their alliances under political terms. Since the majority of teachers wanted to choose their own school council representatives, the Finnish Teachers’Union, OAJ, took a stand against cross-voting. On 12 December 1974, OAJ and the top officials of the National Board of Education arranged a meeting and made an agreement, whereby a school would not be allowed to adopt cross-voting if the majority of the teaching staff in that school was against it. This secret agreement, deposited in the safe of the National Board of Education, marked the beginning of a process, which led to the elimination of cross-voting as an alternative form of election.

During the period of grammar school councils, the influence of the parents was at its lowest. At the beginning of the period studied in this work, the boards of the municipal elementary schools and the parent-teacher associations of the grammar schools had parent representatives. There was no parent representation in the grammar school councils, the underlining ideology being that school education and teaching was a collective social responsibility, rather than the responsibility of each family. When the comprehensive school system was finally adopted throughout Finland – the southernmost parts were the last regions to take over the new system in 1977 – the parents obtained new influence through the comprehensive school councils. In fact, the majority of the members in comprehensive school councils had to be elected among the parents of the students.

The school democracy wave that swept over Finland had started in Sweden. However, the development in the country’s western neighbour had taken a different course. Sweden never tried to implement student rule along the lines of the cross-voting system, and tried differences of opinion between the student and teacher organisations never led to as profound a confrontation as in Finland. The reasons for the differences were the following: in Sweden the labour pains of the new school, system had subsided, when in Finland the change was only starting. The reform of the Finnish school system coincided with the pan-European movement for strong close-range democracy, which brought the situation to a head in the early ’70s.

The People’s Democratic movement played a much more significant role in Finland than in Sweden, a further factor contributing to the poignant character of the Finnish school policy debate.

Unlike the Central Organisation of Swedish Pupils, the Finnish Teiniliitto adopted the minority communist terminology in the early ’70s. The difference in political cultures, a consequence of historical and social divergence, was a long-term factor contributing to the different developments in the two countries. The culture of interaction had started to develop earlier in Sweden while the Finnish political tradition was more aggressive.

The school democracy movement either boosted or stunted the influence of the organisations, which were associated with it. In the early ’70s, Teiniliitto was a growing force, but by the middle of the decade, the organisation was faced with a political and economic collapse and loss of influence. The unexpectedly positive outcome of the right-wing Kokoomus (National Coalition Party) in the school council elections in February and November of 1973 caused confusion among the ranks of the general-democratic front. Finally, the front fell, and the minority communists lost the bulwark erected in the name of general democracy.

From 1973, the energy of the political youth organisations had been wasted in administrative school council work, and gradually, frustration started to spread among the operators. Teiniliitto had lost the fight over cross-voting, and after its economic crash, it was on the losing side. The same applied to the people’s democratic and social-democratic pupil organisations, … The operations … of an association of “democratic school workers” died down in the ’80s, while the focus of the social-democratic counterpart, was no longer on legislative and administrative pursuits, but on operations related to the internal development of schools. Nuoren Keskustan Liitto, the Centre Party youth Organisation, once a member of the general-democratic front and thus in favour of cross-voting, had been more pragmatic about the issue of the election system. Therefore the loss of the general-democratic front in the cross-voting issue did not have any particular effect on Nuoren Keskustan Liitto.

The most active group in Teiniliitto, the Stalinist student movement did very well in the early’70s. It attracted young idealists who felt their ideology was a progressive pursuit towards a society where man would not exploit his fellow citizens. The moving of the grammar school politicians towards the most revolutionary fraction of the communist movement, was boosted by the extreme slowness and difficulty of the reform within the Finnish parliamentary system. The radical administrative reform of the universities failed, the left-wing majority in Parliament was lost and replaced by a right-wing majority in the 1970 parliamentary elections. An analysis of the existing documents suggests that the communist student movement was striving for a profound change in society.

The fight of the youth organisations within Teiniliitto was of party political character. After 1970, all major elections Teiniliito were preceded by heavy party lobbying. In the long run … the Coalition Party Youth Organisation, did quite well, it became the biggest group in the grammar school councils. Since the Coalition Party representatives had not been in the general-democratic front, they could accuse the other groups of the excesses. It was a positive trend for the right-wing youth movement that the Finnish debate culture developed in the’80s into a “rhetoric of the market forces”. The fact that the ideas of management-by-results were adopted in the schools was seen to be the same as accepting market economy values.

This study showed that the political activities run by Teiniliitto under the leadership of the general-democratic front, were also motivated by a desire to democratise the traditional grammar school administration. The purpose of the political operations of the front was to change the school power structure. In his dissertation, Matti Hyvärinen made a conclusion about the university policy of the Finnish Stalinists, maintaining that the radical student movement was of non-political nature. This conclusion cannot be applied to school student policy. The fight for school democracy was a part of the culture and information war of the ’70s in Finland, and the fronts were formed at every level, from schools to the Academy of Finland. Some of the involved parties hoped to change the social system, while others were afraid that such hopes might come true.

Dr. Matti Hyvärinen’s use of the concepts “political” and “non-political” differed from the general usage in historical research. In scientific historical debate, the concept of policy traditionally includes activities related to public power, and the pursuit of changing the power structures would be covered by the concept of policy. “Political” is considered to refer to all issues related to the use of power, either within a state or in international relations; in a wider sense, all background phenomena and factors which are considered to have an impact on the use of power. As a movement thriving to change the power structures and divided into party-political groups, the student movement was a political phenomenon.

Since the active school politicians were young, idealistic people, there was a need for a comprehensive theory, that would give structure to the issues at hand, adding an aspect that can be observed through the approach of the history of ideas. In Finland, the political atmosphere of the ’70s was favourable for radical ideas. Many opinion-makers of the student movement had experienced a political awakening along with the revolutionary student movement. The youth activist belonged to the reform-demanding post-war generations, and this study established that this was a phenomenon explaining the formation of the student movement.

A neighbour of the socialist super power, Finland’s foreign policy situation was a factor promoting the atmosphere which favoured the growth of radical ideologies.

Expressly pro-youth in his ideas, President Urho Kekkonen’s active participation in the cultural debate also contributed to this. The crisis of generation hegemony and the suitable atmosphere caused a confrontation between the mainstream and the counter cultures. The world and experiences of the post-war generation were completely different from those who had seen World War 11. The crisis of generation hegemony, combined with the favourable atmosphere, have much more weight ,in explaining the spread of the revolutionary student movement than the frustration theory and the associated narcissism. However, the latter- phenomenon was also associated with the experiences of the student movement, advocating school democracy: in their

pursuit to create a democratic school, they felt they were doing something that had global historical impact.

The Finnish school policy debate lead to a radical confrontation between Teiniliitto and the teacher Organisation. Most of the social debate in the early ’70s took place with the use of left-wing terminology, whereas the debate in the ’80s was increasingly following the rhetoric of the market forces. In schools, the terminology of the market forces was introduced along with the management-by-results ideology. It is sometimes said in a very pointed way, that in those days in Finland there was room for only one type of rhetoric at a time. School teaching and education inspired feelings, which the parties tried to channel to their own benefit, a factor that contributed to the poignant character of the school discourse.

The school council system constituted a part of social education at the schools, and the purpose was to develop the pupils into active participants of a democratic society and responsible decision-makers. The grammar-school council system, with its premise of equality and democracy, gave the school pupil movement the opportunity to reach for more power in school-internal issues. According to the critics of the new system, it was an excess that the cross-voting system gave the students the opportunity to elect not only their own representatives, but also the teacher representatives. Another reason for the spreading dissatisfaction was the emphasis of the party-political aspect in the school council elections. In the political turmoil, it was easy to forget the main objective of school work.

Similar to the grammar school council, the main task of the comprehensive school council, was to implement school democracy. Teiniliitto was strongly advocating the view according to which the school councils of the upper level of the comprehensive school should follow the example of the grammar school councils, as far as the mode of election was concerned. According to Teiniliitto, the student and teacher representatives would be elected through a vote, and there would be no need for parent representatives. However, the school councils at the upper level of the comprehensive school maintained a system, whereby only two pupil representatives could attend the meetings, with the right to speak, but not to vote. The modest powers of the comprehensive school councils frustrated many members of this administrative body. Due to the predominantly centralised administrative culture, most of the power was exercised by central municipal administrations, the Provincial Government school departments and the National Board of Education.

Contemporary to the rise of the school democracy wave, there was a significant increase in centralised administration and planning volumes. The trend was pointing towards a planned society. Planning tasks at the Ministry of Education, National Board of Education, Provincial Government school departments and municipal school administrations were increased, the number of personnel multiplied and the number of administrative tasks grew. The centralised mode of operation could seem feasible when a comprehensive reform of the national-level basic teaching and grammar school system were being implemented. Once the new organisation had been created, studies revealing the problems of the uniform, national curriculum of the comprehensive school and those associated with the implementation of the objectives of the school council reform, led to gradually increasing decentralisation. The trend was promoted by new management doctrines such as “management-by-objectives” or “management-by-results”. The outcome in Finland resembled that of other Nordic countries: most of the issues related to compulsory education were to be decided at the municipal level. The change in the schools was a consequence of the trends taken by the super-ideologies at the society level. In other words, local representative democracy was strengthened during the high tide of school democracy, while management-by-results made participatory democracy hit rock bottom.

The victory of the teacher organisation in the cross-voting dispute lead to the growing prestige of the Teachers’ Union, OAJ. The union was also successful in the process which had started from issues relating to peaceful school working conditions. OAJ used the media to promote its interests, and achieved the adoption of smaller teaching groups. Due to the influence exercised by the teacher members elected to the school boards, these bodies assumed positive importance for the teaching staff. Another reason for the success in the pursuit of the teacher interests was the fact that the Organisation could exercise a unified force. To a much larger extent than in any other European country, the Finnish teachers reached a unified consensus in their organisation. Almost all employees in the teaching branch were members of the same organisation. The success of OAJ in the fight for power discussed in the present work was a part of the post-war development process during which the influence of unions increased.

Since the implementation of school democracy had an essential impact on the working conditions of teachers, it is not surprising that most of the texts published on school democracy have been written by teachers or persons linked to the teaching profession. In terms of quantity, one professional group has had a major influence on the picture conveyed of school democracy as a historical phenomenon. In a critical treatment, we therefore have to give sufficient weight to the opinions expressed by tax payers, students and their parents.

The most active part of Teiniliitto, or the minority communist school student movement, tried to change the power structure of the Finnish compulsory school. Through the change of the schools, the movement aimed to reform society. It is justified to ask whether our previous historical experience reveals any phenomenon comparable to this pursuit for power.

One parallel can be found in the so-called Fennoman students of the 19th century who acted upon the plea of the low status of the Finnish-speaking common people. The enthusiasm of the Stalinist students when they spoke about the exploited status of the working class was equal to that of the Fennoman students, when they were defending the Finnish-speaking commoners. A rapprochement with the people took place, an ideal of national unification advocated during the nationalist era by the Fennomans, Akateeminen Karjala-Seura (the Academic Karelia Society) and Vapauden Akateeminen Liitto (Academic Federation for Freedom). In the ’70s, the rapprochement, or getting closer to the people, took place in another form. As an object of identification, the working man replaced the peasant. In both cases-however the ideological aspects used as

the motivation for political activities were associated with the pursuit of political power.

This study showed that the objective of the school democracy movement was to increase equality, defined as the generation change of the social strata structure. During the school democracy wave, however, it became obvious that the education system remained a power that conserved the existing structures which maintained inequality. In this regard, school democracy was a disappointment for those social forces, which hoped to use it for increased social equality.

The issue of education organised, as a part of social policy was linked to the question of to what extent society should follow the planned economy model or the market economy model. During the period studied in this work, it was the market economy model that progressed. The political activity of the school students collapsed along with the calming down of the democracy wave. However, the school democracy phenomenon had left its mark on the exercise of power inside the schools. As concerned the internal atmosphere of the schools, the development had changed the community from what it used to be in the 60’s when it all started. Traditional and modem elements had combined in a new way.

[emphasis added]


(Federal Republic of Germany)

1.) Germany, General

The school-councils in Germany are a result of pupil’s strikes at the end of the 1960’s, which lead to a “politicisation and critical consciousness”. Addressed were especially the values of the adults. Their resource were neo-marxist models and theory, which advocated a society without repression and oppression of desires and emotions. The Schuelermitverantwortung (SMV)(pupil’s co-responsibility) was in place in West-germany since the birth of the post Nazi, Federal Republic, and was legally secured. But until 1968 the SMV was only marginally significant. This led to a reform on the federal conference of the Ministers for Culture of each state in October 1968, which led to the birth of the pupil’s representatives

The participation of pupil’s representatives is required at conferences of the teachers, under specific conditions. The support of individual pupils, if they so wish, can be carried out by the pupil’s representatives, under consideration of the law, hereby especially in cases of disciplinary action and complaints. The representatives must be given the right to examine all edicts and decisions of the school governors, as far as they are relevant for pupils. There should be regular meetings on themes of contemporary school matters, between the school management and the representatives of the pupils. The representatives should also be part of the planning and shaping of the curriculum.”

[own translation] following Schultze & Führ (1973) p. 158f

The following texts are available if needed but require full translation into English from Kranz, 1987: Deutsche Erziehungsgeschichte 1945-85 in Quellen und Dokumenten (history of the German education in sources and documents 1945-85), Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt, 1987:

1968 Text of decision of reform of SMV at the conference of the misisters for culture

1973 Amendment to the Above

1983 Jung Socialists: Call for Strike Action to Pupils, by the Youth Section of the Social Democratic Party (JUSO) in support of disarmament of nuclear weapons.

1983 Reply to the above by the pupils administration

1974//9686/: School administration Law North Rhine Westphalia: The pupil’s school administration law.

Is available at http://stargate.hpi.de/~rim/schuge.htm

“Most of the secondary schools in Germany have student councils, but sometimes interest wanes and they are discontinued. At two comprehensive schools with student councils, there had been no interest for several years, but it was revived again; at a third school there remained insufficient interest to have as student council. At other schools, there was insufficient interest to have a student council. At other school councils there was much interest and their representatives took part in national student conferences and school councils, consisting of teacher, parent and student representatives. At one school they organised social events and discussed issues such as how to keep drugs and violence out of the school At another school the council “raised money for kids in Bosnia and collected candles and things to go in boxes in Bosnia. They also organised a demonstration “Against the Gulf War (3/3/95)” At another school, students enthusiastically reported, “it organised the demonstration against violence.,” “we went to the first conference in Germany of Children to Save the Environment, and several other representatives went to a conference in Geneva of Kids for Europe. Last year’s school president went to the [non-governmental] conference in Rio, on the environment.” A boy in a lower ability class in that school was not so impressed with the student council, and described it as “mostly eco females (5/18/93).


German students in 1986 for the most part indicated a high level of political interest, but their counterparts in 1993-95 reported less interest. Both samples reported low efficacy, doubting that citizens have much influence on policy making. Nevertheless, German students reported that they would definitely exercise their right to vote, and they were well informed about public affairs. Both the school curriculum and the political culture were characterised by political discourse. Yet in observing the media and events around them, many young Germans came to the conclusion that average citizens have little effect on political decision making”

Taken from Hahn 1998 p. 97

2.) Germany, State of Baaden-Würtenberg

Castle Salem Boarding School was set up by the Prince Max von Baden and the politician Kurt Hahn, in 1920. It is situated at Bodensee, in the German state of Baaden- Würtenberg (expelled by Hitler Hahn was later to set up the British Salem Schools in Scotland). The school has a total of 500 pupils from year eight to eleven. Their school curriculum is attached to the one of the State of Baaden-Wuertenberg[17]. Pupils need to participate in community work for at least one afternoon each week and there is a great emphasis on sports, as well as on the performing arts, music and literature. Two to four pupils live in a room in a building of 15-25 pupils guided by a mentor.

“IV. Pupil’s Co-Responsibility (pp. 117-120)[own translation]

One can see the clearest example of a change in the school policy from its early years to the current situation in the way pupils can participate. Kurt Hahn and Prince Max von Baden believed , that during the 1st World War, German Intellectuals had failed, especially because of lack of character… The most important thing SALEM had to achieve, would be citizenship education. Politics was seen as an attribute of morality and hence ethical behaviour should grow a permanent character feature… Within this sphere pupils had great freedom for free decision-making… The responsibilities and offices taught life in society, but they were also used to teach moral, self-discipline and were training ground for the virtues of citizenship…. Only those succeeded in “Old Salem’s” hierarchy, who featured their own, independent behaviour, … and who could warrant that the principles of SALEM would not take damage in honour and ideology. Hahn desired a classless aristocracy of dedication, an example of responsible service to the community. This was seen as being rational, because there was no question, as to the integrity, the goodwill, and the understanding of the schools leaders. But these ideas contradicted the ideology of the political understanding of the Federal Republic of Germany. It suffered through the protest and hostility of the pupils, who, based on the experiences with the Nazis, thought anti-authoritarian, and who questioned traditions. Hence a very hefty debate started in the 1960’s regarding the democratisation and extension of the pupils’ co-responsibility. … The demand was for a plebeian and parliamentary organisation, for which pupils’ representatives were necessary. This conflict reached its peak in 1970s with a two-day strike of all pupils… This led to the end of the aristocratic state of dignitaries, and according to the principle of trial/error, they developed a democracy of checks and balances. …. There is in the new constitution more participation, equality of chances, and more transparency. The basis of legitimisation and values has changed but the worst nightmares of badly chosen and incompetent pupil electorates and that decision would be made ad hoc and to favour specific groups has not been confirmed. From conflicts on the usage of the school buses, to questions of admission of individual students, pupils are now taking part in all major decisions concerning the shaping of the school and its values. Now the difficulties and frustrations of political and societal operations become evident., such as negotiation skills, questions of interest, welfare of all, and the protection of minorities. Spetzgarts[18] new co-operative democracy works because of its openness, and because the purpose of the participation is before the pupils eyes. This has also led to a revived interest in the old dignitary positions and in the work for the (schools) parliament. The new system has retained the greater balance of power of the teachers and mentors [in numbers] against the pupils, however its consequence are hard disputes, that demonstrate that attempts to manipulate and to silently omit the other are no longer tolerated.[19] The governor has not used his/her Veto yet , which remains today as in the old days, and the debates between teachers and pupils in parliament and other committees, are not confrontational. The socially bound education towards responsibility, suggested by Hahn, has now been extended to an education towards maturity, which is putting its greatest emphasis to the autonomous , and conscientious ability of decision making.

taken from: Michel Knoll : Salem, in Röhrs (Ed) (1986) pp 113-120 [own translation]

3.) Germany, State of Bavaria

14th of Feb 2000, 1800

Dear Daniel,

We received your email request dated Monday, February 14, 2000 4:41 PM Subject: school-councils Bavaria, and we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to you for writing to us.

As you possibly know, regarding school students unions’ rights and/or influence Bavaria is some kind of developing country – at least compared to other regions in Germany or other states in Europe.

The following text will all be about the pupils’ rights and representation at the “Gymnasium” (grammar school). In every class, once a year the pupils elect their “Klassensprecher” (spokes/wo/man of the class), who elect the (most commonly) 3 “Schuelersprecher” (spokesmen of the school). Twice a year all the Schuelersprecher” of the regions in Bavaria gather in an official assembly (“Bezirksaussprachetagung”) [Regional “Expression“ Congress] to discuss schools policy, posing petitions or motions towards the government or the ministry and to elect the “Bezirksschuelersprecher” (spokes/wo/men of the region’s schools). In the Bavarian school laws, there is no real decision power allowed to pupils. The word Schuelermitverwaltung” (co-administration by school students) was weakened to the expression “Schuelermitverantwortung” (co-responsibility by school students) some decades ago. Real participation of pupils inside the important places is still a not yet reached goal of our policy. Hence, in the early 80s, some “Bezirksschuelersprecher” founded the Landesschuelervertretung – Landesvereinigung der bayerischen Bezirksschuelersprecher e. V.” (LSV) (Association of the state’s (of Bavaria) pupil’s spokes/wo/men) as an private association due to the lack of such an institution inside the Bavarian school laws. That’s a characteristic Bavarian problem :-). Due to this regulation, there’s no official money, budget or whatever spent by the state or the government. Therefore the possibilities and the influence of the LSV are quite negligible, but let’s compare it to the little village in the Asterix’s comic books – a small but engaged and highly motivated group of democratic idealists is still trying to keep one feet or at least one toe in the ministry’s (conservative – Christian Social Union – CSU)doors in order not to toe the line. If you have any further questions on our school system, our representation of pupils, … don’t hesitate to contact


Yours sincerely,

Oli Manger oli.manger@lsv-by.de

secretary (law) and cashier of the LSV Bavaria

Extracts of relevant section of the Bavarian education law are available, but would have to be translated into English , at http://www.launet.baynet.de/ppg/smv/noframes/aufgaben

4.) Germany, State of Saarland

Michael Schreiber, secretary, union of school council (99/00), former chair (98/99) in Saarland

Telephone Conversation with Daniel Zylbersztajn, 16-Feb-2000

Tel 49-881398177


There are ca. 100+ schools in Saarland. He said that they felt the school council’s impact in all spheres. On state level they successfully lobbied with Min. of Culture (Saarland). Said that prev. Min. of Culture was better because he was a lawyer which gave him neutrality. The current one is a teacher, so he is biased. .Said that the combined state wide school councils had successfully demonstrated in the past through the umbrella union of school councils in Saarland. When asked what school council achieved for the ordinary non involved pupil, he mentioned a new campaign entitled 200.000 experts, which they just launched. It has at its core the argument that 200k pupils are at school every day, hence the pupils should be the ones consulted in reforms. In school governance, pupils’ state wide have equal representation and votes as the other members (teachers and parents), except the principal, who has a veto right.

He felt the weakest area was in terms of [bad] marks given by teachers. There is little that could be done in this respect, he explained, other than give advise to the pupils to keep records. In terms of ordinary things they would organise parties, theatre plays, and other activities in order to make some money for the council’s activities. He also mentioned a state wide annual pupil’s conference, organised by the state wide union of councils, which can be attended by any pupil, representative member of a council or not. At the last meeting approximately 100 pupils attended. He mentioned that in 1996/7 there was a big dispute on structures of the student councils in Germany, with half of the national councils deciding to be more political and the other half to stay strictly with the educational remit. Saarland decided to be strictly representational in educational and left the national federal council. He also mentioned that there were great differences in the way the school councils were allowed to operated, depending on the parties ruling each state (and hence the ministry of culture of a state works in accordance to party lines). He said that as opposed to Saarland, conservatively (CSU – Christian Social Union) governed Bavaria would not have a state wide union of school councils. This would make them structurally much weaker. Michael mentioned that the state has seen former leaders of school councils evolve into politicians, such as Member of the Bundestag (MdB) (German parliament) Willi Kreuter. He told me that some political parties above all the SPD (Social Democratic Party = Labour) invested in sending information to the councils. He personally favoured the SPD, because they were more sympathetic with their concerns. We also spoke about other countries. He mentioned that his girl-friend would be Chilean and that he had written a paper on the school council in Chile, which he would try to send me. He said they were not working very well yet there



Outline (editor). After gaining independence and the end of apartheid Namibia introduced her first educational reform in 1991, the educational administration, historically rigid and authoritarian, has been in transformation since. Some of the models and ideas have been taken from exile schools, such as the SWAPO school in Congo, whose programme was marked by a mixture of both revolutionary socialism, anti-colonial and anti-apartheid ideology, and doctrines of democracy and rights for the people (SWAPO 1987).

“ Rigid top down Steering (in schools) was changed to participatory management. Teaching and learning were from teacher led and content centred to participatory and learner centred-education… Such a change however can come about only by learning through experience of the new structures, against the culture of entrenched hierarchy. An understanding of what democracy is, and can be, takes time. The incident of the secondary student urinating on the teacher’s shoes illustrates the extreme end of a scale of misunderstanding of what learner-centred education involves, an overreaction to the relaxation of authorianism… (p. 10)[20]

It is still usual for the school principal to dominate school boards. Student Representative Councils are caught in the contradiction of a supposed democratic organ situated in an organisation with little real power sharing. Nonetheless the entire educational system of Namibia is undergoing experimental learning about democracy, I and through democracy. (p. 11)”

Taken from Raoger Avenstrup: The democratisation of education in Post Apartheid Namibia. In Harber (1998), pp 7-16

References above:

SWAPO of Namibia and The Namibia Association of Norway: Provisional Guiding Curriculum for Loudima Secondary Technical School, 1987.


“In the Netherlands, one student at an agricultural school explained: “No, we don’t have a student government, but we do have a school newspaper. You can write letters, but just a few do it. It’s mostly poems and drawings.” At the pre-university school, students were not elected to the student council, but rather volunteered. They had talked with the teachers and obtained implementation of policies, such as no more than five tests in one week, and they organised buses to take students to a strike against education cuts. At a junior general secondary school (mavo) a student council existed only In 1995, thanks to the encouragement of one teacher. At the time of my visit they had been talking about having sodas in machines, that would be available during the breaks. However, a year later the council had died out again.


At one junior general secondary school in the Netherlands, one student reported that, “before Easter, we raised money to go to Foster Parents, the Red Cross, and UNICEF. You get people like friends and neighbours to sponsor you to swim or bicycle or something for some distance. We raised ten thousand guilders [approximately three thousand dollars].” But at the other schools in the Netherlands, students did not mention charities.

[…].The Dutch samples indicated … low levels of political interest; and very few said they ever discussed politics or current events with their friends. Further, they said they would not try to persuade others to their point of view out of respect for each person’s right to their own opinion. Dutch students observed similar attitudes and experiences among adults in the culture around them.”
Taken from Hahn 1998 p. 97


Prof. Svein Lorentzen, Norway touches the issue of pupils’ participation in the community, and not directly the one on school-councils. But together with the contribution under Norway II they complete the knowledge on the Norwegian experience.

Emphasis added

“Norway has until the last two decades been a rather homogeneous, egalitarian society… Standards and values have only recently been questioned. The compulsory, public school system is more than 250 years old. The Public School Act of 1889 was a major step towards the Scandinavian model of an egalitarian public school, where socialisation for democratic participation is overall goal for the school as a whole. Citizenship education has never been taught as a separate discipline, but as an integrated part of number of school subjects. … . In spite of the good intentions, the public school of Norway has a long way to go before the ambitious goals of citizenship are fulfilled. The main obstacles are:

– difficulties in defining a field so integrated in a number of school subjects.

– Lack of satisfactory textbooks.

– Lack of co-operation between school and the local community institutions.

Weaknesses within teacher education.


Norway is to be characterised as a rather homogeneous, egalitarian society; politically, socially and economically. Our recent history is the history of establishing a national identity, and a search for common standards and values. In this process the uniting factors have been nourished, while the dividing ones have been softened or suppressed. This is the framework to have in mind when we are to describe and explain our tradition of citizenship education within the Norwegian public school system. […]

The compulsory, public school system in Norway is more than 250 years old. […] Besides a temporary national curriculum issued in 1960, Norway has so far had two national curriculum guidelines after the Second World War, the first in 1974 and the present in 1985/87. When the word “guidelines” is used, it is because these documents have changed radically in structure since the first national curriculum in 1939. Whereas the first one was very specific and detailed in instructing the schools what and how to teach, the new curriculum guidelines give a broad, compulsory framework for the schools. Within this framework, the schools themselves decide how in detail to organise their teaching to reach the national goals set for the school as a whole and for the various subjects… The guidelines are the final results of a long and complicated political and educational process, where a large number of participants try to influence the result. … outstanding committee work had been carried out as early as the first part of the 1960s. (Public School Committee of 1963). This work included several parts specifying the need for citizen’s education, with special regard to what the committee called “exercises in practical democracy.” (pp. II 5-116):

“The Committee will underline that our sovereignty and democratic way of life to a very large extent depends on that so many as possible feel responsibility for the society they are living in. It is also an assumption that all people or most of them have certain experiences, when it comes to decision-making in society, and that they have the attitude of being loyal to a majority vote, at the same time as one should show respect for a minority’s opinion. Such attitudes and abilities are difficult to establish merely through orientation and discussion. This calls for experience. Therefore, the school must be organised in a way that eventually gives the pupils the experience of making decisions in cases of common interest, and that the whole school society must function on a basis of democracy.” (Author’s translation).

Founded on these principles, the curriculum guidelines of 1974 strongly advocated citizenship education through participation. This was to affect all teaching and social activity in school. Among the various school subjects, the relatively new, interdisciplinary field of social studies was given a major role within citizenship education. The curriculum guidelines also included an optional topic called helping service, where the pupils could take an active part in the social services of the local community. […]. In 1985 (revised in 1987), new curriculum guidelines were published, still with a strong (but not similar) emphasis on citizenship education. […] A related perspective that is heavily stressed in the guidelines of 1987, is the one of direct pupil participation in local community activities. For the first time, the national curriculum guidelines define this perspective as a compulsory field of education… The goals are broad and ambitious: allow the pupils to experience how they function as responsible partners in contact and co-operation with adults inside and outside the school.

As a conclusion we might say the public schools of Norway have the following visions for their citizenship education: a school that plays an active part in society, where the pupils can be socialised through participation and experience; and a school where the pupils through responsibility grow to independence and maturity, ready to engage in democracy as critical, but constructive citizens.
So much for the ideals. What about reality? Are the pupils really given the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes for this heavy task? Are they really free to practice their growing insight and competence as the curriculum guidelines prescribe? The answer must – at least to some extent – be negative. During the last two decades, much good work has been done at the administrative as well as the classroom level. Nevertheless, citizenship education in Norway has still some way to go, before we are justified in saying that we have fulfilled the curriculum goals”.

Taken from Svein Lorentzen: Democracy through Participation: a Norwegian Model for ‘Citizenship Education, in Edwards, Munn & Fogelman (1994)

“The Norwegian example is rather different, consisting of a booklet, which is distributed to upper secondary students, which provides guidance on, for example, how students should take responsibility for their own learning and the role of student councils and class representatives… “ (Fogelman)

“The student councils should maintain an ongoing discussion throughout the school year concerning how to give pupils greater influence at schools” The Guide, National Council for Educational Resources 1994 (Oslo, Norway), quoted in Fogelman

Taken from: K. Fogelman: Education for Democratic Citizenship in Schools, in Bridges D., Education, Autonomy and Democratic Citizenship


The current Portuguese school management system was introduced in 1974, following the April Revolution. As is declared in the Bill that created it, the new democratic school management system should be both an ideal of a democratic society, and simultaneously, to build such a society. (p. 128)

[..] In a context of change, the new school management system became a strategy to facilitate and reinforce democracy at school. Democracy implied participation, and, for a change to be effective, it was felt that teachers and students should be involved in the process of change and that appropriate structures of participation had to be created. There are two distinct models of school management, which have emerged, corresponding to two different realities: primary and secondary schools. Both have in common the direct participation of staff in the choice of their school leader through election…. At secondary level the … school depend hierarchically and functionally upon central services. Within schools, there are three management structures: the directive board, the pedagogical board, and the administrative board.

The Directive Board is constituted by 3-5 teachers (depending on the number of students..), one member from non-teaching staff, and one student from class delegates (in high school only). All members are elected by their peers…

The Pedagogical Board is constituted by representatives from the different organisational groups in the school: the president of the directive board, who presides, the curriculum area delegates, the tutors’ co-ordinators, one student from each year and course (in high schools only), the teacher trainer (if there is one), and a representative from the consulting council, This council was recently created and is constituted by representatives from parents associations, local council authorities, students’ association, and other people working at school….

The administrative Board is constituted by the president and the secretary of the directive board and the chief of school’s administrative service.

The Pedagogical Board: is responsible for the definition of the school educational policy, for organisation of teachers’ continuing education, and for the relationships between schools and family, or school and community. There are other organisational structures, namely the parents’ association and the students’ association.

Editors note: Maria de Carmo Climaco finishes her essay by stating that the results of the attempts to democratise schools have not been far reaching. There is a mixture of curriculum centred, teacher centred, and some student centred schools in the country. “Participation is not an obvious experience, and has to be learnt.” De Carmo Climaco gives no real evidence of student empowerment except in the description of student centred institutions, which as stated are only part of the schools in Portugal (in 1989):

“In student centred institutions, the school is organised and responds to students’ needs and aims to promote student participation in different aspects of school life, as a process of education. Emphasis is given to processes, not to contents. “

Maria de Carmo Climaco: Managing and monitoring Democratisation Policy, in Jensen and Walker (1989), pp. 128-138


“Under Apartheid schooling aimed to create a compliant citizenry, that would accept its lot in life, whether this meant whites not questioning the injustice of their privileged and protected position or Africans accepting the inevitability of their separate and second rate provision. This requires education that stressed obedience and passivity, and schools and classrooms reflected the authoritarian emphasis on mental and physical control…

[…] The first major white paper on education after the election 1994 made the aim of education for democracy very clear, stressing the need for an education that promoted equality based on human rights, co-operation, mutual respect and the skills of peaceful conflict management, moreover:

The curriculum, teaching methods and textbooks at all levels and in all

programmes of education and training, should encourage independent

and critical thought, the capacity to question, enquire, and reason weigh

evidence and form judgements, achieve understanding, recognise the

provisional nature of most human knowledge and communicate clearly

(South African Dept. of Education: White paper on Education and

Training, 199, p. 22)

… The South African School Act of 1996, which came into operation at the beginning of 1997, banned the use of corporal punishment…, and proclaimed that all public schools in South Africa must now have governing bodies, composed of parents, teachers, learners and non-teaching staff… – [stipulating, that] parents must be the majority. All secondary schools must also have an elected Representative Council of Learners, which must itself elect the learner, who will serve on the school’s governing board. Exact numbers on governing bodies are decided at provincial level, but in Gauteng, for example, a secondary school with under 630 pupils will have 7 parents, 2 teachers, 2 students, 1 member from non-teaching staff, and the principal – 13 in all (Gauteng Education Act 1997) (Harber p.19f.).

… Gauteng has provided something of a model [for democratic education in South Africa]and in 1997 spent some 4 million rand trying to ensure that the new structures will be successful. It has appointed a co-ordinator to oversee the development of rules for the new governing bodies and the process of electing them. A provincial youth and culture team was also established whose sole responsibility was to make sure that learner representative councils were established by March 1997. Two hundred secondary schools were asked to identify a suitable teacher who was trained on what LRCs are, and how to hold elections. These teachers will also be responsible for training other teachers on how to hold elections. The department co- ordinating the implementation of the new governing bodies is also running workshops on such matters as how to chair meetings and take minutes as well as programmes on conflict resolution and participative decision-making. Other provinces have already approached Gauteng for help in this regard which is not surprising as nationally there seems to have been considerable parent apathy about elections to the governing bodies… In contrast, students seem to have been taking part eagerly. There are also likely to be problems with teachers in all types of schools where it will be difficult to change the apartheid mindset of reliance on orders from above, due to the absence of an)- degree of decentralised authority. .. (Harber p.21)

Above extracts were taken from: Clive Harber: Educational Reform and Education for Democracy in the South Africa: School Governance and the Curriculum, in Harber (1998), pp. 17-26

Editor’s notes: Grosvernor Girls High School (abbreviated GGHS), founded as a state school in 1957, has been an elitist school in the centre of Apartheid, with a domination of “white” students. She states explicitly that in apartheid South Africa, few if any “Learner Representative Councils” existed, with pupils participation a rarity. The more significant are the governor’s attempts to democratise the school in the spirit of Free South Africa with a programme that imitates the South African parliamentary reforms with the steps of “restructuring, renewal and reconciliation.” In doing so she explained that she experienced the same problems as the whole country, inside the school.


“The school has established its own code of conduct. These were now owned by all. The shared core values have formed the foundations on which everything is build and assessed at GGHS. All behaviours are measured against them. Any suggestion for change … is weighed against the values – those ideas in conflict with our values are rejected; those in support of our values are considered in consultation with everyone: parents, staff, and the girls. This has taught the girls that in a democracy one may not always get what one wants. The girls have also learnt that a democratic form of governance takes time, as consultation with all parties through the use of the correct channels is a necessary part of the process. This insight has led to greater understanding of the process. Old relationships fraught with suspicion were being replaced with relationships built on trust and mutual respect.

At the beginning of 1997, the Learners Representative Council (L.R.C.) had its first democratically elected chair whose role was separate from that of the head girl. The L.R.C. wrote its own constitution and at its fortnightly meetings started to address more weightier issues than before, viz., learner rights and responsibilities, the issue of pregnant learners, religious observance in schools, and matters of discipline. Learner representation at governing body level allowed for input by learners in policy decisions and active participation in several task groups. Amendments have been made to the code of conduct to keep it in line with new legislation – a task seen to by the L.R.C. executive. The girls were definitely learning to enter the debate and, in so doing, were making a valuable contribution to the democratic governance of the school. The girls take their role on the L.R.C. most seriously and are committed to attaining an effective forum for learner voice.

Girls, their teachers and parents have all indicated the kind of school that they want G.G.H.S. to be, and so everyone has a responsibility to make that future a reality. Co-operative relationships and new partnerships have developed. There is a new vision and purpose, one which belongs to all. This has, without doubt, engendered a reconciliatory spirit in our school.

The beginnings of a ‘new- history’ unfold each day through the practice of democratic principles to which G.G.H.S. is now committed. Performance and relationships have improved and G.G.H.S. is certainly a far more effective school now as a result. “

The above extracts were taken from Anne Welgemoed: Democratising a School in south Africa, in Harber (1998), pp. 37-47


Some information on the Swedish voting systems in the school council, please see Finland (Kärenlampi)

The extract following has been taken from Peter Eklundh Education for Democracy: Some Notes on the Swedish Case in a Piagetian Epistemology Tradition

Department of Political Science, Lund University, Box 52 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Almost all Swedish politicians since 1960 honestly believe in the necessity to give pupils real influence over their schools. The first aim with this paper is to give them some sound theoretical support for their conviction that experience of democratic processes is one important precondition for the survival of democracy. The theoretical,

support is drawn from researchers inspired by Piaget’s epistemology. The second aim is to summarise, in spite of the politicians strong support, the lack of progress and interest in giving more influence to the pupils from the different professional groups inside the school system. Finally the consequences for the concept democracy is discussed with emphasis on the cognitive dissonance between the politicians explicit goal and the implicit experiences made by pupils. [… ]


The curriculum for the Swedish compulsory school came into existence in 1962 – 120 years after the first compulsory elementary schools in Sweden started in 1842. Originating with ‘His Most Merciful Majesty’s decree'(1842), the education of children became an obligation and every town and parish had to set up a school. The school was a matter of local responsibility, mainly the church, and there was no curriculum…. The state controlled schools through the use of teacher training and by making sure that only textbooks approved by the state were used. In due course specific state plans were issued, and in 1919 an educational plan for elementary schools of the Realm was outlined. The first curriculum was introduced when the compulsory school was extended to nine years in 1962. This contained, as did later curricula, general goals and guidelines, timetables and a detailed syllabus. Schools were still a local responsibility, but the church lost its power. Teacher education remained the responsibility of the state and so did the approval of textbooks. After 1990 this inspection authority was formally dismissed and local authorities – politically appointed school-boards and professional headmasters – received absolute power and responsibility for the schools. Teacher education, however, is still the responsibility of the state:

Children’s Social and Economics Education :

[…] A great deal of academic effort – at least in Sweden – has during the last few years proceeded towards finding the correct definitions of terms such as didactic, methods and pedagogics …


The. introduction of the new curriculum in Sweden does not only emphasise democracy, it also introduces much greater possibilities for students to select courses among a vast number of subjects.

The impact of civics education

A small number of Swedish political scientist have conducted research on the efficacy of democratic education. One example is ‘Education and the Making of the Informed Citizen: Political Literacy and the Outside World’ (1990) by the Swedes, Anders Westholrn and Ame Lundquist and the American Richard G. Niemi. Their essay is published in Political Socialisation, Citizenship Education, and Democracy (Ichilov, 1990), and begins with the minimum requirements for citizenship competence and its minimum thresholds depending on if you are arguing for a ‘participated’ or an ‘elite’ democracy. Their essay focuses on the individual in order to tie the effects of civics education to political development of children and adolescents’ (p 178)….


[…] The Swedish ‘Power-Study’

Many situations are such that citizens themselves are able to participate and affect the outcome. The results of the’Power Study’ (SOU, 1990:44) demonstrate that the actual perceived possibility of citizens to affect outcomes varies greatly between different individual role patterns and different citizens…[…] In the above study, school was perceived to be the institution least effected by the influence of the six roles under investigation, resident, consumer, patient, parent of small children, parent of school-age children, and employees. In spite of general goals that aim towards increasing the local influence of those who attend schools, parents perceive the world of the school as being beyond their influence. (p. 239, my translation)


Since Sweden’s late transition to democracy around 1920, a growing number of politicians from socialists to conservatives have agreed on the importance of education in ‘Civics’. … . One of the core arguments for the importance of Civics has of course been that the school has a responsibility to prepare its pupils for a democratic life as adults. Until now the emphasis has been on teaching constitutions, formal parliament procedure, national and local government, election systems etc. With the beginning of the educational reform period of the Swedish educational system in the fifties, a discussion started that questioned, whether formal democratic education was sufficient to internalise democratic values in the next generation. Did not pupils need their own direct experience of democracy at work? As a result, all the National Curricula for compulsory as well as secondary or voluntary schools (1962, 1969, 1980 and 1994), have increasingly started to underline the need for pupil participation in the decision making processes in their schools. The National Curricula in Sweden are decided by the Government after approval of Parliament, as such they are not only overall goals and guidelines but also detailed timetables and syllabuses.

As many social scientists have pointed out, the ‘Swedish Model’ has a tendency to aim towards consensus. This has been especially true for educational policies, at least up until the beginning of this decade…[…]

Unresolved political conflicts are manifest in Sweden when it comes to grading, teaching and instruction practice, content in subjects or ‘equality in recourses or equality in results’, … At the same time, however, there has been and still is an authentic and genuine consensus among the politicians that:

“The activities of the school must be run along democratic principles and prepare pupils for active participation in civic life. It shall develop the pupil’s ability to take personal responsibility”. (SOU, 1992a: 59 (summary) and later Government Bill, 1992/93:220). Continuing on the same lines, the Government and the Parliament argue that:

“The democratic principles of being able to influence, take responsibility and being involved shall embrace all pupils. Development of pupil’s knowledge and social awareness presupposes, that they take increasingly greater responsibility and are able to exercise real influence on the school activity … The teacher shall work on the basis that pupils are able and willing to take personal responsibility for their learning and work in school and make sure that all pupils irrespective of sex, social and cultural background have real influence over the way in which work is done, how it is done and the content of teaching and that ” influence increases with age and maturity



“In interviews carried out by the writer in two schools in Tanzania with functioning school councils in 1992, it was noted by both, staff and pupils, that they felt that participation, apart from them being improving certain aspects of school management, had helped to develop responsibility, confidence, problem solving through discussion, and friendlier and more co-operative environment.”

Clive Harber (1994), referring to schools developed under Julius Nyerere’s plan: Education for Self Reliance (1967), Dar El Salaam.

Possible source (needs to be ordered if required): Lwe Habura: School Effectiveness and Education for Self-reliance in Tanzania. PhD Thesis, University of Birmingham (1993)

United States of America

1.) USA General

“In the United States, all of the schools that I visited had student councils. At the Massachusetts school, students gave speeches and students voted on the officers and council members. One student explained: “They do dances. They run homecoming, a volleyball tournament, and if the clubs want to do any fundraising they have to go through them.” (3/27/95) At one California school, Margie explained, “They plan dances and activities like the Secret Santa lunch to make the campus better” (12115195). At another California high school with a major student activities program, I visited the day candidates for student body officers (president, vice president, and secretary) gave speeches in the gym before the election. Several candidates promised to improve “school spirit,” while others pledged to improve multicultural week, work on a recycling pro- gram, and “have a task force to reduce the generation gap between teachers and students.” The officers meet in the mornings before school starts with a legislative council composed of students appointed from the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes. The officers, council members, and representatives from various activities such as the school newspaper, yearbook, pep squad, band, and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)-some eighty-five students in all-meet in a daily “leadership class.” The leadership class organises morning assemblies, lunch activities and after-school rallies. Its members also discuss proposed changes in school policy, such as one dealing with attendance. Also, they sponsor fund-raising activities to help finance homecoming, the prom, and teacher appreciation week. Interestingly, a goal of this extensive student activity program is to bring students together from diverse ethnic groups and to bridge their different interests. Clubs and sports also give opportunities for some students to develop leadership skills as well as meet student interest through some extracurricular activity. With regard to belonging to school clubs, fewer than 20 percent … American students said they had never belonged to school clubs in 1993. In the American high schools, many students reported participating in before-and after-school activities: band, orchestra, a vast array of sports teams, and groups that perform dances or flag presentations at sports events as well as clubs such as speech and debate, Model UN, Mock Trial, and Amnesty International. In an ethnically diverse Missouri class, students said they also participated in community youth groups for Chinese, Indian (Asian), Jewish, and Christian students. Several belonged to city-wide organisations designed to bring students from various groups together and to work on community service projects

….some individual students had raised money for causes, such as being sponsored in a walk for AIDS, …

Government students in one American school district were given the option of doing a community service project or a more traditional research paper as a course requirement. Those who selected the community service option were to relate their volunteer work to discussion of local public policy.


The American students in the sample stand out for their comparatively high levels of political confidence and efficacy. They reported frequent discussions with friends during which they would try to persuade others to their view, and they cited both contemporary and historic examples of citizens influencing government decision making. Again, school and cultural messages are consistent in the ecology in which American youth construct their political worldview and their role in it.

Taken from Hahn 1998 pp. 96-102

USA I – State of Maryland

A Student Voice: Montgomery County Student Alliance, in Gross (1971) pp 147-160

USA – State of New York II

Sehr (1997)

Comments about Metropolitan High School (Sehr (97) examined two US. Schools Uptown H.S. and Metropolitan H.S (MHS) New York. These are extracts from the chapter entitled Student Control/Ownership at Metropolitan H.S., which includes extracts from interviews with pupils. Sehr contrasts positive points regarding control and ownership at the MHS with the lack of the same at Uptown High School:

“Freddy [Latino Male]: I think … the students have … a lot more input than they would have at any other school, where they would have no input… I mean we have an advisory group that meets , like where different students meet …And take what they want to the Student Committee, and then the teachers’ committee. So it’s like a very democratic process that everything is run in this school. I think if more people got involved, and really cared, we’d have, the students would have even more control than they do now. Like we have a lot. We do have tremendous control.


Carlos [Latino Male]: Little Groups of like eight students, they meet with a teacher. And they bring up a topic, or I there is something you have a complaint about. Then a member of that group takes it to the Student Committee – like there’s one student for each advisory goes to the student committee and brings up the issue. And Michael [one of the school directors] is there. And Michael… is … always quiet. It’s like just us talking… For example some girls complained about girls smoking in the girls’ bathroom. It took two or three complaints or something like that, and now they’re going to set up a smoke alarm… So, this is the process. You know.. anything can be done, … you know what is necessary for the school…

DS (author): So there are regular meetings with Michael like this?

Carlos: Once a week. And he has a staff meeting, which I think sometimes students a re allowed to sit in.

Larry [African American Male]: Students are allowed to sit in if the teachers aren’t talking about [individual] students…

Carlos: And you have as much power as [any of the teachers]. You can raise your hand and talk what you want, and complain or discuss, or whatever. …

Freddy: Yeah everybody gets equal.

Ali [African-American Female]: Um, also, it’s not even just like the student committees or whatever. Let’s say you might not be on the student committee. You can always go up to Michael or one of the teachers and say your complaint, or whatever… And.. the teachers here really care about you And one thing, they never gonna do is attack you personally. Maybe your ideas, you know, like in class and stuff. But here this school is very unique, because students definitely get a lot of control. A lot of control… Like at other schools, forget it! What you say is not important. You’re just a number on their computer and that’s it. But here they treat you like real people. Because you are a real person, actually…

Carlos: [there] was a [choice between] an amusement park and the dude ranch, and the staff had already decided that we are going to the do the dude ranch. ‘Cause the staff didn’t like the rides. But the students wanted to go to the amusement park. And you know we said, it’s our trip

Regarding the issue of student ownership and control the students here could hardly be any clearer. They not only have a general feeling of control and empowerment in the school, which is partially the result of the sense of belonging and safety… But they have an institutional powerbase in school as well – the Student Committee. Of course, many schools have student governments that do not necessarily translate into student power in school. Sometimes student governments simply become instruments for coopting student leaders and winning student consent to school policies. . Other times student governments become marginalised from the sentiments of the majority of students. But in the case of Metropolitan H.S., these students cited specific examples of the Student Committee having an impact on issues that really mattered to students. From the outside, the issues cited may seem inconsequential. But dealing with a problem of smoking in the bathroom and reversing a staff decision regarding a school end-of-year trip represent concrete actions that helped improve student life at Metropolitan H.S. These kinds of experiences, taken in the context of the rest of the positive experiences students have of the school, go a long way toward building students’ sense of self-respect and self-confidence as people who matter. To see this we need only look at Ali’s precious statement: “But here they treat you like real people. Because you are a real person, actually.” Yes, Ali is a real person. And her realising that she is a real person is one of the first steps toward becoming an independent social actor, who with the right preparation, could also become a public democratic political actor. An important part of the right preparation for public democratic citizenship is providing the opportunity for students to participate meaningfully in decisions that affect their day-to-day experience of school life. Metropolitan H.S. gives students that opportunity. One African-American student in particular at Metropolitan H.S. left me with a strong sense of hope that carefully structured and skilfully run public high schools can make a difference in helping prepare students for public democratic citizenship. James, speaking in the first focus group, commented on how he felt the school had helped prepare him for the future, both as an individual and as an active member of the larger society.

James:” I think that Metropolitan H.S. for me has done a number of things. And one of them is open my mind to the world and see that there’s other places beyond Metro City… And also I think that Metropolitan H.S. has made me aware of a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of before. You know, social problems, political problems, as well as racial problems, and different things like that. And again, I think that it has put me in a position where I think that I will be able to succeed in higher education…. I feel that I have a pretty good idea of where I want to be or where I’m going in later life. I’m in between where I want to go into a more corporate arena or you know, [make] some kind of change on the outside. Whether I’m inside the system or outside of the system I feel that I will try to make some change and make things better for the lower rung of people in the society.” Many of the things James said seem to indicate that he has begun developing some of the values, attributes, and capacities that young people must possess if they are to become public democratic citizens, and through their efforts, help create a public democracy in the United States. His statement that he has become more aware of social and political problems suggests that he is beginning to develop a critical/analytical social outlook, examining social reality and identifying problems. His mention of racial problems points to an emerging critical social outlook as well, but also implies a concern for equality and justice. He speaks with an impressive self-confidence both about his preparation for college and about his sense of what he wants to do with his life and how he wants to contribute to society. His confidence in his own ability to have an impact on society as an independent social actor is one of the requisite qualities of public citizenship; that is, one is more likely to take public action if one feels that his/her actions will make a difference.

James’ specific interest in trying “to make some change and make things better for the lower rung of people in the society” highlights his appreciation of the importance of public life and his personal commitment to work for social change. It also demonstrates his belief in the equal right of everyone to the conditions necessary for their self-development. Finally, James’ interest in helping the “lower rung of people in society” points to a budding commitment to an ethic of care and responsibility. James is a young man who will graduate high school with what he feels is an appropriate intellectual preparation for college, and what I believe is an essential foundation for public democratic citizenship.


Another example from the USA, including regulations can be read at:

School Councils: The Saskatchewan Vision http://www.ssta.sasknet.com/research/governance/96-13-htm

References checked:

In: SOAS, Institute of Education, Senate House Library, Institute of Commonwealth Studies,

* the astric indicated books that were actually useful!

References checked:

In: SOAS, Institute of Education, Senate House Library, Institute of Commonwealth Studies,

* The astric indicated books that were actually useful and which are included in this paper


Balls S.J.: The Struggle for Democratic Education in Sweden

Bancroft D: School Council. Learning By Doing, in World Study Jnl, V6 N2, 1986, pp. 21-23

Bridges David (Ed): Education, Autonomy and Democratic Citizenship,

Butts: The Morality of Democratic Citizenship, (1988)

Bottery M. & Siu: Empowerment, participation and Democracy? The Hong Kong Big Sisters Guidance

Programme, in Compare, Vol. 26, no1: Mar 96, p. 61-72

* Döbert D(1996): Das Bildungswesen der DDR: Inhaltliche und administrative Sachverhalte , und

Rechtsgrundlagen, Neuwied, Leuchterhand, 1995

Dooms: Governing Schools Democratically, in The Teacher, Feb 1997

* Edwards, Munn & Fogelman: Education for Democratic Citizenship in Europe, New Challenges for

Secondary Education, UNESCO Hamburg, Council of Europe Strasbourg, Swets & Zeitlinger (1994)

* Eklundh P. : Education for Democracy: Some notes on the Swedish Case in a Piagitian Epistemology

tradition: in Childrens Social and Economic Education, V2/2 (1997), pp 63-97

Entwistle et alt (eds): Beyond Communalism, Citizenship, Politics and Education, (1996)

Empowerment, Participation and Democracy, in Compare Vol. 26 1 (96) 61-72

Ethnicity and Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, in JNL of Educational Development, V14/3 (1994)

European Teachers Seminar on Citizenship Education 25-30 Aug1996, Upsala, Sweden,

K. Evens: Shaping Futures (1998)

* Gataka Jephtah K. et al: Education for Democracy: The experiences of Kenya, Chile, Denmark and

. Eritrea, in Occasional Papers (IDASA, Institute for Democracy in South Africa), 46 (1994)

* Gogan J. & Derricot D.: Citizenship for the 21st Century, An International Perspective on Education,

Kogan Page, London (1998)

* Gross Beatrice and Ronald (eds): Radical School Reform, Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1971

* Hahn, Carole, L: Comparative Perspectives on Citizenship Education, N.Y. State Univ. Press, N.Y.,


Harber Clive: Developing Democratic Education

* Harber Clive: Ethnicity and Education for Democracy in Sub Saharan Africa, in Int Jnl of Educ. Develop,

Vol. 14, 3, (Jul 1994), pp 255-264

* Harber Clive: Voices for Democracy, A North South Dialogue for Sustainable Democracy, Education

Now British Council, Nottingham 1998

Hepburn M: Democratic Schooling: Internat. JNL of Political Education, 6, 1984, pp. 245- 262

Hoskin: Education for Democratic Citizenship in Multiethnic Societies, Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey (1991)
* Jensen & Walker (eds): Towards Democratic Schooling, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 1989

Jones & Jones (eds): Education for Citizenship, 1992

* Kärenlampi Pavo: (The Fight for School Democracy in Finland )Taistelu kouludemokratiasta.

Kouludendemokratian aalto Suomessa, Date ?(Finish) (ISBN 951-710-099-X), English Summary:

at http://linnea.helsinki.fi/elektra/kartsum.html (February 2000)

* Heinrich Kranz: Deutsche Erziehungsgeschichte 1945-85 in Quellen und Dokumenten (history of the

German education in sources and documents 1945-85), Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt, 1987:

Leviatan, U.: Crisis in the Israeli Kibbutz, Westport, Conn., 1998

Lynch J. : Education for Citizenship in a Multicultural Society, (1992)

Melford, S, Children of the Kibbutz, Harvard Univ. Press, 1975

Ministry of Education Culture, Youth and Sport (Namibia): Namibian Educational Conduct for

Schools (1992) NOT FOUND

Moore et alt: The Child’s Political World, (1985)

Osler et alt (eds): Teaching for Citizenship in Europe, (1995)

Participation, Powersharing and School Improvement

* Röhrs (Ed): Die Schulen der Reformpädagogik Heute, Schwamm Handbuch, Dűsseldorf, (1986)

P. Serote: Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College. A Unique South African Experience. Transformations

(South Africa), V. 20 (1992)

* Schultze & Führ, Das Schulwesen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Beltz Verlag, Weinheim, (1973)

* Sehr, D. T,: Education for Public Democracy, State University of New York Press, (1977)

Sigel: Education for Democratic Citizenship, (1991)

Stott and Trafford : Partners in Change

The Politics of Future Citizens. New Dimensions in the Political Socialisation of Children, (1974)

Trafford B.: Participation,Powersharing and School Improvememt, 1997

Carlos Torres: Democracy, Education… Dilemmas of Citizenship in a Global World,

Veramu. J: Let’s Do it Our Way (Fiji)

Walters, Shirely. : Educational Democratic Participation (Cape Town)

White, J: Decision Making in a Democratic School, in World Study Jnl, V6 N2, 1986

Wringe C, Democracy Schooling and Political Education (1994)

[1] Beschlussamlung Nr 849. C Representation of Pupil’s Interests, in :Schultze und Fuehr [1973], p. 158 f [own translation]

[2] Gross pp. 158-160

[3] Athan Gotovos: Greece, in Gogan & Derricott (1998) pp. 33-35

[4] Editors Note: Lyzeum is the upper secondary level in Greece

[5] Athan Gotovos: Greece, in Gogan & Derricott (1998) pp. 33-35

[6] personal correspondence 11 May 2000

[7] personal correspondence 06 May 2000

[8] ibid.

[9] Editors note: Estonia population consists out of has 30% identifying as Russian, who mainly arrived with the Sovietisation period from 1944 onwards. The main language of Estonia is Estonian since 1989.

[10] personal correspondence 06 May 2000

[11] ibid [emphasis added]

[12] Döbert (1996) [own translation]

[13] This has by now been especially critsised in the case of kindergarten education, where the GDR had achieved a guarantee for women to be able to work and have the children in a state kindergarten, which is less what can be said of the new federal system, before or after unification.

[14] Personal Correspondence 17 May 200, Own Translation from German

[15] ibid

[16] ibid

[17] Editors Note: In Germany the school curriculum is decided by the department for Culture and Education (Kultusministerium) of each individual state. This has caused some discrepancies in the matters covered, technique of teaching and organisation of schools.

[18] Editors Note: The name of the new constitution refers to one of the campuses. It was set up in 1985.

[19] Editors Note The Ratio is: 18 staff members versus 4 pupil members in the parliament, but equal in the committees. Year 10 and Year 11 also have two 2 direct elected speakers to the governor’s council, which the teachers lack.

[20] Editor’s note: The author refers to one incident, which he uses as a symbolic metaphor. Caution is advised here not to generalise all students, due to one incident.

Bonnie Greer and Julia Pascal discuss Slavery and Shoa

Date of production: 16 November 1999

Produced and presented by: Daniel Zylbersztajn


IN: Recently British Jewish

Out: For Deutsche Welle I am Daniel Zylbersztajn from London



Recently British Jewish Playwriter Julia Pascal and Black American Playwriter Bonnie Greer united their creative powers in a unique event at the British Library in London, which was to try to combine the work of the two writers in one event.

More significantly, in order to bring together, Jews and Blacks and their histories of collective sufferings, led by the voices of women. This was going to be a day that had the issues of trauma, loss and survival and how to enact these histories on stage, at its heart.

But not only was this a performing event, but it opened up to a critical debate, following presentations of Greer’s and Pascal’s works, a debate in which holocaust survivors, who were amongst the invited guests, actively participated and thus allowed for invaluable first hand commentary.

The two writers had worked previously together, Bonnie Greer has been acting for Julia Pascal and is now associate writer of the Pascal Theatre Company.

The event opened with extracts from various plays by Julia Pascal. Julia Pascal has gained international credibility as a second generation British Jew. Her plays include Theresa, The Dead Woman on Holiday, and Dybuk, all of whom deal with

holocaust survivor stories in one form or another. This year she released a new book entitled Holocaust Triology.

Here is one of the extracts taken from Julia Pascal’s play Dybuk:

[extract from dybuk]


After a break Bonnie Greer, continued the event with readings from her works, – which included extracts from her first novel Hanging by her Teeth, and passages from a series of forthcoming short stories of hers. These stories deal with conflicting identities of African American women at locations outside the United States. The following extracts were read from the story called “A Frivolous Girl”, which features the confrontation of a young African American teenager with her first visit to Africa:

[extract from a very frivolous girl]

The presentations of the two play writers, were followed by an open discussion, which centred on the question of the possibility of picturing the black experience along side the Jewish and vice versa.


This is Eugenie (say u-gine) Dodd a child survivor, who was inspiration to a forthcoming play called Dora:

“I think the experience is very different! There is the Jewish Experience and there is the black experience and I am not sure that they are exactly the same because there is a very, very different cultural background to them. And maybe you generalise it too much. You could say both of them are experiences of displaced people. But there is much more to it than that.”


Boonie Greer responded to Eugenie Dodd, referring to her father who served in the then still segregated US Army:

“I do have to go back to my dad. If my dad could make a link in himself. I mean he was a guy who saw lynching, forced to see lynching – forced to see a lynching, when he was six year old -the clan made them all watch this man lynch. And he was in the segregated army in the United States. If he could feel that this related to him on some level, and when he went to that concentration camp, that’s what he reported to us. Of course the particularities are absolutely different.”

[Dodd] “But then you see there is also the visual aspect of it. You are black, I might be Jewish! When in the Dybuk there is this aspect of: Do I disclose that I am Jewish, Do I say so, am I embarrassed about being Jewish? You can’t do that! That’s choice!”


This was Eugenie Dodd answering Bonnie Greer’s reflection. Julia Pascal challenged the point about Jewish invisibility, remembering experiences whilst playing in France:

“Personally I know. In France I was taken to be an Arab. So I had quite a lot of race hatred. That’s the nearest I can get! That was my personal journey into that. And the fact that Bonnie was in it: we are the same generation, and lived through certain things. That for me was my way to do that.”


So are the Jewish and the Black experiences the same? If Julia Pascal can feel racism for being mistaken to be an Arab in some racist corners of France, is it possible for a black person to understand the Jewish experience. Bonnie Greer again:

You have to hear me say to you that I can empathise. You see that’s the first thing that I am saying., and the rest of it is detail! You know what I mean? We have to work it out some kind of way. And I am not a spokes-person for anybody. All oppressed people have a commonality with that experience. The details and particulars are everybody’s details and particulars. I don’t deny that at all. But I am saying that there are things that I understand. And the things that I understand are the things that we should meet on, we should talk about, we should built on! And I understand everything because everything has happened to black people, so I understand it all! Except the thing is, what you chose and how you function. It is how we can start to work to build the things that we need to build! There is memory with a big M and there is memory with a little M. And I have on my wall pictures all the way back to my great great great great grand mother, little photos. One of them was a slave! And always through our family they talked about this experience. The waiting at the night for the door, the lynchings, the living in quarters where you weren’t fed, going out to work without any kind of recompense, the total fear that people lived into and people still live in many parts of the South, even as I speak. That memory, which happens to do with oppression, an art or creative person can use that, to pit into a particular mode. The rest of it, of course you check with the experts, with people who actually lived through it, with people who’ve gone through the particular thing that you’re writing on. But that general memory is something you can pull back from your own experience. And anyone who comes from an experience, an in fact anyone who doesn’t come from an experience of being particularly oppressed, if you work it through creatively, you can find a general moment that you can then use. So I feel that I was able to create that. Because I had from my own history those same experiences in general, not in particular but in general!


Bonnie Greer. Having established that there was a similarity in the perception of the experiences, what is the whole purpose of these representations? A member of the audience opened up the debate:

“ I am coming from a slightly different perspective. I was interested in what you were saying about memories. The minute you were talking about memory and relating memories and sharing memories is making it impossible for the denial of those memories. And that’s what I find key in what you’re all saying is how do we prevent that denial. I work with children who have been abused. And there is so much about denial that that actually happens. So much about denying themselves that it actually happened to them. There comes a point when they can talk about it, which may not be for many years and what we have to do is to equip ourselves against that denial. That is what removes stereotyping, that is what fights prejudices, that’s the way to tackle. “


In this light the point about traumatic collective experiences, their memory and the prevention of their denial become very acutely relevant. Bonnie Greer put it like that:

“We can remember and we can make words. So as long as we keep making language, and with our bodies and with our minds and with our voices, we can at least pass on the legacy of not denying! It’s true for black people. It’s what black people try to get, all of us in the Diaspora, the African Diaspora, really try to get the rest of the world to see, is not denying, not deny what happened. And you are doing this as well, Jewish people: We must stop denying, and there is so much denial going on. That’s the key.”


In her concluding words Julia Pascal added a contemporary example of such denial. Referring to the holocaust revisionist David Irving, who has been in various trials for holocaust denial, including countries such as Australia, Germany and recently Great Britain, she stated:

“Yeah, I just bring it back to the David Irving case. The whole thesis of that denial is to deny that Hitler knew what was going on, and that is why today is important and why we are connected, cause it’s the same story – from them – and that’s why it is terribly important why we go on making the work. What else can we do? We the next generation, who didn’t know it directly, but it’s so close to us, it’s our duty to tell those stories in any way we can!”

produced for DW in 1999 – full transcript follows – all rights reserved!

The implications for these words are grand. Not only for the Jewish and African Diasporas. Denial of the existence of suffering equally applies to millions and millions of forgotten souls wherever we live or you may listen, who bear evidence to the worst in human nature. All to quote Bonnie Greer, are different in particular but the human traumas and nightmares, are equal in general.

For Deutsche Welle, I am Daniel Zylbersztajn from London.

© 2000 DeutscheWelle


London Black Radio and the Community – my Master of Arts Dissertation from 1997

CO 1998 / 2012

Dear Reader:

  • Please make use of the comment facility at the end.  Let me know what you were searching and what you are working on, if the dissertation was useful to you or not, and what your general thoughts are.
  • If you use this dissertation anywhere in academic work you must reference it correctly! Daniel Zylbersztajn:  London Black Radio and the Community, MA Dissertation Goldsmiths College, University of London, 1997 indexed on dzx2.net
  • NOTE: Any non-personal use, multiplication or copying must be registered with and permitted by the author’  Just send me an email dzdzx2 [aet-symbol] gmail [dot-symbol] com.  The copyrights are registered also with Goldsmiths College, University of London to whom it was submitted as an MA Thesis

Daniel Zylbersztajn

Daniel D.Z. Zylbersztajn,

text paste below or download  
pdf (117 MB takes a while to download)

Only the pdf includes full texts, interviews, sources and correct footnoting.

September 1997
Foreword to this Edition (May 1998)
There are several points to be raised at this time (May 1998). First of all several changes have occurred with some of programmes /stations. Most significant is the new Radio 4 which promises to include the interests of “minorities” within the mainstream programming without making them special. Upfront has introduced a “Black” history slot, and Kiss is more actively involved in showing “care” for young people. Since finishing the paper I have changed my opinion on the term “African Caribbean“, “African American” somewhat. I find the term discriminates against the complexity of historical backgrounds of people identifying as such. Although some might have a direct African linkage for most exists a far more complex background, which is being minimalized by choosing Africa above other identities. As such the identification as “African American”, “African Caribbean” becomes a political choice rather than a descriptive term which describes reality. As such I thus described people with a backround traceable to the Caribbean or Africa and took reference occasionally to the USA black population. This identification carries a colour-conscious notion with which I am uncomfortable. But it is undeniable that persons of darker skin colour in countries inhabited by a majority of light skinned persons are being marginalized. Neither is it deniable that Black, African Caribbean, and African American “groups”, and be they partly inaccurate descriptions, have chosen to identify as such and adhered to a cultural reference point, which they assume to be essential. Of course there exist dominating or preferred cultural strings, but they are not inborn and neither are they static. I believe that the following years will demonstrate a rethinking of these labels which will leave this study as an example of a specific era. One of the most prominent forefront vocals of such rethinking is the actress Whoopie Goldberg. Nevertheless this paper also shows already differences of opinions and divisions within the assumed oneness and sameness of the labels black and African/African Caribbeans. Of course this change of identification policies will not only apply to “black people“, but also to any other, including the assumed glorious references for european cultures and histories, which will change dramatically over the next years. By that I do not mean an illustration of it’s opposite, but rather an inclusion of histories and references which are European, yet which have been ignored in the race of national unity. The contributions of Europe’s poor, and its former sub-groups will be increasingly recognised, so that there were “black” people in Europe both in the North and South of the continent many centuries before the 20th. At the end what will be celebrated will not be the palette of difference through multi-culturalism, but of the human spirit and its all its creativity and also (but rather not celebrated but realized) destructiveness in all people on this earth. Yet the acceptance of this will also mean that separatists will try with greater vehemence to proof their right for difference, e.g. through socio-genetics.
This in mind, I hope that the paper ahead will be of use to whom it may concern.
For anonymity and protection of my informants, the majority of informants names and the stations they work for have been changed, as it was not clear if consent would be given for distribution of this paper to official bodies. Such changes are signified through the symbol **.
Daniel Zylbersztajn
May 1998


The Index Preface page 4 Acknowledgements page 11 I ‘Essay’ page 12 II ‘Topical Statements from Interviews’ page 29 Conclusion page 50 Bibliography page 53 Appendixes and Materials page 56     page numbers might not correspond to this E-Mailed copy PREFACE This is not part of the main dissertation This section includes ethical and moral considerations that are partially related to me personally, and thus do not contribute to the topic as such, yet I felt must be included in some form. It also includes the acknowledgements.

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow!”

Alice Walker

In 1899 Du Bois, one of north americas key african american figures published the study The Philadelphia Negro. This was the first ever socio ethnographic account and study of african americans and also by an african american. I have read this lengthy study in depth: Du Bois organized his study so to suit his own vision of a black america that would be “western cultured” and university educated and a great contributor to the whole nation (the talented tenth to lead the masses).
He saw himself perhaps a hero living midst of “an atmosphere of dirt, drunkenness, poverty, and crime,” as he himself described it.
Financed by the university of Philadelphia, the “black plague” was to be measured, so that methods could be found to eliminate the danger that it symbolized in the fantasies of the greater majority of white europe descending citizens of Philadelphia. Du Bois catalogued the conditions of poverty of his subjects, even rightfully repeatedly underlined its connectedness to slavery, he even illustrated cases of supremacist attitudes by white employers against black job seekers. But at this early stage, the later communist, had not yet recognized the connectedness between poverty, exploitation, slavery, and the white industrial and educational systems, into which he wanted “negroes” to be integrated . This leaves an early Du Bois, who made arrogant comments regarding single parent families, “loose” sexual moral, unwillingness to work, and other non protestant life conditions.
Du Bois admitted years later, in his autobiography, that many “negroes” were suspicious and were far from any kind of happy approval of the study. He wrote: “Blacks said, are we animals to be dissected and by an unknown Negro at that?,” and also, “they had a natural dislike to being studied like a strange species.”
Du Bois’s bias on the one hand and his pioneering research on the other, symbolize both virtues and failures of his project The Philadelphia Negroe.
Thus in my course essay on the Philadelphia Negro, I concluded with warning words:

[Du Bois] played more into the hands of “white” supremacists than he would have been willing to admit. The fact that he was convinced throughout his life to have attempted to contribute to the elimination of the colour bar, just proves how careful research has to be conducted.” Following this vigilance, it would only be proper for myself to take a lead, and attempt to take certain steps, that would at least signify my concern, but also my willingness to take active measures for more careful analysis. I have decided to start this dissertation with a foreword that discusses the moral, ethical deliberations of my project: People of african descent and other “marginal” people of the west, have many times been victims of euopean scientific analysis. The contemporary Murray study “Bell Curve“, is just one of the many sad examples. When africans were / are measured or used in statistics it was / is all too often in order to demonstrate their inferiority towards european people, european thought and cultural and political values. As a politically sensitive and morally conscious person of jewish descent, I am only too familiar with such so called scientific, but often nothing but bogus and invented, discoveries, as they were used too, to prove the slaugherability of my grandparents on my father’s side, I never met (that I am familiar, is meant non-inclusive, that is that the fact that I am a jew does not necessitate in essential sensitivities – they merely can, at the most perhaps should).
Yet ahead there is just another of these studies, and with it I aim to achieve honours from an institution that still stands as generator of definitions of european streams – the university. As an academic writer I am supposed to use critical analysis. This means that I will have to make up my mind as to what I regard as positive and what I regard as negative.
There are at least three problems with this:
1.) The first regards the “I” or the judgmental position this paper puts me into. Here I am writing forced to draw conclusions, when maybe tomorrow I might hear another person’s voice that could topple all my perhaps pre-mature concepts. Truly I am not an insider in the radio – the music or the black cultural – industries, but then this puts me in between all – hopefully advantageous for judging. But a judge must hear all voices, all representations and I have only used a small cross sections of people. I have chosen people, made selections, and vice versa people have chosen and selected, or despotted and ignored me. And as far as the profession of judges is concerned, justice still has a long way to go to represent black people and others the west tends to exclude from the ranks of its [white europe’s] self-understanding;
2.) The words “positive” and “negative” with regard to black people, stand difficulty inside the european traditions of reporting on non white christian European people, as said earlier; so often are there misrepresentations, stereotypical images, that it becomes a duty for community representatives to emphasize “positive” news. I am worried about moments that I might have to reflect on some negative occurrences and comments, and it drove me to the following notes:
Black achievement is often illustrated by examples of people who reached high ranks inside the strings of the western capital oriented world, such are doctors, lawyers, journalists, scientists unnecessarily disregarding those who are achievers in so many other activities. This is because black people are stigmatised and associated by non black britts with the manual sector, in fact a circumstance that is rapidly changing especially in favour of a thatcherite / blair-ian self-sustaining chain of black businesses run by the second and third generations of african and caribbean migrants to britain and an increasing presence in administrative posts. To put it in other words eurocentric thought denied black people the possession of a human brain that could be used to move them forward.
In this struggle to keep the black subject reports and surveys “positive and
achievers” often a chain reactions is build, that leads from slavery, to colonialism, from colonialism to racism, from racism to rwanda and crack heroin in some neighbourhoods. From slavery to racism and crack. These are often justified and debate and thought provoking arguments, but despite all our explanations of,
-how europe divided africa (or “how europe underdeveloped africa”),
-how white skinned people (in their own hierarchies) were and are still
favoured in the west,
-how western education attempted to deny the margins their right of inclusion
in human history (perhaps because it wasn’t a history of margins after all)
and – call it “brainwashed” – all so many with the ideology of “western”
democratic pride and economic rationality, which really is the trade of
robbery and exploitation.
Yet we, and by we I mean all people concerned with the positive faith and fortune of black folk, do have some negative things to say about some – it is not through a dark skin pigmentation that man or woman receives an automatic holiness, just because they fall victim to the dominating forces of this present world. Can some black people, some african people be of bad character in their own rights? Can we really and honestly say, rwanda, liberia, abacha, duvallier, and the black “man” who beats his woman are victimized by “The culture of 400 years”, and thus done and excused. Or must we perhaps ignore the later phenomenae all together, because we attempt to report positively about black people? So called minorities usually carry an awareness of these negative issues, but are afraid to publicise them, as criticism hits them stronger than others, and it disrupts the bonds, that are important in times of victimization through discrimination and violence from racists. I feel very close to issues of similar stature as a person whose father survived the jewish holocaust. How many times have I heard that this or that action by a jewish man or woman, or israeli man or woman, is to be excused with the fact that there was sho’a. That sho’a and anti-semitism are only the results of the christian evil society. Yet I look down on the community in which I am living now – orthodox jews in Stamford Hill, London, where I – circumcised, signifying my jewish originality through holy procession, am excluded, marginalized and despotted, where I have to observe the mechanisms of absurd forms of essential and absolutist ethnocentricity. I also know of psychological depressions and traumas concerning myself and so many others of the second generation post jewish holocaust, in which also gypsies, persons of a different sexuality and disabled persons were attempted to be wiped off the to be arianized, italosized, and japanized world.
But I learned that by keeping a sacred silence I would subscribe myself to the same attitude of the silent german in the between 1930 and 1949. Too afraid to make heard any objection to the increasing violence, discrimination and acts of crime against Jews, they knew or did not know. So I shouted out when I lived in Israel and observed what occurred during the Intifada. I agreed that Jews carried a burden too for complying with some of the authorities that oppressed them or others, be it South Africa, or elsewhere. But I also saw how I was blamed myself for these very crimes, for being jewish only. I was identified with the deeds of other jews whom I opposed myself, due to a process called stereotypization. If one jew or black person does something bad, it will automatically be applicable to all jews, black people, according to the rules of white western stigmatisation: I am not rich and don’t work in the film industry and unlike many jews, I do not identify with a european nation, nor do I regard africa descending people in any form negatively.
A negative critical comment at the end of the day is an acknowledgement, a suggestion and an encouragement. Whatever much there is to say positive will gain a greater weight through a meaningful, honest and balanced discourse including the negative aspects. This dissertation is about both the positive and the negative, and I will report as much good and laudable, as I can, but inevitably, there will be some critical comments and notes to be made, and I wanted to make clear how they must be digested, especially when it comes to those vulnerable voices on grass-root level.
3.) Assuming I am making investigative progress and collect material as presented here. How can I defend its presentation in front of a gremium of “studied” men and women? How can I be sure that I am not passing on information to persons who shouldn’t know. How can I be sure, that this information can be comprehended? How can I be sure the interviewed and myself are not getting exploited, troubled or stereotyped through this paper?
It become thus ever so important to emphasize here, right at the beginning of this study, that this dissertation is merely an introduction to some issues of black radio in London. Let me also assure the reader that peoples’ opinions change. What someone might have told me in my interview might not be that person’s entire view. It is part of it. Opinions and voices are too complex than that one could assume an absolute assurance that things are like they are eternalised in these pages.
In this sense how can I be sure that I did not change the interviewed to some degree, simply by talking to them, asking certain questions, often such, they didn’t ask themselves so far.
I am worried about my own organisation and analysis in this paper on black Radio in London, perhaps I don’t trust myself entirely anymore to be a person with right answers. I wouldn’t know “what” these would be. I think no-one can honestly say he or she knows. The most I can offer is a catalogue of open questions and my sincere will to try to understand. Apart from this I try to spot avenues that could have hurtful or violent consequences for others. Bloodshed, slaughter, hate-murder, war, exploitation, force against others, rape, slavery, discrimination, nationalisms, ethnocentrisms and torture are just some of the items I try to work and stand against.
In order to allow a direct reflection from those I have interviewed I have taken the time and effort to print out every interview in full in a lengthy appendix. For if my analysis fails or is biased or unjustified, there will be a full voice in the appendix. The situation of the interview of course is both real and unreal.
“Real” because it really happened, “unreal”, because they happen in the light of this study, making radio production “an issue,” and because I asked questions for answers I sought for. The full print out is also helpful to understand pictorial metaphorical explanations. For none of my interviews have I used a set of pre-arranged quezstions. I wanted to sit down and talk as naturally as possible, given the situation of an interview and the presence of a recording machine. The print out supports thus explanations beyond yes and no, the systematical norm in the age of functionality. Precisely not a clear answer, yes, or no, is often more of answer. It reflects the answer in its original style, including verbal hesitations and associations. Unfortunately the format for the dissertation disallows the inclusion of tonal and visual associations of symbols and meanings, which ideally I would like to include. However it would complicate the production of this dissertation vehemently and also would trouble some of the persons I spoke to with regard to a degree of partial anonymity their contributions carry in this written form.
I have experienced some difficulties printing the word -black- whilst writing out the transcripts, as far as whether the B needs to be capitalized or not. I have capitalized it where I found it appropriate to the meaning of a sentence and character of person I spoke to. Capitalized B, thus normally reflects a concept of commonalty, pride or identity, whereby black, written with a small b often is a reference to people with a skin darker skin, as compared to average european light skin. I also have decided, some time ago to leave all words that signify identities small capitalized. Of course I am more sympathetic to some compared to others, meaning that I would rather capitalize Black, Jew, Africa and leave small white, germany, england, europe, but I want to take a stance that signifies my apathy to exaggerated forms of all national identities and as such as prime identifying labels, which I feel are often just copies of european nation thinking. My apathy towards them, result out of my position as the son of a generation that fell victim to one such capitalizations, hence I will leave all these words small.
As long as my readers will keep all this in mind I am a bit calmer, because it will take off the a bit of the burden of originality and representation, which I feel heavy on my shoulders.. My work is aspect of a whole story, and it is only that – an aspect!. Perhaps at the end of the day this is only a report about twenty individuals who work on radio, and nothing else, and even that aspect of their opinions as much as they were able to express in a session of something between twenty minutes and two hours. How many times have we sat in exams, given speeches, went for interviews and as soon as it was over, after ten minutes, we were remembering something we know often of essential and crucial importance, which we wanted to say, but did not. I would be thankful if the individuals I interviewed and myself, could be seen as just the same human beings….
What makes it more than merely magazine or newspaper interviews, is the fact that I was introduced to historical, philosophical and sociological issues in the academic year preceding this research. I see this part of my training to a completer vision of the London society, and the human society in general. I honestly believe that the particular course at Goldsmiths’ college, Contemporary Urban Studies, is in many regards a light within the large petrifying corridors of the sum of university institutions that I described earlier.
These are questions that accompanied me through every step of this dissertation and I therefore I insisted to capitalize them in front of the actual piece of academic work. Should my values be discarded by anyone or after a period of time, maybe even by myself for any reason, I hope that this pre-face will assist to defracture my work and explain my position as it was now, summer 1997.

This leaves me with the question of what purpose this dissertation actually serves. For one black radio is an occurrence on in London so broad that it seems odd that it has never been given the interest or respect it deserves. Having done a summer of research I learned that a 10.000 word dissertation by far undermined the space that was needed. I realized there was enough material, that there were enough voices and issues for a phD. I found the issues involved dangerously complex and it gave me considerable difficulties The government had already made decisions on black radio in 1991 with the institution of black commercial station. Yet apart from some legal stations, there still exist a multi-faced number of illegal stations attempting to fill gaps that the commercials apparently haven’t or couldn’t. This dissertation attempts to identify some of these issues. In any way I am writing for those I have interviewed, and to let them speak to each other. I have promised to hand out copies of this dissertation to most I have spoken to, and I hope that perhaps I will encourage a continuing debate on this topic. Hopefully this academic research will encourage a rethinking and renegotiating as well as be a platform for inclusion. It is up to the tolerance and unselfishness of all parties to make my desire true.
Last not least as said, this dissertatin is also intended to go back to those who made contrubutions for it. I beg everyones serious attendtion and will to listen to the others voices. I know that some statments of contributers and perhaps some of my own analysis will be upsetting, provactive or disagreeable. But anger is the least weapon to to challange one another. It is only through constructive conversation that we can learn from another and especially about our own mistakes. An open mind and a willingness to take criticism where it is appropriate seems to me most appropriate. I will personally not tolerate any form of intellectual exploitation through this paper of anyone who contributed, nor any uncontrolled and unargumented harresment of any person. If there is a comment to be made I expect that this shall happen in a sincere, encouraging and thought provoking manner.

I also want to thank all those individual persons who made this dissertation possible with help and thoughts and their time, in alphabetical order.
Professor Afrique** bBC Ben Gidley* Rootfoot**
Berry** Steve Brown** Marcus York** Simon Brown
Larry Boyers Claudia Terry Carraway Examiner**
Father Sharp** Darren Crossdale  Daniel Owen Joe Douglass
Bob Gardner David Gillon Jacquie Gales Webb Ibrahim Bakr**
Alex French** Aisha
Pat Edison Jazzie B Daddy Dread** Keir Jones
Karen Weir Catman ** Chris Mitchell Lola Howard**
Mandy Richards Martin Pike Jonah** Michael Keitho Ward Millner Miss P Ben Moyle Nick Raynsford
Derek Pake Paul Gilroyo Raymond Paul Amira Selassi**
Radio Chief** Lorna Lexter** Stephen Chastie* Pascoe Sawyers
Keith Sketchley Greg Strickland Jim Perry Tariq
Thom (Blair)* Tojin Amusen Tom Williams* Mr Good**
Mr N Tim Timber** Mrs Winsome Graze Cornish
** indicates name changed by author
Thanks to the Goldsmith’s College Audio and Visual Equipment Department, for the use of the stereoscope, thanks to the Smithonian Institute and the Goldsmiths College libirian involved for trying to send me the tapes.
for inspiration: Walter Benjamin, bell hooks, Wiliam E.B. Du Bois, Franz Fanon, Homi Bhabba, Jamaica Kinkaid, Peter Freyer, Toni Morrison, Rastafarian Commune Twelve Tribes of Israel Freetown Sierra Leone – West Africa, Isaac Julian, “Bob” , Langston Hughs, The Rhapsodies in Black – Art of the Harlem Renaissance Exhibition (London June-August 1997)
o my lecturers, supervisors and teachers thanks for all!
* to my fellow student colleagues thanks for keeping criticism alive and mustual support!
** name changed by author for anaonymity
And all those mainly unknown individuals who kindly gave me some their valued time to fill out my long questionnaires!
Honouring my father and mother!
Peace All Times

Daniel Zylbersztajn 1997

“Wirkliche Radioübertragung ist wahre Propaganda! Propaganda bedeuted Kampf auf `allen Schlachtfeldern des Geistes, erschaffend, verfielältigend, vernichtend, bauend und nihilierend. Unsere Propaganda liegt der Deutschen Rasse, Blut und Nation zu Grunde!” Raskin, Deutsches Reich Übersee Funkdienst  
Radio is a medium that impacts on people. It is a powerful means to spread any type of information. In fact one of the first groups that used radio ‘en mass was the ‘1000 year’ german nazi reich under hitler. The “eight wonder”, “Der Volksapparat” , was a means of spreading the speeches of “nazi-inelligentia” amongst the german volk. During the “second world war” and the later cold war period radio and radio control emerged as a tool of political control and information, and it has remained to be so. In the nazi reich a person could be punished by death for tuning to a ‘non arian’ Feindsender.
Why not write about radio in general? Why ‘black radio’? Do “white” people need “white radio” and “black people,” ‘black radio’? Clearly the quoted german example is a case of ‘arian race radio’. I would point out to the fact that the so called “negroid race” as a humanoid group, (or “sub group”, as it would have been in the imperial european age), was an invention of white supremacist fantasy in the time of the ‘awakening’ the european “scientific” era. I left this question open, not because I have not got an opinion, but because I felt it more important to hear what black radio presenters themselves had to say about the nomination they either had initiated themselves with, or which were given to them by others (the audience). More so, because I felt that I personally could not define or easily explain the phenomenon.
The starting point of my dissertation was, when I was listening to various stations in London, and was presented with slogans like: We Really Care for the Community! Unity in the Community! etc… followed by “community-breaks”, “community information” or what is in fact simply advertizing, that aimed to address London radio listeners of african descendance in its wider context. I started to listen and wait close to my FM dial and await this care comming out the speaker, the unity, etc… and often there was nothing like it. Adding to the whole thematic was the competition for another London wide radio licence (through the statutory british Radio Authorithy) and consequent laments in early January 1997 that it was not granted to an applying black station, but to white XFM!
As if that was not enough, GLR started a daily London black news programme in spring 1997, entitled Upfront! The first of its kind. All above this, stood the shear uncountable numbers of pirate stations, the majority of them pumping out music, that many people would describe as coming from a black genre, be it jungle, soul, drum’n bass, dancehall, uk garage, gospel, hip hop, socca, reggae or african zoukus, highlife, and so on. In fact it is difficult to say if there are any London pirates around that have nothing to do with the world of black music genres and I mean in a direct sense, that is involving black presenters, and the playing of black music as described earlier. Almost every organizer of musical events or clubs seems to somehow related to a specific station. I would like to stress that I have disadvantaged pure music and dance stations, in particular those who are pirate, in this dissertation, in order to focus a bit more on 1.) stations that define themselves, or are seen as being more of a black station, than a dance station or music station, or 2.) stations that a great percentage of people of african descendance listen to. And why were there so many rumours about Choice FM, which was licensed in 1990 by the Radio Authorithy to serve South London’s black community, to be a “sell out” (see later )? It remains perhaps to note that London also was a specific case, partly with regard to what will soon be discussed as the urban condition , but also because London bears britain’s largest count of people of an african descendance of whatever generation.
So I set the topic and started researching. Initially that meant weeks of listening to various stations, taping programmes, etc…. I discovered soon that my pleasures of listening to radio were vanishing. I belonged to those groups of listeners, who used black radio as a means to either chill out, freak out, or to tune in with presenters, who knew and chatted what the system was about. The fact that I was going to write a dissertation changed the focus for me and shifted it onto the level of “work.” Listening soon ceased to be enjoyable at all for me, because I had to really listen now, and often enduring long music or commercial breaks, – in short, what apparently seems to be a fun dissertation, became a difficult task. I realized, I needed to do more than just listen, and thus decided to contact presenters and directors of a number of stations to ask them specific questions. I wanted to question representatives of various kind of stations. The different types are:
Type Station name .
1. bBC One FM- the national “official” station – 1FM, bBC World Service
2. bBC – Greater London Radio, the London wide “official” station – GLR
3. commercial stations with a licence London – Kiss FM, Choice FM, Spectrum Radio, Jazz FM
4 stations with restricted temporary “official” licences. – Real Heart**
5. pirates – Jamaica FM, Full Energy FM,
6. other – Freedom FM
This dissertation is intended to be predominantely an ethnographic paper of primary source material. I conducted a total of twenty-three interviews, most of them in depth, even more people were consulted. To whomever this looks a small number I would like to alert, that in fact it cost me a lot of energy and effort to get these interviews together in the short time span that was available. The nature of the MA course which demanded very thorough research for the taught part of the course, including six well researched 5000 word essays, meant that the dissertation could only be approached seriously in June. The music and radio business is not a sphere of easy access in any way, in particular for a person without contacts. I spend nerve wrecking days at home waiting for that promised phone-call, that promised visit, or mail out, when it never arrived. In total, I must have made about at least 100 calls to various individuals’ mobile phones, a sign of times perhaps worthwhile for a future study.
I must stress my dissatisfaction with the way papers like that have to be conformed. I would have needed the freedom of at least 50.000 words to satisfy every aspect I found worthy. One could write a paper on each station and each aspect of the London radio scene. I have outlined the ethical considerations regarding my personal consciousness in the preface and at this point I would like to make clear that I am not at all happy with this format as I had to compromise too much. There will be a shortened essay based general discussion in the first half of the dissertation and a structuralized (in accordance to a variety of topics) concentration of statements from interviewees that originally constituted 130.000 words of transcript; nevertheless I tried to make a job as good as possible cutting down this size of the interviews to 5000 – a matter of more than 50 hours work of rethinking and re compromising with myself and the voices and picture of people in my mind, not just ‘cross out finish’. The way it is presented now should create an almost conversationalist approach, similar to a style that is more and more frequent in academic literature from the concerning issues of contemporary culture. Hopefully it allow more closeness to what people said. If extracts appear too incomplete I really encourage people to use to read up the entire interview of a person of interest in the appendix. In order to make the second part more acceptable for academic purposes it has been complemented with some comments and remarks in the footnotes where thought necessary.
I also was frustrated with written sources on this and related topics. A lot of books were written on radio, and as many about britains black populations. Yet there wasn’t anything major I found on the black radio topic in a british or even London context, nor anything directly relevant.
My most significant draw back was a cautious withdrawal from the offer to talk to me, by a ghanian pirate station in North-London who promised me an interview for about a month, and stood me up three times, until they finally declared that they changed their mind and chose not to be interviewed out of fear that I had something to do with the controlling authorities. Joe Douglas who set up WNK and also applied unsuccessfully for a London wide licence for a station called Black FM in 1996, was another individual of weeks of empty promises. A similar reaction came from a pirate station in South-London, where I initially spoke to someone only to be neglected later. Part of these difficulties can be connected with the ambition of writing on London black radio as a whole. It would have been much easier for me to form contacts had I concentrated on one station only, contacted most the DJ’s on a regular basis, phoned in and would have made myself seen on public events that they often do. On this London wide dimension it was inconceivable for the purpose of a 10.000 word dissertation, with a time limit. The more credit goes out to those stations who gave me a chance to introduce myself and who trusted my word for not being a radio authority dti spy or for that matter a typical white “explorer” researching to exploit african people.
For people in the radio and music business, the summer month August was just not the right time to ask for interviews. A time when in London, many prepared for the two day long lasting Notting Hill Carneval.
Yet I still managed to speak to – definitely over-stressed – figures like Radio Chief** (leading position) of Hot FM** , even Mr N of bBC One FM, and Daddy Dread** of Hot FM** , all of whom were actively involved in the carneval, but many more of the interviewed were. There were also people who did not respond to my letters, they are almost exclusively from the bBC. Trevor Philipps, Chris Goldfinger and Tim Westwood (the later had an unco-operative secretary).
When my frustrations on dull days with no response from people, I asked for interviews, reached a peak, I decided to design a questionnaire for listeners that I would hand out and thus involve the “community” as the title of this dissertation promised. Little did I know that the result would only be another at least partial set back. Out of about 400 questionnaires distributed only 7%, that is 32 filled-out -questionnaires, found their way back to me in time. Although I would not permit a too great emphasis on my statistical results, they nevertheless are opinions by individuals, and in particular the open ended questions seem to be useful indicators. The total of all results have also been added in the appendix. At least one of the results gave me a clue as to what general perception was what made radio ‘black’. 40.6% of the respondents felt it was about Black presenters and staff, 37% estimated it had to do with the music a radio station played, and 31% that it ought to deal with issues that affected the black community.
Last not least I decided to contact the government officials such as the Radio Authority, and MP’s. Diane Abbott MP, who gave a dedication to AWAKE FM, that she supported it (played over the airwaves) did not respond to a letter I send her. Responses from the british Radio Authorithy and Radio Communications Agency prompted me to start a news – discussion on Compuserve Fori about the safety of illegal broadcasting. To sum the discussion up in one sentence: Modern equipment makes it unlikely that pirate stations interfere with air and emergency communication, more than a domestic microwave oven, of which there are millions more in inner cities than radio transmitters. All documents are to be found in the appendix.

People in metropolitan areas are isolated, not only as residents but also as consumer flaneurs, or metropolitan nomads. It is very difficult to create bridges between such people and the centrifugal power of mass media accelerates their estrangement. Tetsuo Kogawa, inventor of the Japanese Mini FM Boom
As Habermas put it, Gemeinschaft, communal urban experience is a far cry from Gesellschaft, community. As an immigrant to London I think I can use my own testimony of London being a city that maniacally depresses as a result of isolation and exclusion. It still bugs me sometimes how little anyone cares that you are around. London is a city of cliques and if one has not grown up in London or perhaps any major city in the world, one will have to create a sense of belonging somehow. Those who can identify with some sort of communality with others are usually bound together in a network of encouragement and communal support, excluding non members. Those who can not or refuse to use a traditional sense of identification, that being religion, territory of departure preceding the migration, and historical bounds, often create or join relatively young urban movements, in particular the many youth cultures, especially those around sport and music. But there is a third dimension of identification that is a result of the new life-conditions that become attached even to the generations that follow initial immigrating persons: This is an externally created emotional condition, shaped by exclusion, despotism, marginalization and inflexibility of a “host” community whose acceptance of the immigrants is a one-directional avenue, that is through adaptation of language, norms and values of the community that is original in the sense that it’s presence pre-dated the moment of migration (assimilation or acclimatization), or if not the opposite, a segregative admiration of difference, to serve the larger community. In London communal care and nurturing are not necessarily defined through neighbourhood (Nachbarschaft). Much more has neighbourhood become a temporary and eventive occasion. In many cases people live door by door without any real contact. Instead contacts are kept alive through a mentally constructed neighbourhood. The artificiality not emphasising on people – they are real – but on their proximity. Hours are spend with people during the day time for any sort of reason, be it of a labouring nature, or educational nature, yet they are often not our neighbours, nor do they even live in any sort of distance that could be identified as neighbourhood.
More often than not in between them (our mentally close neighbours) and us stand straining traffic connections, or the artificiality of the phone-line, or increasingly an E- Mail connection. Friendships can only be maintained on a one-to-one basis, on planned visits to a specific person, or on a more superficial level on special events at central locations and venues around the many identities during the ever more costly leisure-hours (be they churches, clubs, parties, cultural venues, et cetera). But this can hardly compensate for the “loss” of real neighbourhood sense, with all its positive and perhaps negative sides. In fact this satellite friendship system increases unsociability amongst those who live close by to each other. As the street seizes to be an extension of our habitats, house doors get barricaded and essential skills to compromise the life of the street get lost, a manic angst increases, which is substantiated by loneliness.
Cornel West thinks this urban feeling even more strong, and more destructive with african americans. He wrote that he was the major enemy of black survival in america, ‘neither oppression nor exploitation, but rather nihilistic threat’ what he describes to be the loss of hope and absence of meaning.
What is interesting that above theoretical arguments are backed up by my questionnaire responses. 50% of all respondents identified community as a group of people who shared an identity, culture, value set, ethnicity or a combination of these terms, as opposed to only 37 % who thought it was about a geographical bonding and even less 9% that it had to do with people looking after one another, an impossibility, if people do not live close by to one another.
I want to make clear, that inspite the argument here, I am not following those who see cities like London, as a great threat, propagating exodus to the ‘good old’ countryside. The city does offer alternative spaces to many who would otherwise be victimized through the inflexibility to rethink and re-evaluate society in general. The vastness of the urban hemisphere offers hide away at anonymous locations. This, I would say, is a global phenomenon regardless of what type of geographical, social, political or cultural environment we might find the city in, hence not confined to “western” metropols like London only.
Yet at the cliff of desperation, human beings have found ways to make this illness tolerable or to hallucinate themselves into a cosmos above this reality. Consumption of drugs for example breaks down the psycho-barriers and under their influence contact is being made with people, one was estranged to, and reality is forgotten or softened. Obsession with things, be they cars, computer-games, or puppets might be another, or the institution of pets as compensatory friends. Exaggerated activities around sport or sex lead to brain stimulating hormone based addictions with similar reality soothing impact. Within this urban mental institution also are cinemas, TV sets, and of course radio-sets, who are supposed to form the essence-theme of this paper. These serve a very particular form of compensatory neighbourhood, and similarly stimulating effects might be observed in isolated rural enclaves, where a similar degree of loneliness can be experienced. My questionnaire sample revealed that a total of 82% of the respondents listen to radio at home.
Adorno spoke specifically about radio. He felt that radio was very much a mental blocking devise fully part of a system that aimed to keep critical thought, or scrutiny of sociological conditions at bay. Perhaps Adorno was not right with regard to radio programmes, that intend to inform. Perhaps information on radio serves the opposite. It wakes the mind and armours for the various platforms on which humans interact in contemporary cities. The bBC Producer Guidelines 1996 state that: “news programmes should offer viewers and listeners an intelligent and informed account on issues that enables them to form their own views. A reporter may express a professional, journalistic judgement, but not a personal opinion.” Yet contemporary urban environments are far from the Roussauen ideolized Kanton-ian polis and it’s Bürger-citizens; there usually is no arena into which people would step, having acquired information, and where they would represent their personal comments and conclusions, except those who do so professionally. Radio in fact is increasingly compensating for this agora. Since the 1980’s call in radio programmes have gained an increasing popularity, and it is there, and much more than on TV, that people voice their stances for it is a more spontaneous medium. Yet it often means that they are subjected to the controls of presenters with the liberty to cut off, or leave out whom ever they wish. Even the bBC has now regular call in programmes usually following news programmes.
As said earlier the urban manias can potentially hit members of the african diaspora especially hard. If so, then it must mean nothing else than radio and other community substitutes and restitutes are even more important to them. I want to make clear that I can not prove this assumption, but what regards radio in London, it is quite audious that it are persons of african descendance that are striving for independent transmissions throughout the capital.
As prompted earlier in a question the colonial legacy is quite crucial in the understanding of what followed, as is the system of “racial” hierarchy that excluded those it felt beyond. The british Broadcasting Co-operation continued it’s national programme after the “second” world war; a menu that hardly addressed or acknowledged the african / african-caribbean community, that is it did in it’s own peculiar way. The worldservice was (is?) a programme that was set up not only to serve the british abroad, as it was, but also in order to preach british, and in particular english cultural heritage and point of views across the world. But in britain itself the bBC, as in fact many american and european stations hardly acknowledged black cultural influence at all. Initially this concerned music. This is not to say that black music was not played, in fact it was quite popular, and swing dance music in fact belonged to the anti-german menu in the war period, as the germans despised swing as “canibalic negroe rhythms”. The bBC World Service for example broadcasted jazz performances from the Hot Club de Paris. Yet the most popular tracks were those tunes by all white bands doing black genres. Although the european continent was contributing and supporting to the white masquerade, that was set up in order to circumvene the black musicians who performed most of the tracks and the styles originally, this practice had, disputably, a lot more to do with the segregative reality of society in the usa. To put it plain, in the commercial logic of usa record companies a “black face” in these days would not sell as much as a white face putting on the “black face”. In fact, if anything like black radio had a beginning, it was a comic series entitled ‘The Sam and Henry Show’ around 1926, based on the impersonation of two black americans acted by two ‘white’ actors, with all the stereotypical attributes of the palette of ‘white imagination’, making it one of the most popular radio comedies of its time.
Black music was recorded but to be sold, labelled as “race-records” to black buyers, perhaps excluding a very distinguished european based avantgardist jazz clientele. This changed dramatically with the soul-movement and later with the development of hip hop and rap. The implications are of course similarly ambiguous and shady because of the white fetishization of black masculinity and exotization, which boosted some black people’s purses, but damaged the image and lives of many more.
In London pirate Radio Invicta started to introduce soul music for the british audience in the 1970’s. Most other (black oriented )stations developed only in the early 1980’s including the Dread Broadcast Corporation, JFM, and LWR. A lot of the now well established presenters of the 1990’s had their beginnings in the 1980’s, for example Miss P, Tim Westwood and Mickey Dread, Brian Anthony. The battle about music was in a ironically a battle about audible visibility of black copyrights, black talent and black creativity.
Of course there were quite a number of audible black forefront voices on air. Britain broadcasted frequently during the period of decolonialization the words of Nkhruma, Azikiwe, Kenyatta, Lumumba, and others but after the independence the pictures blurred. “Educated” african leaders were soon discredited by the british public opinion, in the lights of the bi-african war, the mozambican, angolan and ethipoian civil strives and with Bukassa and all and above Amin, whose politics became visible in britain with the arrival of thousands of africa born people of indian descendance . The failures of african politics, of course were not blamed on the colonial legacy, the wars not on western and eastern weapon exports, but on the so called under-developed nature of african culture(s) and people (in contrast to the european state of affairs), which is important to note as a comment on general european attitudes regarding the inability of black people to govern themselves, and their state of mind. Hence from the 1960’s to the 1980’s there was little positive on radio regarding black people, in fact for some white european people surely a paranoia grew in the face of the speeches of Martin Luther King, El HaDD Malik El Shabbazz, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Although britain had a long standing black community prior to the caribbean windrush labour force migration, it was the new immigrants presence that became mark for what was regarded the black population of the uk after the second world war. Between 1948 and 1958 the total of these immigrants counted 125.000 heads. Many of these ‘immigrants’ were in fact recruited by members of the british industries in the caribbean itself, so great was the demand for assistance. During the african independence phase most of the caribbean migrants were far from having critical attitudes towards britain. After all, they had arrived in order to participate on the job market. . Just a few months after the arrival of the empire windrush the first post war race riots broke out in Liverpool, which had a populus of about 8000 black people. The british colonial west indies had – from a colonial british perspective – one of the “most exemplary” school and “education” systems of the empire (see earlier on mission of bBC Worldservice), and many migrants had studied Shakespeare and Dickens and were able to articulate themselves in queen’s english, yet not even this “cultural education” and, for many, even pride to be a commonwealth member, was to save anyone from the prejudiced racial oppression, many were soon to experience on grounds of their skin colour. Many also came as opportunists escaping hardship in the caribbean and happily taking advantage of the 1948 Immigration Act that allowed British subjects the right to settle in the uk and acclaim british citizenship.. In this the so called windrush generation was initially politically very far distanced from “west-indian” activists living in London before 1947, or taking an even earlier slight considering the 1919 Liverpool race riot.
It took a while until a critical standpoint towards britain evolved. The attitudes towards black immigrant workers contrasted immensely in the negative opposed to Irish and Eastern European migrants, who formed the majority of the post war immigrants). But it lasted until the 1980’s that black alternative radio stations started to develop, with a ‘second generation’ shaken and ‘woken up’ after the 1979 rise of conservative margaret thatcher and earlier, the 1971 immigration act, a 1968 enoch powell Blood River speech , or even earlier the 1962 immigration act and the 1958 Notting Hill riots against West-Kensington’s new black settlers, almost coincidentally with the birth of the second generation, to quote only the political landmarks and not the sum of events that impregnated the individual experiences. Throughout these years there were constant attacks on black communities by racists and fascists all adding to experience of ‘the second generations.’ By 1975 40% of all black people in britain were born here. Between 1976 and 1981, the lives of 31 black people had been taken due to violent racist attacks. The early 1980’s of course were also the peak of the Marley era and other explicit black voices also had began to gain popularity. Demands were heard on the streets in Brixton and elsewhere, and almost simultaneously on the airwaves. In the usa the history of independent black radio predated the 1980’s, even the 1970’s by many years, but then the usa had a much greater black presence than the uk. Black illegal radio thus in the 1980’s arrived as ‘symptom of resistance to domination’. As many interviewed said summerized in the second part under the education rubric, it also head a lot to do with their experience of being “educated” in british schools and hearing nothing positive about the world beyond the horizons of europe. Many switched just off from education and books believing they were all like that. This is important to keep in mind in stressing the importance of radio as an oral news transmitter (and in fact music). In addition to that oral tradition is a much stronger appearance with african diasporic people than many of their european neighbours. Since the 1980’s radio in London has remained one of the most forefront media tools for the younger generations and resisted the introduction of cable TV (and radio) as well as the introduction of the internet, and be it only as “background noise”, it seems indelible. The use of mobile-phones has given illegal broadcasting a particular boost as it enabled radio stations to be in contact both with their audience, and thus enforcing imagined communities, as well as a mechanism of preventative control to warn broadcasters about the arrival of a DTI liquidation team. Already the 1980’s radio generations have infiltrated 1990’s mainstream broadcasting institutions, in particular the bBC. The early 1990’s experienced the legalisation of some of these, choice, wnk, and kiss, all commercial. GLR, bBC’s London regional station in 1996 introduced major changes in favour of a more “visual” black representation, not only what regards music, that role was taken over by bBC Radio One, but also with regard to the representation of issues of concern to and from the black communities. However the fact that bBC is more institutional with strict guidelines as to what regards decency and censorship of any too radical opinions, curse words, etc and their commitment to perfection… their presentation remains unnatural in a world of mistakes, strong views, and occasional outbursts of so called strong language, even during evening and night hours when children are not listening (commercial radio with pressures of advertisers and licence extension have similar policies). That perfect world once excluded any black person, and in particular those who did not confine to so called oxford english standards. The ghanaian station I mentioned (which refused to participate) broadcasts most of its announcements in twi, ga and fante. It is surprising that there is a station serving the indian lingusitic communities in London (Sunrise) but yet none serving the African. It remains strange to see a caribbean or nigerian oriented way banned from talking, together with strong language (on permanent and regular programmes). In 1997 in a world of remaining marginalization of working class people, especially those from a minority background, in particular in this paper’s context, an african, as opposed to an african-caribbean, of a non heterosexual orientation, of a non christian background, of people with disabilities etc… seats are still to be taken, not to over-rule, but to enable acceptance and audibility of those society conspired against. There will always remain a case for non commercial community based radio stations, which in London are forced to broadcast illegally if they do not want to be bound by official radio standards and temporary licensing. The list of statements in the second part will demonstrate continuos referencing to those commercial stations as a point for criticism, perhaps for taking the ranks of being the most popular stations.
Taking aside the theoretical / historical reasoning, what were the expectations from a black radio station in London in summer 1997 in my questionnaire responses? There were a total of 18 individual terms and descriptions to mark, here the first top eleven. Obviously the discussion of black cultural issues was set priority by the great majority of all respondents leaving a great gap to the second best ranking, the playing of black music.’ The third ranking ‘black advertising’ is very curious. It reflects the complete absence of any noticeable black advertizing throughout the city scape apart from bus advertisements of the american cosmetic firm Dark & Lovely in London, but also still present absence of black music venues in London city magazines like Time Out (and the mainstream media), especially events listed in areas outside the main city centre or perhaps where black people constitute a stronger presence, such as the London boroughs of Hackney, Tottenham, Kilburn, Lewisham, Deptford etc..
Question 14C (see full details and explanation of ranking system in appendix: questionnaire data)
Rank score term remark
1 287 (c) Discuss black cultural issues
2 218 (d) Play black musics
3 206 (g) Black Advertizing
4 201 (k) Represent black people
5 197 (a) Give local community news compare with rank 8
6 193 (m) Should be ‘black peoples’ political voice
7 189 (j) Should introduce positive black issues only
8 181 (b) Give international community news compare with rank 5
9 166 (l) Sharp edged journalism and investigations
10 160 (g) Discussions with call ins from listeners
11 150 (p) There should only be one black station for all of London
The Stations
1FM 97-99, bBC World Service 648AM: It seems there is no introsuction necessary for these two stations. The bBC caribbean service informed me that they were thinking of broadcasting their programme on a frequency that can be received in London.
GLR 94.9 FM: bBC’s London regional station, has introduced 9 black specialist shows in 1997, which they perpetuate to be high quality and speech oriented.
Hot FM** : Legal turned pirate station with London wide-licence since 1990. Operates commerically with a dance music policy. They also organize concerts, holidays and recently started a TV show. They have sister programmes in various other cities. There appears to be undecidedness amongst audience if Kiss is ablack station although their manager abrogates that.
Station B FM**, London’s only legal black station has a regional south London licence. They operate as a commercial station since 1990, and call themselves a soul music station. They also operate in Birmingham since 1995.
Spectrum Radio 558AM, Spectrum is a minority service network on AM dial. They are the hosts of the show Talking Africa which runs since 1997. They operateon a commercial basis.
Radio Jive** , Radio Jive operates since 1990 as a commercial Lonon wide legal station. Since it started to exist it changed it’s music policy several times, from jazz to soul to easy listening. They have a sister programme in the North West of england.
Real Heart** ,Real Heart** has been working with temporary restricted licences since 1989. It liased with community projects and when off air trains radio broadcasting. In 1997 they applied for a South-East London full licence. (The pseudonym Real Heart carries no association with Heart FM)
Jamaica FM**:, Jamaica FM is a x based pirate, whose policy is based on Caribbean and general black Musics. They are the most established station in x London, so much that I was not aware that they were a pirate when I started to listen to them. They have been in operation since about six years. Their manager apparently is DTI’s most haunted DJ due to his persistence.
AWAKE** (name changed by author): AWAKE are the only talk and speech based pirate and a Black Power station in London to my knowledge and are based in x London. They have been operating their service since around six years. Their motto is Unity in the Community! They accomodate a wide range of various black power groups, from rastafari, to nation of islam, uk, but also have some non-black DJ’s.
Full Energy FM**: Full Energy FM is a pirate broadcasting in x London. Their policy is black music. They recently started some speech topical discussions.
Freedom FM: Freedom FM is a London based satelite station.
AF- Alex French**, position, Station B FM**
AI – Aisha, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
AmSe- Amira Selassi, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
Berry: Berry, presenter Full Energy FM
DD – Daddy Dread**, roots & revival Presenter Hot FM**
DO – Daniel Owen Development Officer, Radio Authorithy
DZ – Daniel Zylbersztajn
EX – Examiner, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
IB – Ibrahim Bakr** presenter, researcher, It’s Time! BBC (xxxx)
Jon – presenter & producer, Jamaica FM
LH – Lola Howard**, (leading person) It’s Time, (XXX)
LL – Lorna Lexter**, managing director, Real Heart**
M – Mandy Richards, presenter Freedom Radio, ex Hot FM**
MP- Martin Pike, Radio Communications Agency
Mr Good – Mr Good**, presenter gospel show, Jamaica FM
MR.N – Mr N, presenter BBC 1FM, R&B soul specialist show, ex Hot FM**
MY – Marcus York**** position, Station B** FM
NR- Nick Raynsford MP (Minister for London)
PA – Professor Afrique, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
RC – Radio Chief**, (senior person), Hot FM**
RF – Rootfoot**, presenter & producer Jamaica FM (revival show)
SaSa- Sandra Samson**, BBC Worldservice, Focus on Africa, (senior person)
SB – Steve Brown**, (leading position) , Radio Jive
TA – Tojin Amusen, producer Talking Africa, Spectrum Radio
TT- Tim Timber**, BBC 1FM, (xxx) Show, former Hot FM** and Radio Jive
WGC – Winsome Grace Cornish, Managing Co Director, Spectrum Radio
** indicates name changed by author

Africans, Caribbeans & Asians
PA: Pirate radio, …. I think it’s always been seen more as a West-Indian thing, … what I promote, on my show, is African Unity, people who are proud to be African…
Ex: ….The people that was calling Africa the most was us, the West Indians, or those that have gone through slavery! The African community, indigenous African community here, in England today ….as listeners to AWAKE … they was a lot more [reserved] in the early days …..not let it be known that they are listening … AWAKE has given them the freedom, by bringing on African presenters, … DJ’s that’s putting the link between Africa and us, …. the indigenous African now is listening a lot harder to AWAKE , to the point that they now feel free enough to phone in, to actively participate in what AWAKE is doing….
DZ: ….Why is it, why do you think … it are predominately people of african caribbean background, that organize themselves to form a radio station, and almost nobody else in “the community”?
LL: Because the media doesn’t cater for them!
TA: Maybe we don’t shout loud enough. We tend to keep our heads down and work and study whatever. … journalism isn’t necessarily, as an African, a noble profession. […] maybe it’s our own perceptions, and perceptions of ourselves, … Having been born and brought up in this country, we are an unseen minority. People in this country, if you are black, assume, you are Caribbean. …. I worked at GLR, and … everything is African Caribbean, … so it’s great really to have the opportunity to do something that is exclusively African.
LL: Africans – don’t necessarily organize themselves, as well as Afro-Caribbeans, when it comes to radio.
IB: I don’t think any Asian feels forced to adopt a Black culture to get noticed, definitely not. … [Black music] really appeals to their sense of being a minority, … … what they are doing, is taking …from all different parts of British socIEty…
DZ: Do you think that Talking Africa is just a beginning if the Talking Africa programme is successful it could be elaborated on a daily basis?
TA: … I very much hope so… one hour of Talking Africa is just the beginning. Hopefully we … build up that audIEnce. It’s difficult with no money. …. we could easily do much more air-time if only we could afford it.
WGC: No! There are no plans for that.

‘Black’ Radio
Ex: AWAKE Radio is a Black Power station,
SaSa: Every time and again he came up with something: “Oh no, we don’t want a front person who is white on this!
LH: But we look at items which are of interests to the Black community, be they happening in the rest of the UK, America, Africa, Australia … also I think, the issue of Europe is radically different for black citizens. […] its probably fairly new in the world of broadcasting. […] I would like to think that nobody, who isn’t African Caribbean, em- black or whatever, would feel a need to turn off our programme. I think that the language we use, … the way we explain storIEs … we choose, are interesting in themselves.
AS: I feel the mainstream wants a particular kind of black person: The Professional!
MR.N: A lot of people …ignorantly …assume because you are Black and you are playing Black music, you should reflect everything about your culture. … for me …[it] was about music…. I am trying to … promote Black music at a place that historically has been very poor, in its reflection of Black music.
LL: Myself and some of the founders happen to be black. So you see our faces in newspapers,… articles et cetera, “Black Faces!” …. it’s almost like inverted racism. “Black Faces!” and it is automatically assumed that it is a Black Station, … broadcasting to a purely black audIEnce. It’s not! It’s music and speech topics. I mean, health doesn’t relate to one colour, education, employment, social issues, environmental issues, they don’t relate to one specific race. They relate to everybody!
RC: I mean we don’t class ourselves as a black station at all. We have always classed ourselves as a sort of broad ranging dance music for young Londoners. …. , but obviously we are playing an awful lot of black music.
Jon: My listenership I know it’s not only black people.
AI: … it’s the fact of, it’s not so much telling the enemy, well the so called enemy, what you’re doing. But trying to get your information across in a coded way, so that those who you want to know, will be able to get the information, and those whom you don’t want to know won’t be able to get at all.
Business /Money
MY.: Well we describe ourselves, since we have modelled ourselves on the Black American stations, we call ourselves an Urban Station in order to position, … to advertizers,… who we are. […]
MY: ….commercial radio is a business, …, you look for the cheapest way of production, in order to attract your revenue.
LH: ….news is expensive! … And often it doesn’t bring in that many listeners. We [BBC]don’t have to prove to advertizers that we have so many listeners … that we are serving different parts of the community […]
RF: I don’t need to be paid.
AI: ….I would say I do voluntary work. More or less ’cause you don’t get paid…., but it’s the most enjoyable thing I have done in a long while.
RC: …. Hot FM** is … also a commercial enterprise, which has to please it’s shareholders…. In the early days! I mean we got the listeners, but a lot of them weren’t the right type of listeners… advertizers won’t buy advertizing on a station that everyone just tunes in for 5-10 minutes.
RF: The same industry that says [putting on a crying voice] “Oh no, you the pirates, we can’t get paid…!” They send them promos, they send them dats, they send them everything … you look in the record shop, go underneath the counter …
[report] DD said that Hot FM** offered him this opportunity to play and that it was good, but that it wasn’t something that had benefited him in financial terms. All they did was to pay his cab fare and the price of three records. Yet he would get letters …., recorded tapes of his show would go around the world.
PA: ….you can get rich quick …That’s not gonna make you feel good with yourself, …make you understand the world, …help you raise your children in any positive manner. …You won’t be doing anything positive!
LL: To a lot of people it is purely a business venture. [They] …, will put business plans together and apply for licences! … I feel, …with Real Heart**’s background and it’s history of community involvement, ….Real Heart**’s has a very good chance in winning the licence, because it has had and still has a lot of backing! Not just monetary backing, but backing from the community, who also will be the listeners!
DO: Local radio services are not licensed on the basis of cash bid, …the Authorithy is required to decide which applicant for a local licence best meets four criteria: financial viability …. local demand; local support …; and extend to which [they]… broaden audIEnce choice .
SaSa.: Also it takes about two million Pounds to run a London wide station, … In the first instance you need that!
Care / Guidance / Spirituality
Ex: …the struggle is not getting any easIEr it’s getting harder! …people are waking up…: If we don’t do something , we gonna be annihilated, we gonna be put in a situation, which is gonna be worse than slavery!”… So that’s the time. There are them stations, that play a lot music, entertain, entertain, entertain…, but they just keep people asleep. The whole point of AWAKE is to make people wake up! Start using their mind, …
Mr Good: … I have had thousands of phonecalls and letters of people actually writing and telling me that as a result just listening to my programme, they have cleaned up their act, … They stopped being irrespectable, just by listing to my show …
[…] Sometimes you listen to my show, you can hear me 15-20 minutes of back to back music – I am there counselling somebody on the phone….
AI: ….We always start the show with a spiritual element. And that’s only to give the people something to brighten up their lives, or take on and grow with… We are trying to give everybody an incline in their own spirituality.
Mr Good: When I present a show I aim [it] not at Christians, [but] at non Christian people. … I can relate to … the 15 year old on the street, right up …50 year old… By presenting the music I can actually draw them to Christ. Not necessarily to tell them to go to Church or anything like that, but just to let them be aware that there is something missing in their lives.
Community Creation
Jon: My vision of a pirate station- or community radio station, …- is whenever they switch it off, …it needs to make a difference ….people should be in a panic!
EX: … some of us, as education people, we don’t agree with each other. … that’s how diverse the community is. …. if people can hear people with different strains of thought, working together, getting on together and doing something progressively then it reflects on them! … this is why AWAKE is, always, always, always promoting “Unity in the Community!” ….
LL: I realized that, …. we actually bring many people together. Sharing programme ideas …interests, …one of our themes for one of our broadcasts was “togetherness”! . … it is part of the service really to bring communitIEs together. […] We encouraged to ring in when something has happened, let us know. … There was one time, a whole van full of technical equipment was stolen. And they reported it, we brought it on the news and people were asked to watch out for the van, and then within about half an hour somebody rang up, that that van was parked in front of their house for like a week.
AmSe: And I am not a socialist, what I am is am is a union-ist,
Mr Rootfoot: I love the pirates, cause it’s closer with the community. I feel better working with them, with a community station: -local news – local events. Things that’s actually in the community.
Jon: You can have your leaders or supporters and they can be in the deepest part of the bush or in deepest remotest part. If you have a radio system then you gonna communicate with them, you can give them orders, you can tell them what to do.
TT: […]”Yes I wonna give back!”, I think if anything you need some sort of consortium, to be able to do so and to put something positive back! …. It can’t be the show of one person. … Em – there is not enough of us, to give that push that is needed, … and to give enough back to the community!

DTI / Radio Authorithy/ Radio Communications Agency:
Mr Good: I know I am braking the law by broadcasting illegal, but I am preach – I am sending a message to the people, I am sending Christ to them. . When it comes in the long run, my ultimate dream is to go legal.
LL: …. the overall authority, does not really recognize community radio, as a radio in itself. It is either BBC, government funded, or independent local commercial radio.
RF:[it’s] a very big risk, but I love what I am doing … … It’s always there that will come one day and take all your equipment and worst of all take all my m-u-s-i-c !
Jon: As far as the Radio Communications Authority is concerned. If they were successful to close down all of the stations, or most of them, they wouldn’t have a job! And I think they know it.
LL: For pirate stations it is a lot harder, because they got confiscated, they may not be able to apply for grants.
Jon: Choice …were going for the London wide licence, part of their proposal was, if we get the licence then it will help to get rid of the other station.
DO: Our principal difficulty … in London is the scarcity of available frequencIEs. One half of the broadcasting spectrum is allocated to the BBC and we can not use their frequencIEs. The BBC provides six services … one local and five national. ….[we] 26 independent local or national stations in various parts of London by the end of 1998 …
DZ: I am not convinced … that in the 1990’s “illegal” radio stations interfere with emergency services and business radio systems. …
MP: I notice your scepticism, but magistrates in SheffIEld sentenced two pirate broadcasters … whose transmissions … using an unauthorised frequency, radiated in such a way that they interfered with the channel normally used to communicate with aircraft flying …between London and the Scottish border to such an extend that it was unusable. Pirate broadcasters have also interfered with ground/air communications at Heathrow and Birmingham airports in the last few months….
DZ: What training and brIefing is given to the all “white” management board (1995/96) regarding considerations of “non-Anglo-Saxon” communitIes (e.g. African, African-Caribbean) in Britain, if any? ….
MP: The agency enforces the Wireless Telegraphy Act impartially and all our staff receive equal opportunitIes training. [..] We do not monitor the ethnic origin of those prosecuted for Wireless Telegraph offences.
NR: It may be that airwave control in London is something which is raised during our current consultation on a London wide mayor and assembly as one of the issues which ought to fall within their remit. If you have evidence to support this vIew you may wish to respond to the consultation.
Education / Information
Jon: There was a …. he was reading out the prices, he had seen special prices in the supermarket, and he was reading them out, …. That’s what we need.
LH: I am far bit for me to say that I “educate”, I would like to say as a journalist, I inform, OK. I present the facts, we look at the issues, we reflect the trends.
TA: What we try and actually do is to bring storIes …from the continent to the UK…
PA: It’s not the information it’s what you do with it! … at London … they have all these museums, … gallerIes, …but most people …don’t go and visit them! …. So if you interested in Black Liberation, the onus is on you, to go and find what you need …
MY: …. in fact we are the only one of the very few stations in London that do anything, called local news,…. issues, that are of particular concern to the African Caribbean community, …
[report] DD’s radio work, if I understood him right, has a meaning though, it is to inspire and teach people to get out and do things for the community, especially for people in Africa. Black Radio, he summed up was too commercial, and lacked any interest in vesting in positive acts for African people.
MY: … I didn’t get into [radio], – to become an educator….
[report] MY said “What message, do you mean? DJ’s are not intelligent people!” If a DJ wanted to give out a message to the community he should go to a college, …. then he could go and educate the community. …Most of the DJ’s really were into themselves ….! ….
RF: I will try to read up and find out as much as I can about the artist and the label, before I come on the air … especially where to buy the record.
Ex: … when we went to schools, what we are told is that slaves came from there, and nothing else … we said No, we’re not having it… I am gonna go Africa myself, take a look and see what’s happening, …. people like us …. go Africa! And we come back now and we have more authority on a particular subject. …. . And this is what we have to install in our children now. We have to let them know about home, about historically any part of the earth that we have been in. …. With all of that information, … then the world will be a better place for everyone, not just for us!
LL: The media doesn’t cater for them [black people]. …. it’s almost like, you are sitting there and you are watching a programme on the radio, sometimes it sounds far away. It doesn’t relate to you at all! It makes you want to, sort of, find out more, it makes you want to provide more information…
AmSe: I mean getting on AWAKE for me definitely was about educating as many people as possible, not telling people what to think, more giving them so much information that bit by bit they were opening up their mind a bit more and learning how to think …
AmSe: They felt that there was a crying need to get the female perspective, em – they didn’t really realize that how positive females [laughing] are.
AI: …. the way you have to put information across so that: The women understand it perfectly all right, but the men them, you have to learn you have to actually tailor things to sort of put it across, so they can communicate, with what you hope is a response you want.
AmSe: It’s OK to tell you that you are a strong Black woman, but if you actually show them maybe a little incline of your strength they just off key. It’s OK for them to actually say it to you, but for you to actually use your strength, not even challenge but to assert yourself, it’s seen, as if you one of them women who, just because you got big cards, just because you have big jobs …. But they can’t see that picture, they only see the fact to them that this woman is getting on and she is moving on, and she wants discard me and get rid of me. It’s them type of things is coming across, I think anyway, a lot of the times!
AI: …doing the show it really highlighted to me the fact that, we as Black women, we do have a lot of power. We are powerful, it’s just for us to recognize it
AmSe: …. What I do, I look for things that I agree with, as a female, that a man has written. … if they phone me, I say, “Well actually a man said that! …
Note [see also M’s comments on male attitudes in sexuality section]
Ex: ….it’s all being recorded in our music!
RC: Radio largely is music in the background.
MY: So you always gonna have to play the best, of any particular general of music, …. what attracts the most listeners… there can be no other way, if you are doing commercial radio….
LL: No, Choice FM has always said that they are a music station. Real Heart** said that we are music and speech. ….Black people aren’t just into music. Isn’t it that people will associate black people with music? … It’s about information, it’s about providing a service, it’s about getting the community involved, …. It’s about networking in London, …. sharing information. Having people take part in discussions, that people have interest in….. What I noticed, there is still a gap, from where the pirates are, and are still trying to provide speech programmes, with topical interest.
RF: …Choice the fact that they are only … covering South and then their Reggae is about one or two hours during the day oh, … it’s all slots, slots slots. They pump the American beat 24/7 and give reggae slots.
MY: There are things that we ignore. There are genres that we are … not particularly hot on – we don’t play house music, to any degree, ’cause that’s Hot FM’s band. …. We don’t play a lot of garage, jungle…We have defined our position in the market, and ….we stay fairly close.
MR.N: If a guy buys an Oasis record, I wont him to buy an R Kelly record, … I don’t want him to feel alIenated … I wont the music I play, to be just as popular, as anything else on Radio One. … ‘Cause like 50% of top ten today, if you look at it, is Black music.
SB: …we try to … give a different choice in music, an alternative to the Spice Girls,.. What we are capitalizing on therefore is the diversity of music, I think, rather than using black music for our own ends, because I don’t think it is about whether we are using black music for our own ends.
RF: To me that is what radio is for. It’s listening, it’s pleasurable,… you are sitting at home, you are at work, …. And there is always gonna be a tune, when you go: Hey that sounds nice, where can I get that? Who sings that?
Representation / ResponsibilitIes:
TA: Purpose of our programme is to include the African community, and after being ignored for so long, …, how can the only programme for Africans, not give Africans a voice?
D.Z. a lot of Jazz music does have a meaningArmstrong wasn’t always smiling
J.B.: I don’t feel any responsibility to reflect in our output, any of the other messages which artists had at the same time, they recorded their work. […] My role is to take the most popular music that he recorded and bring it to as wide an audIence in London as I can.
RC: We have a large responsibility to our black audIence, to give them what the want.
MR.N: , … they are using the word nigger on every rap record now. … it’s just street slang in America. … a white person may actually walk up and say that word: “Hey You Nigger!”…. You don’t want to be the only one in the world, that is not playing it. … it’s a decision of the artist and the people, actively putting these records out. And the millions of radio stations around the world, that just play it….. that is the only real thing I had a problem with my conscIence, … I rather not hear it all!
Mr Good: Anything that promotes gun lyrics is off the air. … it’s bad reflection on black people in general, … you see these rap artists calling themselves and their frIends Niggers and they call the women hures and that’s a No, No, definitely No! They have lost their self respect, they have lost values.
TA:…with only an hour, … I am not doing Africa justice, I have to say that.
MY: we do represent Hip Hop right from the grass root level.
LH: ….any black journalist … they will all say to you, that they feel this burden of responsibility, if you like, to tell it like it is. Eh – and sometimes that can be difficult within the mainstream. I know, not only do we offer a service to the community, but we also, an interesting way of opening the eyes and ears of colleagues working in other parts of the media. … we …have responsibility and the tension is there all the time…
MR.N: I don’t feel the responsibilitIes, of trying to reflect – which is a near impossibility – to try and reflect Black culture. The only way I wonna reflect Black culture, is for the music I play, …. I don’t wonna take that Black burden on me! That everybody seems to assume you should take on you, when you walk alive, once you are getting on!
DO: … there are a great many sections of the audIence that feel inadequately served by radio, and not all of them could be physically accommodated on the broadcasting spectrum. For the last licence for Greater London, …. there were applicants to provide a service to black listeners, Asian listeners, Irish listeners Francophones, children, gays and lesbians, the over 55’s and the business community to name just a few.
Sell Out / Bad Practice
MR.N: Some DJ’s aren’t about the music as much, as they try to pretend,… They are about themselves!….
AI: … Station B** is there, maybe to pacify the masses as such, which is endless music. Station B** itself, which says it is a positive Black station or whatever, they can allow certain types of music to be played on there, some really disgusting…
AS: Slackness!
AI: … usually about one O’clock in the morning, you hear some really hard-core stuff, and … AWAKE , even though they are a pirate station wouldn’t put that on. And yet there is a …, a Black station which is, being upheld by the authoritIes, because they only want I suppose Black people to be seen in a particular light, … that we are only light-heads that we are not doing anything too tough, we are frivolous, …. very superficial, that is the show case that I think Station B** operates on. … that’s how it comes across. … it’s like giving us a bow, oh, well you got your station, and that’s it,… and that’s what they do.
IE: It’s gonna be music that’s gonna appeal to, hopefully all of our audIence. We are not gonna play stuff that we might think is gonna be too strong for our younger radio listeners. […]
MR.N: Chris and Westwood tend to big up a lot of people in prison, which I am opposed to [rest left out on request]
Jon.: There is lot’s of rivalry going on. …. – we had a time when a lot of our equipment was getting sabotaged and stolen… it was to do with other stations. …. There needs to be more guidance. A lot of people let just loose of the air. …one of the guys who make most of the decisions, ….says: “…but common sense should tell them!” But I don’t think common sense is common. You may have somebody …. have a great turn out, but they just left the direction. It’s too much… you get some DJ’s bringing personal things on the air, they’re talking….
RF: That’s why I maybe can’t work on [legal stations]: Although there is gonna be money involved … they gonna want me to play this record….smile, and I know this tune was rubbish,… That’s why pirates will always be there. You don’t have to have a man who will stand over you, and say you have to play this and that play. My show is a specialist … not a chart show.
TT: When I was on pirate radio, I hated Radio One, I hated all legal radio, ….I think once you get in there, you just don’t think about it, and again, it’s a public service, so if enough people, … say they want something, so they gotta represent, so that’s what they do!
Ex: [asked whether they would have a black woman with lesbian sexuality on air] …Lesbian, gay, paedophile, rapists, anything like that, AWAKE ‘s stance is a positive No! … In fact we have done a show, …. they had gay pride…. Now if you heard, not what we the presenters were saying, but what the public …., then you’d understand what kind of station, ….- to a large degree, it’s what the people are saying what they want, … No slack-music no gun talk, we don’t do it, because the people have said look: I want my children to listen to AWAKE . I don’t want to turn it on and have to monitor them! […] …at the same time, if she is prepared to come in, on a show, … , be intervIewed, if she has got that much to say, … but let her be fore-warned. She will be – on her sexuality – they’ll tear her to shreds. So if she is not a strong woman, don’t come! …
M: It is quite disheartening that a station like AWAKE , which purports to be representing “The Voice of Black People in Britain”, is actually so negative about a constituent group of that community: Black people that are gay. …. They can’t categorise us with the likes of peadophiles saying that it is some sort of sexual perversion that needs to be rectifIed and punished. That is firstly misguided. And it is basic ignorance. … there is a lot scope for Black people to re-educate themselves. There are some that belIeve that homophobia is a white western diseases and that the attitude, particular from Black men against gay and lesbians, is so aggressive, because of,… still to do with the effects of colonialism and how that is deep rooted in our culture. The fact that men were emasculated throughout … slavery, and the fact that now in many [white] media you see the Black male, he’s got to be sort of macho, it’s got to be – all these sexual conquests got to be about how many women got over him.
RF: ….Gianni Versage scandal, …he don’t want black people to wear his cloths. And they had a [versage] dance … wanted me to read out the advertisement for the dance. And I read … Levicticus 20.13. Now nuf men see me and they just say “Yes Brethren! That’s all they have to say. … I am not a Christian, the word is there. Read it.
M: We are God’s creation too, if there is a God.
DZ: Would you carry a lesbian woman on your programme?
AI: Depends on what she wanted to talk about. I mean…[…] if it was a Lesbian woman who was talking in terms of work, or like poetry or whatever, Real, I haven’t got a problem with that!
DZ: What about if she wanted to talk about the pain she suffers ….
AMSE: …. it’s like being Black really, you have to suffer a certain amount of pain! … that’s why a lot of Black women who were Lesbians didn’t really come out and shout about it. …. – think it’s that old fashioned thing about, if that’s the way you are, keep it to yourself, or you mix with people of the same ilk! ….is that our main issue now, whether your sexuality is OK? Because at the end of the day, nobody is gonna know who you are, unless you choose to tell them!
M: … the situation of being Black and an alternative sexuality, means that in a majority white environment, you not only got prejudices and biases of being Black, but also as a sort of “double-negative” … I think that’s why a lot of minority communitIes have found it difficult to openly embrace homosexuality in the ways that maybe now the white majority is coming to.
TT: You can just play a song and say, that is big in all the gay clubs in London, enough said […] …. on radio, even on Hot FM**, …. it wasn’t really an issue, not amongst … the club DJ’s, …. they know that there is a gay population. They play at one of those clubs, it didn’t really bother!
M: ….Reano Scipio [on Choice] does a show, which is meant to be a talk show… interactive with the audIence. …. representatives of the Black Gay and Lesbian Center were supposed to go in there at one stage, to do an … open debate on Black Gay and Lesbian issues, with regard to the Black community as a whole, and that was axed at the last minute, because the management felt …- the subject matter was too controversial for the audIence to cope with. So I don’t know if they are being patronizing to the audIence or whether they wanted to safe us the humiliation of going on radio and being blasted by the community at large.
PA: there is a lot of issues that we need to talk about as Black people… And we are not even scratching the surface!
Ex: ….not just the Black community, the white community as well …want a format like that where you can talk, discuss issues…. we now, as a people, here in this country, have never had a format where we can speak freely about anything and everything that we want as people, ….Without people getting feeling threatened, or just getting worrIed, …
Jon: We had the police coming to our station twice. …There was a killing Dalston in a club and the police wanted to have show …to find out why black people are not forward …about giving information on things like this, … we did a phone in and they gave us a list of questions we invited the callers and they gave us questions. …. Claude Mosely the Olympic athlete was killed… [and]the police man came on, he stayed for the whole show. That was … helping Catman, …the last time in court. The judge could not … understand how the Examiner of the police could give police constables permission…
DZ: Why don’t you get a man like him [Lord Taylor] and challenge him?
Ex: Na, you get torn to sheds! AWAKE listeners will not tolerate it! I am telling you, they will tear him to pIeces.
PA: …I make sure that the people who come on my show chat sense! If you don’t wonna chat sense, you can go on and chat on any other medium. I am not interested in whether somebody is famous, I would rather have they are saying something that the listeners think: Real, that’s interesting, I find that stimulating …
TA: Black Radio Stations, should I say, are purely music stations. …. And there isn’t any opportunity, or very little opportunity for speech from a Black perspective, let alone an African perspective.
MY: The pirates are not more political than Station B** FM, they are banging out music the same way.
DZ: Apart from AWAKE , perhaps?
MY: Real, which very few people are listening to. Which only somebody who is in the industry, or has an intellectual interest like yourself, knows the name… it doesn’t attract the audIence. That is not what the majority of what Black people want. …. We have trIed programmes here, … that would be of more appeal to the Guardian or Independent type Black reader… But you can’t beat The Sun, and the Daily Mirror type Black reader. They are the masses… And they want entertainment! They wonna have a bit of relaxation out of their radio. … I think they are in the position where they are confronted with all these problems every day, in their own personal life style anyway. So they want some relIef from it!
AI: He [Patrick Berry] should tune into any of AWAKE ‘s talk shows. …. There is interest, …. once I tuned in into AWAKE that was – not actually the music, it was actually the fact that there was this medium for people to get on the air and voice their opinions and to be “heard”, and to be heard by others to come in with their input. That’s very rare!
Other (some work policy):
[report] RP said GLR black programmes would be an arena of high class intervIews.
TT: […] at Radio One you have over 60 years of experIence there, and everything is so professional, …. If there’s a slight click on the record they question should you go out and buy a new copy….
LM: ….BBC has a big book called producer guidelines. I will not broadcast anything that I think is unfair, it’s my duty and responsibility to be impartial, to be unbiased. Now there are very strict rules … with regard to libel and slander. So sure we can go as far as we can within the law. And I am constantly banging against the editorial guidelines if you like. Because a lot of what we do is new and it does question what BBC has done. …. I am …. certainly not a demagogue, I don’t allow these sort of people to broadcast on my programme, unless they have something specific that they want to say, which isn’t just giving wind, anger and …
DZ: Given the chance, let’s say Farakhan would come to London…
LH: We talked to Farakhan, for instance Farakhan visited Jamaica. […] I could not allow him to say anything that was visually antisemitic, … I would not allow him to say anything that goes against BBC’s producer guidelines. I am not allowed to. … by the same rule, no one from the National Front will come on and say anything awful about black people. …we all have to play within the rules. And also the point is, if you constantly look to, em, to go outside the arena, we will miss the point. Because there is plenty going on within the arena, that nobody talks about….

The London radio spectrum is hardly divided, between commercial and non commercial stations. It seems that commercial stations are not fully serving the expectations of the audIence at the time they were installed. These expectations were that new stations would offer an alternative to mainstream bBC. Station B** and Kiss seem to receive a lot of allegations, yet they also stand as the most popular stations. But then black musics, black people have been always exploited by the european capital orIented system, and a station like Jazz FM in it’s present format stands right in the middle of this. I would also add Station B** and Kiss as well unless they can prove that they are giving something more back than just promoting records. As Lorna Lexter** rightly prompted: “Isn’t it that Black people are identifIed only with music?” Black achIevement in music is something to be celebrated, but there must be a point beyond that. Promotion of voluntary schemes to help young black people, with disabilitIes, aged and other disadvantaged sections of the community. And of course despite the historic marginalization by white media, it does not mean that black radio has to remain for blacks. In particular a station like AWAKE can play an important role to re-educate and fill the gaps of those who are not black, of those who don’t know anything about africa, from a black perspective (so to ensure once they have the knowledge they are not going to exploit again, but build together).
My research has also brought to light difficultIes with regard to the statistical recording of people. I am not in the position to say whether my low turn out of questionnaire returns has something to do with unwillingness to co-operate with the process of number creations on black people, as too many times such statistics have been misused – but it remains a possibility.
“Blackness” appears to be as diverse a category as it ever was. My research adds to the already existing literature on black diversity. This regards increasingly social background, political and ideological positioning, and there is still a case for island politics as well as non-communication between african people of various generations. The mainstream media used to be reluctant to acknowledge black listeners, but has recently introduced major changes. However it appears that this satisfIes predominantely those sections of the community whose background is african-caribbean. People of african background, first and second generation still seem to be lacking behind, although there are some african pirate stations around. The majority of the black pirates have no better record in acknowledging them, despite being so successful in coming on the air with the desire to express something non existing. But there are issues beyond what Examiner called the struggle. These are issues of machiavellian selfishness and there were quite a few echoes regarding DJ ‘s to whom the radio show is about self-promotion, both status and finance wise. Black people are just like all people there are good and bad people, when it comes to actual presenters it appears important that selfish people are not promoted.
Sad were the reactions against black people with a different sexuality. It appears always somewhat bewildering when marginalized groups marginalize themselves others. Again a station like AWAKE FM needs to take firm stances that violent behaviour against any black person of good character can not be tolerated, perhaps any person regardless of background as we all have a mouth to talk. The notion of unity can not be credible anyway else. As I said the same counts with regard to inclusion of african people. I also was bewildered that it was felt that conservative black voices should be excluded from talking. If I am against somebody’s political stance I will not be afraid to challenge that person publicly. There is more power in taking, as they say the bull by the horn, than just choosing to talk to those we like. The same applIes to It’s Time! with regard to what Farakhan would not be allowed to say. There is a saying amongst minoritIes the black in britain, I personally know it from the jewish in Germany, if someone is a racist, I respect that person if he says so, not if he smiles in my face and thinks so. Anything else is censorship precisely what prompted the existence of programmes from black perspective in the first place.
The government and its connected agencIes must seriously consider a change in legislation of airwaves in London. The amount of black music stations are immense, These stations are already symbol of London, and I don’t see a reason why the government could not acknowledge and celebrate that. Can anyone honestly imagine London without pirate music stations? It also appears very odd that the division of the FM band is one half bBC with only six stations, and one half radio authority with 26 operating stations. Hence it appears that the bBC also carrIes a liability for the dilemma. The argument of interference with air-traffic used in legal courts is very weak, in an age with mobile phones and microwaves all potential interferes and advanced technology in matters of transmission equipment.
Radio’s strength remains it’s spontaneity and ability to discuss and address issues orally, which was said to be important for a group of people of whom many learned to distrust written information and whose way of speaking is still not recognized. It’s popularity arises from its ability to entertain musically, inform and provide a background wall against loneliness. As discussed it is phenomenon of urban environments and isolation of people.
There were many who said they did what the people commanded, for example the commercial stations . This utilitarian command leads me to end with those lines with which I started. If a whole socIety agrees to have an arian state, then this, according to such ideology should happen? If the majority of britain decided to reintroduce slavery, I guess if the people want it, it’s OK? What people want is not always the best, often just the most entertaining path.
I have so far decided against the publication of this dissertation. This is due to a promise to the people involved. However the fact that I returned this paper to all who participated actively had it’s own results and perhaps are even more worth the mentioning as there seemed to be a direct impact.
Kiss FM for instance initiated a programme for the young London homeless three weeks after I handed in my dissertation. (XXX) -It’s Time! started a black history slot, perhaps influenced by some of the comments from members of AWAKE FM. Stella Headley of Real Heart** Radio asked me if she could use my dissertation for training purposes which I agreed to. I have not given my dissertation to the DTI. In some ways I would like to in the hope that it would challange them, but I have to secure the integrity of all participants and thus can not do this, despite chances of a positive change of policy. This proves that the DTI will remain out of touch with reality in London as long as they keep on prosecuting. Of course in some ways they are only the executive of the governing body, but currently there is no way for me, as moral researcher to get through to them.

Augaitis & Lander: Radio Rethink, Banff Center of Arts / Walter Philipps Gallery,
Banff (ca) 1994
Theodor Adorno: A Social Critique of Radio Music, originally publ. The Kenyon
RevIew, Vol VII, Spring 1945, also in N. Strauss (1993) see ò
The Alarm No. 23 March / April 1997, ISSN1359 5482, Wembley (uk)
Baker, Diawara & Lindeborg: Black British Cultural StudIes, Univ. of Chicago Press,
BBC BBC Producer Guidelines, November 1996
Black Public Sphere Collective (ed): The Black Public Sphere, The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago & London 1995
Homi Bhabba: The Location of Culture, Routledge London & NY, 1995
Cambridge & Oxford, 1997
Walter Benjamin: Das Kusntwerk im Zeitalte seiner technischen
ReproduzIerbarkeit [2. Fassung] (1935/36), in Opitz (1996)
see ò
Joseph Bensman & Arthur J. Vidich: Race, Ethnicity and New Forms of Urban
Community (originally published 1978) in Kasinitz (1995)
see ò
Ellis Cashmore: The Black Culture Industry, Routledge, London & New York
Center for Contemporary & Cultural StudIes (CCCS): The Empire Strikes Back,
University of Birmingham, 1982
Station B** FM: Presentation File, (Summer) 1997
Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (ed) : Postcolonial African Philosophy, , Blackwell,

W.E.B Du Bois: The Philadelphia Negro, University of Pennylvania Press
W.E.B Du Bois: The Autobiography of W.E.B Du Bois, (1968/1986)
International Publishers Co
W.E.B Du Bois: Writings, Library Classics of the United States, New York,
Gina Dent (ed): Black Popular Culture (A Michelle Wallace Project),
Dia Center for Arts (1992)
Echoes : 28th June 1997, Black Echoes Weekly, London
Ferguson, Gever, Minh-ha, West: Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary
Cultures, MIT Press Cambridge, London (1990)
Foucault: The Order of Things (1970/94) Routledge, London & NY
Peter Fryer: Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, Pluto
Press, London and Boulder Colerado (1984)
Reebee Garofalo: Culture versus Commerce: The Marketing of Black Popular
Music, in Black Public Sphere Collective (1995) ñ
Paul Gilroy: Small Acts, Serpents Tail, London & NY
Paul Gilroy: There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, Routledge, London
Stuart Hall: What is This “Black” in Black Popular Culture? in Gina Deant
(1992) ñ
G.W.F. Hegel: Vorlesungen über dIe PhilosophIe der Geschichte, Reclam, Stuttgart
(1961, 1989)
John Hind and Stephen Mosco: Rebel Radio: The full story of British pirate Radio,
Pluto Press, London & Sydney 1985
Le Roi Jones: Blues People: The Negro ExperIence in White America and the
Music that developed from it, Payback Press, Edingburgh
Jane M. Jacobs: Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism & The City, Routledge,
London & NY (1996)
Jazz FM Presentation Map (summer 1997)
Philip Kasinitz (ed.) Metropolis: Center and Symbol of Our Times, Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) & London (uk), 1995
David Killingray (ed): Africans in Britain, Frank Cass and Co., 1994
Hot FM Presentation Map (summer) 1997
Tetsuo Kogawa: Free Radio in Japan: The Mini FM Boom in N. Strauss (1993)
see ò
Errol Lawrence: Just Plain Common Sense: the ‘roots’of racism, in CCCS ñ
Lamelle & Kelly (ed) Imagining Home, Verso, London, NY (1994)
D.L. Lewis W.E.B. Du Bois, Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, Henry Holt
& Co, NY, 1993
Lewis Mumford: The City in History Hartcourt, Brace & World Inc. (1961)
Office for National Statistics (CON): Ethnic Minority Populations of Great Britain,
Crown Copyright 1996.
Walter Opitz (ed): Walter Benjamin: Ein Lesebuch, Suhrkamp Frankfurt am
Main 1996
Radiocommunications Agency: Annual Report & Accounts 1995-1996
P. Rabinow (ed) The Foucault Reader, Penguine Books 1991
Smithonian Institution: Black Radio … Telling it Like it Was, © 1996,
Washington, extracts reprinted with kind permission of
the producer JacquIe Gales Webb.
Savage & Warde Urban Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity, Macmillan Press,
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1993)
Tsenay Serequeberhan: The Critique of Eurocentrism and the Practice of African
Philosophy, in Eze (1997) ñ
John Solomos: Race and Racism in Britain (2nd ed), Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1989/93)
John Solomos & Les Back: Racism & SocIety: Macmillan Press, Houndsmill (usa)
and London (1996)
Neil Strauss & Dave Mandl: Radiotext(e), Semiotexte (a not for profit publication) # 16 (Vol VI, Issue I), Columbia University, New York, 1993
Sunrise Radio: Presentation Prospectus (summer) 1997
Sarah Thornton Club Cultures Polity Press, Cambridge & Oxford (1995)
The Voice: August 25 1997
Cornel West: Nihilism in Black America, in Gina Dent (1992) ñ
Cornel West: The New Cultural Politics of Difference, in Ferguson et alt.
(1990) ñ
D. Zylbersztajn: W.E.B. Du Bois and his Rational of Researching the Negro,
unpublished course essay, Goldsmiths College, June 1997
Augaitis & Lander: Radio Rethink, Banff Center of Arts / Walter Philipps Gallery,
Banff (ca) 1994
Theodor Adorno: A Social Critique of Radio Music, originally publ. The Kenyon
RevIew, Vol VII, Spring 1945, also in N. Strauss (1993) see ò
The Alarm No. 23 March / April 1997, ISSN1359 5482, Wembley (uk)
Baker, Diawara & Lindeborg: Black British Cultural StudIes, Univ. of Chicago Press,
BBC BBC Producer Guidelines, November 1996
Black Public Sphere Collective (ed): The Black Public Sphere, The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago & London 1995
Homi Bhabba: The Location of Culture, Routledge London & NY, 1995
Cambridge & Oxford, 1997
Walter Benjamin: Das Kusntwerk im Zeitalte seiner technischen
ReproduzIerbarkeit [2. Fassung] (1935/36), in Opitz (1996)
see ò
Joseph Bensman & Arthur J. Vidich: Race, Ethnicity and New Forms of Urban
Community (originally published 1978) in Kasinitz (1995)
see ò
Ellis Cashmore: The Black Culture Industry, Routledge, London & New York
Center for Contemporary & Cultural StudIes (CCCS): The Empire Strikes Back,
University of Birmingham, 1982
Station B** FM: Presentation File, (Summer) 1997
Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (ed) : Postcolonial African Philosophy, , Blackwell,

W.E.B Du Bois: The Philadelphia Negro, University of Pennylvania Press
W.E.B Du Bois: The Autobiography of W.E.B Du Bois, (1968/1986)
International Publishers Co
W.E.B Du Bois: Writings, Library Classics of the United States, New York,
Gina Dent (ed): Black Popular Culture (A Michelle Wallace Project),
Dia Center for Arts (1992)
Echoes : 28th June 1997, Black Echoes Weekly, London
Ferguson, Gever, Minh-ha, West: Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary
Cultures, MIT Press Cambridge, London (1990)
Foucault: The Order of Things (1970/94) Routledge, London & NY
Peter Fryer: Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, Pluto
Press, London and Boulder Colerado (1984)
Reebee Garofalo: Culture versus Commerce: The Marketing of Black Popular
Music, in Black Public Sphere Collective (1995) ñ
Paul Gilroy: Small Acts, Serpents Tail, London & NY
Paul Gilroy: There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, Routledge, London
Stuart Hall: What is This “Black” in Black Popular Culture? in Gina Deant
(1992) ñ
G.W.F. Hegel: Vorlesungen über dIe PhilosophIe der Geschichte, Reclam, Stuttgart
(1961, 1989)
John Hind and Stephen Mosco: Rebel Radio: The full story of British pirate Radio,
Pluto Press, London & Sydney 1985
Le Roi Jones: Blues People: The Negro ExperIence in White America and the
Music that developed from it, Payback Press, Edingburgh
Jane M. Jacobs: Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism & The City, Routledge,
London & NY (1996)
Radio Jive Presentation Map (summer 1997)
Philip Kasinitz (ed.) Metropolis: Center and Symbol of Our Times, Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) & London (uk), 1995
David Killingray (ed): Africans in Britain, Frank Cass and Co., 1994
Hot FM** Presentation Map (summer) 1997
Tetsuo Kogawa: Free Radio in Japan: The Mini FM Boom in N. Strauss (1993)
see ò
Errol Lawrence: Just Plain Common Sense: the ‘roots’of racism, in CCCS ñ
Lamelle & Kelly (ed) Imagining Home, Verso, London, NY (1994)
D.L. Lewis W.E.B. Du Bois, Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, Henry Holt
& Co, NY, 1993
Lewis Mumford: The City in History Hartcourt, Brace & World Inc. (1961)
Office for National Statistics (CON): Ethnic Minority Populations of Great Britain,
Crown Copyright 1996.
Walter Opitz (ed): Walter Benjamin: Ein Lesebuch, Suhrkamp Frankfurt am
Main 1996
Radiocommunications Agency: Annual Report & Accounts 1995-1996
P. Rabinow (ed) The Foucault Reader, Penguine Books 1991
Smithonian Institution: Black Radio … Telling it Like it Was, © 1996,
Washington, extracts reprinted with kind permission of
the producer JacquIe Gales Webb.
Savage & Warde Urban Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity, Macmillan Press,
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1993)
Tsenay Serequeberhan: The Critique of Eurocentrism and the Practice of African
Philosophy, in Eze (1997) ñ
John Solomos: Race and Racism in Britain (2nd ed), Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1989/93)
John Solomos & Les Back: Racism & SocIety: Macmillan Press, Houndsmill (usa)
and London (1996)
Neil Strauss & Dave Mandl: Radiotext(e), Semiotexte (a not for profit publication) # 16 (Vol VI, Issue I), Columbia University, New York, 1993
Sunrise Radio: Presentation Prospectus (summer) 1997
Sarah Thornton Club Cultures Polity Press, Cambridge & Oxford (1995)
The Voice: August 25 1997
Cornel West: Nihilism in Black America, in Gina Dent (1992) ñ
Cornel West: The New Cultural Politics of Difference, in Ferguson et alt.
(1990) ñ
D. Zylbersztajn: W.E.B. Du Bois and his Rational of Researching the Negro,
unpublished course essay, Goldsmiths College, June 1997
(not included here)
Note: There are full transcripts available (usually of 2 to 10 pages per person) of all partIes intervIewed and a collection of tapes with recordings of indiviual stations is also kept. Individual pages of partIes interesred in can be ordered.

London Black Radio and the Community: DanIel Zylbersztajn

Questionnaire Quota and Method 100% is always the number of total data, that is questionnaires filled out for the specific question.
Where less answers to a particular question were given, than questionnaires returned, the missing data for that question will be indicated as statistic missing. This assumes that if all questionnaires would have been filled out fully completed it would show that the missing data would break down into similar numbers than those calculated without the missing. It is obvious that one should however assume at least some minor diversification.
Total questionnaires 32
Urban Stratification: Total filled out: 31 statistic missing: 3%
Total East: 48% Total South: 35% Total West: 36%
South East: 6 = 19% South: 1 =3% South West 4 = 13%
East: 5 = 16% + West 2 = 7%
North East 4 = 13% North 4 = 13 % North West 5 = 16%
Total North: 42%
gender: Total filled out 27: male: 10 = 37% female: 17 = 63% statistic missing 16%
Age: Total filled out: 28 statistic missing 12.5%
age: 13-17 17-25 25-32 32-42 42-58 58-68 78+
turn out 0 7 = 25% 10=36% 4= 14.% 5= 18.% 2=7.% 0
Background: Total filled out 30. Statistic missing 6.%
West African African Caribbean / West Indian Of African Descent Black UnspecifIed
6 = 20% 12 = 40% 3 = 10% 3=10%
White SE Asian Other
4 = 13.3% 1 = 3.3% 1 =3.3%
Other Background Related Info:
Total Black: 80% Total Non Black 6 = 20% of total (30)
Of non Black background, but close frIend to person of African descend. : 50% or 10% of total (30))
Of non Black background but ethnic minority: 83% or 16 % of total (out of 30 pers.)
People classifying themselves as English: 2 = 7% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as British: 6 = 20% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as Scottish: 2 = 7% of tot (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as Muslim: 1= 3.3% out of tot (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as Christian: 7= 23.3% out of tot (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as having a disability: 2 = 6.6% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying their background as “being themselves, full stop!” : 3 = 10% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as “being into Black music!“: 9 = 30% of tot. (30 pers)
People with children: 5 = 16.6% of tot. (30 pers)
Living situation: (total responses 20) statistic missing 31%
Single: 9 = 45% of tot (20) MarrIed Living with partner: 11 = 55% of tot (20)
lesbian / gay = O
Employment situation: total response 27
Executive professional students unskilled labour unemployed retired
Management working etc. administrating prev. job
Factory Owner teacher, lecturer laboratory unknown
etc… small company skilled labour
owner, doctor
0 9 =33.3% of tot (27) 13 = 48,1% 2 = 7.4% 1 = 3.7 % 2 = 7,4%

Urban stratification:
I have achIeved a good outcome regarding urban stratification all over London of participants with almost equal amount of responses from all areas.
The age stratification lacks in both extremes, under 17 and over 78. Age grouped 17-32 gave slightly more responses (62%) than those of people over 32. Yet this reflects the actual decrease in radio audIence. It is assumed that younger persons (under 17) might not found interest in the questionnaires, perhaps it is too boring. They would have constituted an important voice however. Rajar (Q2)/96 revealed in 1996 that 43% of the total of Kiss FM listeners are aged between 4 years and 15 years. The younger population is however not used in deeper studIes and presentations by the stations, because of their economic unviability it seems. The fact that MA research is mainly conducted over the summer months meant that it was difficult for me to access the younger population, because schools and youth organizations are shut, many of the youth I handed the questionnaire to, at Notting Hill disposed of it, almost the same minute. Similarly was it difficult to reach any over 78 year old, who might have been willing to assist ( I did send questionnaires to elderly homes).
African descendance (black):
My turn out rate of 80% black persons reflects the nature of the topic, however a poll by Station B** revealed that only 48.8% of their total listenership would be black, and Rajar revealed for Jazz FM 14% of black listenership. Of these 80% in my research, 1/3 was of west african, 2/3 of caribbean background. Rajar revealed the same results for Jazz FM however not west africans grouped alone, but as black african total. My questionnaires did nor achIeve responses from eastern africans and southern africans.
Station B**’s reseach doesn’t offer a further breakdown of black listeners at all. According to the Office of Population Census and Surveys, London’s total (black) population of african descendance, counted 535.000 people in 1993 of which 54.5% are african caribbean, 30.5% african, and 15% classifIed as ‘black other’. Greater London’s total official population in 1993 counted 6.67 million persons of which the total (black) population of african descendance counted 1/2 a million persons (535.000) or 8% (there is of course the debate around official surveys but one can assume that we are talking about an approximate 10% of London’s total population).
10% of the total returns of my questionnaires from black persons, described themselves as of african descendance (not using any other description) and another 10% were black unspecifIed, in one case because of a combination of various backgrounds. The official census of the OPCS revealed 15% of London’s black population classifIed as black other, which included people from the usa, guyana, mauritius, nigeria, cyprus, ireland, india, jamaica and other persons generally from outside the uk.
83% of all people of non african descendance in my research (20%) actually were members of other minority groups, such as filipino, and jewish and 50% of them indicated close contact with people of african descendance.
Employment /economic background:
The returned questionnaires lack significantly in responses from unemployed persons and members of the unskilled labour sector. It is assumed that perhaps the format of the questionnaire actually might have discouraged these groups to fill them out. Also does it lack in responses from executive management (class A). This might be due to lack of time and difficulty in targeting such people, the fact that they are not a large group as a whole, and also with their life-style. Station B** FM (their own research) only polled 3.7% of their total audIence as A, the greatest listener audIence constituting out of C’s, just like in my research. All the stations, in their various presentation files, merge ABC1, and C2DE together, to receive two groups to gain a class division. Station B** has 34% ABC1 listnership, Kiss FM 54%, Sunrise 42%, Jazz FM the highest with 72.2%.
The average female listnership of these four stations would be exactly 50%. My own turn out revealed 81 % ABC1’s is thus inquorate in this regard.
The amount of persons in relationships, in my research, was somewhat higher than those who indicated that they were single. However there was no response from people with a minority sexuality and only one from a muslim respondents. There has also been a greater turn out of female participants, than male, which contrasts to the greater amount of male presenters on radio. In a Station B** FM research 62% of the listeners turned out female but Kiss’s ratio is 49% female (their own research), Jazz FM’s 43% female (Rajar Q1.97) and Sunrise’s 45% female (Rajar 4/96). Sexualitywise my turn out was, as it turned out 100% heterosexual, which obviously does not represent reality of sexualitIes in London. It is estimated that between 5-15% of all Londoner’s have a different sexuality of some sort other than heterosexuality.
The total number of questionnaires distributed was about 450. Of these about 300 were handed out during Notting Hill Carneval, to any person passing by wanting one; the other questionnaires were left in stores or given / send to individual people. This means that only about 7% of all questionnaires distributed were in fact returned to me. In addition to the normally low success rate with questionnaires of this sort, one might want to attribute a.) a historically backed suspicion of addressees regarding the collection of data on the black communitIes,
b.) the fact that the questionnaire was distributed rather than being enforced by a street researcher, who would address and question people. I felt that such direct method would raise more awareness of being measured and the named suspicions with it. I have noticed that the newspaper The Voice for example did their market research by simply including their usually very lengthy questionnaire (when I did it, it took me 25 minutes to complete) inside the newspaper, so people could voluntarily fill it out and send it back. However The Voice offered a prize competition amongst the returned questionnaires. c.) the fact that respondents had to attribute an envelope and postage in order to return the questionnaire, which especially might have had an impact on the low turn outs from lower age and earning groups. It is usual for questionnaires to offer a freepost address, something that was financially out of question for me.
Using my precise method of voluntary contribution (handing out to by passing persons (Notting Hill) / or leaving questionnaires in shops), has proved to be a non-recommendable technique both for turn out as well as for quota accuracy. Had I had more time I would have had to consider the more direct techniques.
Radio presenters were not permitted to fill out these questionnaires as they are biased.
London Black Radio and the Community: DanIel Zylbersztajn
Questionnaire Data
Question 4: Favourite Radio Station: Why:
– BBC Radio One: -I love music and news and they give me that
-(Andy Kershaw)global focus musically with intent to Africa also
– BBC Radio Four: -you get a lot of information which you can’t get on the TV
– (Today Programme) like start of day with political debate
-(Narrated StorIes)Relaxing
– short storIes, and because I like discussions on art
– (World at One) – informative, news, comment routine
BBC Radio Five – (World Wide News) it gives some detail what’s going on around the world
– it’s a mixture of news, sport and phone ins
– gives me sport and football
BBC Worldservice: – because it gives news of the world and they represnt people of all nations
Capital FM (95.8) – they play all kinds of music
Station B** FM: -my kind of music (R&B)
– music is enjoyable
– because they play good music
– AngIe Greare, because she takes the laugh and the discussions are
interesting topics
Heart 106.2 -nice music 60’s, 70’s 80’s
– I like to hear old songs as well as new
– interesting comments and pleasant listening
– I like the music for driving
– good music and features
Heart and Melody FM – less talk / easy listening
Kiss FM: – varIety of music
Kiss FM& Choice FM -(both) mostly play the music I like, although Kiss FM can be repetitive in
the day time
– these stations play my type of music which is swing, hip hop, R&B,
Reggae and announce contemporary black news
Kiss FM, Inner Visions: – reflects y musical taste perfectly
any pirate radio – playing good music
Train FM**: They play the best garage and drum & bass on the air waves
PremIer – because it tells us a lot about the bible and plays religious songs
Virgin Radio –
Question 7: second prompt: What other stations or programmes do you listen to?

first response prompts
(Question 6) (Question 7)
any pirate 91.3
Heart Melody 105.4
Heart Radio 4, BBC World Service
Heart none other
Heart + Radio 4 none other
Heart / Melody Choice or Pirate Stations
Kiss FM (Inner Visions) Jazz FM, GLR, Pirates (girls fm, real fm**)
Choice FM 97.3
Choice FM Kiss FM
Choice FM news talk (?)
Choice and Kiss FM none other
Choice and Kiss FM BBC 1FM (Mr N, Lisa Anson), BBC 5 Live
Capital none other
BBC Radio 1 (A Kershaw) none other
BBC Radio 4 Monty FM
BBC Radio 4 (today) GLR, Station FM, other pirates (USA FM , Blakk ,Awake!)
BBC Radio 4 (narrated storIes) none other
BBC Radio 4 none other
BBC Radio 4 Choice FM, Radio One (Rap), Kiss (occasionally)
BBC World Service ITV (television)
98.5 Kiss & Choice 1
BBC 5 Live Choice, Jazz FM, GLR
BBC 5 World-wide News News direct
BBC Radio Five Sport
Kiss FM Vibes FM
Train FM**: Dancehall FM**, Jamaica FM** , Islands Radio, etc
PremIer: Talk Back Radio
Question 23 Do you have a favourite presenter:
(data missing 18.75%/all resp.)
Please note 76% of all respondents dealing with this question indicated that they had no favourite person!
Name Station( if given) Reason for liking
Tony B – –
Carla Heart FM cheerful and makes me feel good
Daddy Dread** Kiss roots with a difference
Daddy Dread** Kiss good music, seems nice person
Benny King – –
Giles Peterson Kiss good music, seems nice person
Patrick Forge Kiss good music, seems nice person
Chris Philipps 1FM like style of DJing
Mr N 1FM like style of DJing
Nick Clark BBC 4 (World at One) smart, quick tenacious
Brian Mayrs – tough to the point allow people to wake
John Humphreys – tough to the point allow people to wake
AngIe Greaves GLR nice voice, intelligent, frIendly

Question 8.A What makes TV and Radio different? Do you use it differently:
(answers listed)
– Pictures present
– TV Visual
– Seeing is BelIeving, also you can be judgmental because you can see the presenters mood
– TV for visual entertainment
– seeing what has happened on TV
– pictures come with TV
– you can watch TV
– when isn’t live there is a visual dimension lacking
– TV is national, Radio community based
– Radio listen to in the car, watch TV at work and later at home
– I listen to radio in the morning and in the car, when I watch TV it’s usually in the evening
– radio can be listened to whilst doing things
– use the radio in the car, never at home, unless I am looking for a rave
– Radio enables me to dream, TV requires a lot of concentration
– TV can be more relaxing
– Radio is a background media allowing me to do things at the same time, TV distracts me
– TV give you picture and fun, radio is only voice but fun too
– radio for background at work
– have radio on the background when I am watching TV
– radio just background music when I have breakfast, TV I concentrate on more
– film on TV more absorbing form of relaxation
– TV takes too much attention
– radio relaxing
– TV is an entertainment, radio you can only hear voices
– Watch TV, radio you can relax with
– TV has me hooked, radio helps me on my way, helps me work
– Radio whilst relaxing or doing other things e.g. reading
– with radio I belIeve you use more mental power, more concentration
– Don’t like some of the violent scenes on TV, don’t like TV adverts
– Programme content
– radio for music and information
– TV for specific programmes / film
– TV has more educational aspects than radio
– TV for films, drama, documentarIes,
– TV stations don’t get locked
Comment: From this data: 10 People (31%) felt that radio was relaxing, 3 people (9%) felt it was TV that was more relaxing.
14c: Prompt with names of stations: P = pirate C = Commercial RS = Restricted Licence
Station Not Heard Know it but Occasionally Quite Often Always Points
don’t listen to it from
Q .4 Q7
P-Monty** 22 2 1 – 3 – 1
P-Jamaica FM** 15 – 5 3 1 2
C- Kiss FM 2 7 12 4 5 4 1
C- Choice FM 6 3 9 6 6 5 2
P -FullEnergy** 17 3 6 1 1 – – .
P – Awake** 21 2 4 2 – – 1
RL- Real Heart** 24 3 1 1 – – –
P -Real**FM 17 3 5 1 1 – 1.
BBC -Upfront (GLR) 19 2 4 1 – – –
BBC -GLR (Other) 10 9 7 2 2 – 3
BBC -1 FM -weekends 20 6 3 1 – 1 1
C- Spectrum 19 5 3 – – – –
C -Jazz FM 4 11 8 4 – – 2
BBC Radio Four 5 7 6 3 2 4 1
BBC 1FM morning-afternoon 19 2 3 – – 1 1
C- Classic FM 10 12 6 – 1 – –
C- Capital Radio 5 12 9 3 1 1 –
C- Sunrise 17 10 2 – – – –
C- TalkRadio 12 10 6 1 1 – 1 .
BBC Worldservice 4 6 8 4 2 1 1
P- Train FM ** 1 –
C- Melody FM 1 1
C-PremIer 1
C-Virgin 1 –
C -Heart FM 5 –
BBC Radio 5 Live 2 1
P – Girls FM 1
P -Dancehall FM** 1
P -Wave FM** 1
P – USA FM** 1
P – Blakk FM** 1
P- Islands Radio** 1
** = (name changed by author)
Unknown stations: (the numbers indicate persons) (extract from Question 17)
Most unknown total: Real Heart** (24 )
Most unknown prompted “pirate”: Mont (22) **
Most unknown BBC: BBC 1FM weekends
Most unknown Commercial: Spectrum Radio
Most known but not listened to pirate: Full Energy ** (3)
Most known but not listened to BBC: GLR
Most known but not listened to Commercial: Classic FM, Capital FM (12)
Question 17 : Known and listened to stations (Popularity Index):
In order to identify the rang of popularity I have given points:
– one point for listen to occasionally per person
– two points for listen to quite often per person
– three points for listen to always per person
I have also listed down the favourite stations from Q.4 and given them three points per mentioning and for stations listed at Q. 7 (second prompt) two points each mentioning.
Rank: Station Points
1 Choice 58 best overall and best commercial rating
2 Kiss 49
3 BBC Radio 4 32 best BBC rating
4 BBC World Service 27
5 BBC GLR (generally) 23
6 Jazz FM 20
7 Jamaica FM** 18 best pirate rating
8 Heart FM, Capital Radio 15
9 Talk Radio 13
10 Real FM** & Monty** 12 joint
11 Full Energy **&Talk Radio11 joint
12 Awake **FM, BBC One FM (weekends) 10 joint
13 Classic FM 9
14 BBC Radio 5 8
15 Upfront (programme) GLR 6
16 BBC One FM (week), Melody FM 5 joint
17 Real Heart**, Spectrum, Capital FM,
Train** , PremIer, Virgin 3 joint
18 Girls FM, Dancehall **FM, Islands **FM,
USA FM**, CFM**, Waves FM**, Sunrise 2 joint

According to a London pirate station web-page (www.fused.com) there are currently 43 pirate stations in London and to my mind it seems likely that a total of 50 different illegal stations are operating in all of London. In addition there are several other commercial licence holders and satellite radio stations. Hence above statistics is only a hint.
Question 2 What other media do you consume? Returned answers 100%
TV Black Newspapers National Newspaper Magazines Local NewspaperInternet Other
(e.g. Voice, Gleaner, (e.g. Guardian ,Times, Sun)
New Nation) .
78% 25% 78% 40.6% 50% 22% 6.2%
Question 7 : Do you watch more TV than listen to the radio? returned answers 32 100%
Yes : 53.1% No 28% Equal 18.8%
Question 8B: What times do you listen to Radio? (returned answers 32 = 100%) % indicates percentage of total number of respondents
À % remarks .
0500-6-30 6.% lowest audIence
6-30-9.00 47% peak hour
9.00-11.00 28%
11.00-13.00 22%
13.00-15.30 22%
15.30-17.30 22%
17.30-20.00 19%
20.00-23.00 28%
23.00-1.00 19%
1.00-5.00 9%
Question 10 & 11:Are you listening to different stations at different times?
(missing data 9%)
YES: 52% NO: 48%
Why? (Q11) –depends on programme
-morning I want news, music later – Choice the best
– different needs – like to follow pro- -flick to different channels that take my fancy grammes on one
– because you have a choice to listen to station at a time
– different stations for different moods / things (3 responses) – Radio 4 more infor-
– when Monty not clear Radio Four mative & gives BBC
– listen to Choice or Black stations on weekends for club update Worldservice
– because sometimes you feel like having something different – my car is tuned into
– depnding on mood, light music or serious discussion Heart all the time
– prefer sould later – only listen to BBC
– because if you don’t move to another station you might miss a good tune Worldservice
Question 15: What do you do most of the time whilst listening to the radio?
(missing data: 12.5% of 32)
rank occupation % of respondents
1. leisure time at home 82 %
2. drive car 53 %
3 house work 33 %
4 work in office 11 %
5 walk man 3.6%
6 other 3.6%
Question 8C: On which medium do you listen to more black programmes?
missing data = 7 persons = 21%
Radio 14 persons = 56% TV: 11 persons = 46%
This is an interesting result considering Q7. Although only 28% of respondents listen to more radio than watch TV, 56% of all respondents indicated that they receive more black programmes from the radio.
Question 8D: Where do you usually your news from:
missing data = 7 persons = 21%
medium: TV Radio Newspaper Internet Word of Mouth Other
persons 23 20 15 3 2 –
% of all 92% 80% 14% 12% 8%

Q.12 Which Stations Would you consider as black stations?
station background of What makes a radio station Any stations you regard
person who made or programme black as not black
comment .
– FullEnergy WA Discusses Black Cultural Issues BBC Radio
-WavesFM WA more R&B, Reggae, Soul, things Radio 1, Spice Girls & Blur
associated to blackness
– Waves FM WA black issues + music, presenters talking Kiss FM(europ. presenters)
in black lingo
– none AC neither black or white none
– Jamaica, Awake NBminor black music & talk, care 4 community Heart, Virgin, BBC eekday
– Kiss NB rap –
– none AC deals with issues that affect black GLR, Talk Back Radio,
people & employs black staff Radio 4
– Choice WA culture awareness projects Countless, bec. no particular
& regular focus on black culture
– most pirates AC content All current TV
– Choice, Kiss BO Black presenters, DJ’s, MC’s, Country FM
playing black artists, singers
rappers performers, advertising the black community
– Kiss FM NB predominantely one type of music i.e. Radio 4, Classical
Bangra, Soul, Swing
– Kiss FM WA having black artists, presenters and singers none
-Awake, Jamaica FM WA good news and care for the community Radio 4, Classical
-Choice, Awake NBMminor mainly black audIence + / or black Most stations or pro-
Gumm presenters grammes are either colour blind
(& therefore white) or appeal to
specific (largely white) audIence
-Choice, Kiss, BO DJ’s black, play music associated with Commercial radio stations
Pirate Stations black people with no specialized progr,
(e.g. Yah FM)
– Kiss? Choice? NBminor amount of music with / by black Heart FM
performers, number of black presenters
– Music has no colour AC all stations & programmes are aimed at none everyone, because we all have different
– Don’t Know Any NB discussion of black issues, or playing pre- Radio 4
dominantly black music
– Choice WA if it is made by and geared towards the -Capital FM
black population
-Kiss, Choice NBminor if it is aimed at Black listeners, with – none
Black presenters and / or music
– Choice, Jamaica FM AC Music, DJ’s, news Kiss, Jazz FM, use the
Full Energy music, too many white DJ’s with
phoney black attitude
– none BO presenters, topics, african interests all marginalization takes
place all the time
– Choice AC the music, the DJ’s Kiss, just commercial dance
– Choice AC the present issues which affect the no
black community
– JamaicaFM AC give news of black people and represent BBC World Service
the community of black people
– Don’t Know AC because there are black presenters none stated
– DancehallFM BO the way the music is played none stated
– Choice & pirates AC if the majority of the music played Melody FM
is by black artists
– Choice AC it’s content, music, news, presenters none stated
– Choice, Monty BO expresses black vIews, news contains Kiss FM
what’s happening in the black community Classic Stuff, country
– Choice, Sky AC Black issues, Black presenters, Black music Western & BBC Radio
– none AC black owned, employment and listeners that would be a kkk or
NF lead station
Key: WA= West African AC= African Caribbean BO= Black Other BN= Non Black Minor = Minority
Analysis: top four ranks of stations assumed black : (percentage of all returned questionnaires (32))
1.) Choice 37%
2.) Kiss 16%
3.) Station FM 12%
4.) Genesis FM 9%
Top three ranks of stations assumed white:
1.) BBC One FM and Kiss FM 12%
2.) none 9%
3.) Classical and Radio Four 6%
Break down respondents assuming Kiss not to be a black station = 100% of african descendance.
Break down of respondents who assume Kiss be a black station = 53 % of non black background
Break down of respondents who assume Choice be a black station = 21.6% of non black backgr.
Q. 13 What makes a station Black? % = percentage of all answers
1.) Black presenters and staff: 40.6%
2.) Black Music 37%
3.) Deals with issues / news that affect the black community 31%
4.) Discussions of black cultural issues 6%
5.) Care for the black community 6%
5.) Discuss black cultural issues 6%
6.) Black language 3%
6.) Black advertizing 3%
6.) Black audIence 3%
14B Describe the word community:
Number Description as on questionnaire Result .
A. Identity, Culture, Value Set, Ethnicity A
-group of people with identical norms and values, like minded people (4x) People who share some
– to be able to identify oneself with a culture or style of people, identity, or culture, or
– sharing particular identity patterns, such as cultural, spiritual, material value set, or ethnicity,
– promoting what is going on in a certain sub-culture or combination of these
– sharing the same culture and value Response 16x = 50%
– sharing same interest and culture
– language, culture, lifestyle, religion, political 2
– same identity and vIews
– people of similar cultural association in communication with each other
– ethnic origin
– sharing common identity
– common history
– homogenous group of people who share belIefs and values
B. Geographically Bound B
– people working and living and socialise together 3 People living together or
– people inside an area who share concerns for it living together in an area,
– residents in a particular area 2 or “belong” to an area and
– living at specific location 2 as a result have a common
– people who may live together 2 concern and location bound
– people living locally with a common way of living experIence.
– sense of belonging to a chosen area Response 12x = 37%
Common Interests C
– a group with common interests 4 A group with common
Response 4x = 12.5 %
D. Mutual aid D
– people getting together to help each other A group that helps each other
– network of mutual aid and communication and looks after each other.
– looking after each other, helping each other Response 3x = 9%
E. Community not time and space bound E
– identity may not exist in the same place or time (2) Community not time
and space bound
Response 2x = 6%
F. Community is word I dislike F
– don’t like the word Dislike the word community,
– a problematic term needs to be qualifIed by disembeded problematic term
Response 2x = 6%
G. Externally bound together G
– people bound together by socIety eg. Black people, or people of colour People externally bound
– people share oppression together through
Response 2x = 6%

H. Other H
– neighbourhood not appropriate these day Other;
– regardless of race, and differences Response 6x = 18 %
– people coming together as one
– people who intend to live amongst each other
– people sharing things
– non commercial, informative about the world, life etc from particular point
rank group percentage
1. (A) Identity, Culture, Value Set, Ethnicity 50%
2. (B) Geographically Bound 37 %
3. (H) Other 18%
4. (C) Common Interest 12.5%
5. (D) Mutual Aid 9%
6. (E) Community not time and space bound 6%
(F) Community is word I dislike 6%
(G) Externally bound together 6 %
Question 14C: What should a black radio station be?
Respondents were given a description and were asked to give a mark out of 10, where (1) meant not at all and 10 “right on”. In the index that follows the marks for each descriptive term from each respondent are counted up together with all other marks for the same term from other respondents, to add up to a total score.
Rank score term remark
1 287 (c) Discuss black cultural issues
2 218 (d) Play black musics
3 206 (g) Black Advertizing compare with rank 16
4 201 (k) Represent black people
5 197 (a) Give local community news compare with rank 8
6 193 (m) Should be ‘black peoples’ political voice
7 189 (j) Should introduce positive black issues only
8 181 (b) Give international community news compare with rank 5
9 166 (l) Sharp edged journalism and investigations
10 160 (g) Discussions with call ins from listeners
11 150 (p) There should only be one black station for all of London
compare with rank 15, 17, 18
12 138 (i) Should address all local people
13 119 (h) Should address people of African descent only
14 113 (n) Should have spiritual / religious programmes
15 101 (o) Should be borough wide only compare with rank 11, 17, 18
16 95 (f) general advertizing compare with rank 3
17 50 (q) there should be only one black 24 hour station for all of Britain
18 32 (r) I don’t want a black station at all compare with rank 11, 15, 17
Q14 Dividing air time: Respondents were asked to assume a 100% of air time and to separate it into slots that would suit their personal taste to reach 100% airtime at the end. Quite a number of questionnaires were filled out incorrectly, giving points between 0 and 100 instead. These have not been counted. This means that this question is only answered by 62.5 % of all respondents. The average has been calculated like follows: the total percentage from each questionnaire, for each descriptive term has been summed up and divided by the total of rightly completed questionnaires for this question.
rank type of radio programme percentage of total airtime
1. News and Information and Education: 43.5 %
2. Music + 38.5 %
3. Entertainment Shows + 11.5 %
4. Commercials + 5.75%
5. Other (unspecifIed) + 0.75%
= 100% of total airtime
Question 20A: Do you listen to commercials on the radio?
(missing data is 18.75% – out of 32)
Yes 61.5% NO 38.5%
Question 20B What Commercials are the important ones?
missing data 47% out of 32 persons,
None 12
Places to go partying, functions 4
products 2
jobs 1
health products / cosmetics 1
educational 1
amusing ones 1
ads for newspapers / books 1
ads for records /cd’s 1

Question 24B: If BBC main stations would address the black and other communitIes fairly and thoroughly, would there still be a need for black stations?
(missing data = 15% /32 resp.)
Yes total 96.3% No 3.7%
-one station can’t satisfy Londoners – I feel that all radio stations are for the
– because they can’t be enough for the varIetIes of -masses and not just one group
black taste out there – the black communitIes vIews would be
– to represent very local radio met
– there will always be a need for representation of
FM by black people from a black
– it is important to have your “own”, why should black
stations be corrupted too?
– general stations will never be specialized enough
– because everyone needs a representative of his/ her
culture (2 responses)
– BBC is part of the state establishment, people need to
do things independently, autonomously
– the BBC trIes to doesn’t it?
– to have varIety, not just the BBC middle class people
– specialized issues
– there will still be a need for a grass-root element
– BBC mainstations will never address the community
thoroughly, they are not interested, whatever
they say
– BBC stations are patronizing and give in no way a balanced vIew
– because there needs to be some expression in control of
black people
– for a different perspective on issues
– so that people find what they are interested in
– there’s room for everyone
– needs a constant output not occasional shows
– why not?
– as a means of alternative expression
– freedom of speech
Question 24: Do you ever call in at stations?
(missing data 9%/ all resp)
89.65 % No Yes 10.34%
Question 26: Would you like more or less stations generally in London:
(missing data = 34,4% / all resp.)
LESS 33.33% MORE 66.66%
Question 26B: If more stations could only be arranged on short wave, would you support it?
(missing data = 31,25 % / all resp.)
YES 54,5% NO 45.5%
Question 21 and 22 If you were in charge of a station what would you do different to the current stations what would you leave unchanged ?
number in brackets indicates how many times attribute was mentioned if more than once.
do different leave unchanged .
I would have a station for positive Black women music (4)
more plays news (2)
more features Jazz music
more intervIews (2) nothing
more education good mix of music
more community issues (2) positive vibes
less talking (2)
more music (3)
Less personal favourites more popular features
stop all / most commercials (3)
a little less commercials ( 3)
stop music with bad language from black musicians (2)
less egoistic DJ’s (2)
more / better news (5)
more BLACK DJ’s,
would give DJ’s more choice, play-lists are too repetitive
more old reggae
less new R&B
more UK music
more female DJ’s
less jingles advertizing the station
less DJ talk
more R&B
30: Is there anything you would like to say at this final point?
– quite a long questionnaire. Difficult for you to analyse at the end
– I think this paper is very racist and you consider that there are two groups of people Black and White –
when we should all be striving to make this world one
– stay cool brother, hope this is of some help to you, good luck
– I like music that is why I enjoy radio, the other stuff gets in the way
– in future please please please do give us a bit more time to complete your questionnaire
– “Black” is arguably too broad a category. African people might have their own radio station, and
they don’t have much in common with African Caribbeans
– Good Luck, also would like to hear regional news e.g. from Birmingham, Manchester, maybe once a
week link up.
– — can be a good resource for your project
– Good Luck for your work and thanks for your interest in black people
– 10 out of 10 for initiative!
– Good Luck!
– Please could you make the writing bigger next time!

Questions left out in analysis. 1, 3, 6A, 6B, 7,