The story of the Monitoring Group begins with the racist murder of Gurdip Singh Chaggar on the streets of Southall in June 1976, and the subsequent birth of the Southall Youth Movement. Everyone who grew up in the 1970’s will remember the long hot summer of 1976, however for many young people the summer was a ‘coming of age’, a moment when British youth, both black and white, challenged the engrained racism of the 1970’s and began to forge a new vision for Britain.  In the period from 1976 to 1977 Britain’s Black and Asian youth ‘Came of Age’.

We are currently working on a project called, ‘Coming of Age’, which tells the story of the series of events which occurred during 1976 including Malawi refugee crisis in January, the birth of Southall Youth Movement in June, the Notting Hill riots in August, the start of the Grunwick Strike in August, the birth of Rock against Racism in November, and the enactment of the Race Relations Act in December. Coming of Age pays homage to the forefathers of the anti-racist struggle before 1976, and celebrates the young people from London who changed Britain over the summer of 1976 by challenging the everyday racism of the time. These young people came from different ethnic backgrounds and used youth movements, music and culture to change Britain in a way that was irreversible, and eventually led to the multi-cultural London we know today.  These young people are elders now, yet their contribution to modern Britain is rarely acknowledged.

Our project is working in collaboration with a group of black elders and mixed-ethnicity, inter-generational groups to create and preserve a long-term accessible historical record of the series of events and the people involved during 1976. We will be launching the project in October 2017, but if you are interested in contributing to the story please get in touch.

For further information contact jagdish at jpatel@tmg-uk.org