• Day8

    Brixton - having a riot of a time

    September 11, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We hoped on another bus and headed for Brixton, which lies within inner Southern London. It is about 4km from the centre of London, and was an area that used to be considered dangerous, with a very bad reputation which culminated with the Brixton Riots in 1981. The youth of the area were disengaged and unemployment was high, as was the level of social issues including high crime and poor housing. Following this period the community banded together to reinvent itself and change its reputation.

    Eddy Grant released the song “Electric Avenue” in 1983, which was about what had occurred in Brixton - “Down in the street there is violence, And a lots of work to be done, No place to hang out our washing, And I can’t blame all on the sun, oh no. We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue, And the. We’ll take it higher..... “

    The release and popularity of the song was a catalyst for change. The community became active, and this helped with changing the area. When developers came in and tried to knock down the old markets it was the community banding together that saved the markets and prevented the gentrification of the buildings, because if that would have happened the locals would have been forced out as they wouldn’t be able to afford the housing. The area has a large Afro-Caribbean population, which influences the markets which sell lot’s of ingredients for ‘Jerk’ dishes (Caribbean cuisine). The market stalls are very colourful and vibrant, as are the people.

    We wandered through the markets which had colourful vegetable and clothes stalls, and stopped for lunch at “Pop Brixton”, a complex of eateries. The options for lunch were extensive - amongst the group we had Ramen, Gyoza, Vietnamese, Senegalese, Caribbean and Italian cuisine and it all looked and smelt delicious.
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