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Thread: Learie Constantine and WWII

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    Learie Constantine and WWII

    This is an interesting story about the great West Indies allrounder, after he'd retired, the challenges he encountered during the War effort....

    'We won't have ******s in this hotel' | Regulars | Cricinfo Magazine | Cricinfo.com

    Or should this be in Off Topic?

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    How do I edit a word in the link?

    It's clearly an offensive term, even if it's the kind of treatment Constantine had to put up with in a hotel that was hosting segregated American soldiers....

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shivfan View Post
    This is an interesting story about the great West Indies allrounder, after he'd retired, the challenges he encountered during the War effort....

    'We won't have ******s in this hotel' | Regulars | Cricinfo Magazine | Cricinfo.com

    Or should this be in Off Topic?
    Guess someone else was watching BBC2 tonight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matteh View Post
    Guess someone else was watching BBC2 tonight.

    Yeah, it was the first time I was hearing that story....

    Had to look it up, and blab about it.

    Funny, but my wife knew this story already!


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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend fredfertang's Avatar
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    In 1954 Constantine published a book called "Colour Bar" about racism in which he dealt with this incident in less than a page - in the 21st century the book is quite disturbing but does at least demonstrate how much progress has been made since the war

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    In 1954 Constantine published a book called "Colour Bar" about racism in which he dealt with this incident in less than a page - in the 21st century the book is quite disturbing but does at least demonstrate how much progress has been made since the war
    Not just here in the UK, but also in terms of the segregation policies of the US, which is what the hotel incident was all about....

    The hotel, as you know, was hosting white American soldiers, and they didn't want to share that with any black people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shivfan View Post
    How do I edit a word in the link?

    It's clearly an offensive term, even if it's the kind of treatment Constantine had to put up with in a hotel that was hosting segregated American soldiers....
    IMO there's nothing wrong with the word being in the headline.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shivfan View Post
    Not just here in the UK, but also in terms of the segregation policies of the US, which is what the hotel incident was all about....

    The hotel, as you know, was hosting white American soldiers, and they didn't want to share that with any black people.

    When I was a student I read the case report out of curiosity and am pretty sure there was no suggestion of any American expressing a view - I think it was just the most unpleasant sounding Ms O'Sullivan off on a prejudiced frolic of her own - In court she denied using the word "******" but when asked in cross examination whether Constantine was in fact the man she was talking about she came out with "I can't be sure they all look the same to me these negroes" - "lamentable" was the judges description of her

    As the article says there were no race relations laws at all in the those days but, legally, Constantine had a choice of three possible causes of action that being slander, which he probably felt was too risky, breach of contract, which wouldn't have attracted anything other than nominal damagesor the one he did choose, which is why the case is of no great legal significance, being that rarely litigated area of the common law as it relates to an innkeepers duty to receive guests - legal commentators have always taken the view that he chose that as it was the one area which could and indeed did establish the legal principle that the colour of a man's skin cannot amount to reasonable cause for refusing to accommodate him.

    Learie Constantine was a great man who deserves to be remembered more than he is - and half a century on "Colour Bar" deserves to be read - it may be a period piece but it remains highly relevant

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    In 1954 Constantine published a book called "Colour Bar" about racism in which he dealt with this incident in less than a page - in the 21st century the book is quite disturbing but does at least demonstrate how much progress has been made since the war
    It is quite scary looking back at the past through the prism of the twenty-first century, but in some ways cricket was in the vanguard of English multiculturalism; Ranji, Duleep & the Nawab of Pataudi snr all played tests for England before WW2. All the more groundbreaking when one considers the British Boxing Board of Control had an actual colour bar in operation that prevented non-white Britons fighting for titles until 1948 and Viv Anderson didn't become the first black English football international until 1978.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    It is quite scary looking back at the past through the prism of the twenty-first century, but in some ways cricket was in the vanguard of English multiculturalism; Ranji, Duleep & the Nawab of Pataudi snr all played tests for England before WW2. All the more groundbreaking when one considers the British Boxing Board of Control had an actual colour bar in operation that prevented non-white Britons fighting for titles until 1948 and Viv Anderson didn't become the first black English football international until 1978.
    Yea. But i wonder with the WI cricket team being so strong back then, was black people in this country really interested in football in those days?

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    This clip about Constantine is quite interesting in light of this thread. Quoting the description:

    Unseen for many years, this documentary short was made by the Colonial Film Unit towards the end of WWII for overseas distribution. The film is silent - it would have been shown to audiences throug...
    Unseen for many years, this documentary short was made by the Colonial Film Unit towards the end of WWII for overseas distribution. The film is silent - it would have been shown to audiences throughout Britain's Caribbean colonies, often in venues without sound equipment.

    It profiles the Trinidadian cricketer Learie Constantine, who was among the best-paid sportsmen in Britain in the 1930s.

    Early in the war he was asked to serve as a welfare officer for the Ministry of Labour and National Service, looking after the interests of African and Caribbean munitions workers. The film shows the day-to-day work of Constantine, meeting factory workers, listening to their problems, and taking part in a charity cricket match. (Stephen Bourne)
    Clearly the film doesn't show all the challenges that Constatine faced. Incidentally the BFI videos on Youtube are quite fascinating. There are some nice sport clips including the Arthur Mold no-ball controversy of 1901 and football games in the early 20th century.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    IMO there's nothing wrong with the word being in the headline.
    Yeah, wouldn't find anything wrong with it as a quote myself TBH.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    It is quite scary looking back at the past through the prism of the twenty-first century, but in some ways cricket was in the vanguard of English multiculturalism; Ranji, Duleep & the Nawab of Pataudi snr all played tests for England before WW2..
    I disagree. Ranji, Duleep, Pataudi etc played for England because they belonged to the Royal families of India, those Royal families that were friendly with British Empire. Both the Empire and the Princely states needed each other to pursue their common interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz View Post
    I disagree. Ranji, Duleep, Pataudi etc played for England because they belonged to the Royal families of India, those Royal families that were friendly with British Empire. Both the Empire and the Princely states needed each other to pursue their common interest.
    Ha ye this is true TBH. I remember my history teacher telling me something like this is high school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz View Post
    I disagree. Ranji, Duleep, Pataudi etc played for England because they belonged to the Royal families of India, those Royal families that were friendly with British Empire. Both the Empire and the Princely states needed each other to pursue their common interest.
    They all were gentlemen of the ruling classes, yes, but their selections were entirely on cricketing merit and their race doesn't seem to have been an insurmountable barrier to achieving sporting success for England. When compared to other English sports cricket was relatively quick to embrace non-white players.

    Not claiming those who govern (the MCC, essentially) have been perfect in this field, far from it. The D'Oliveira affair is the most infamous example of selectorial prevarication, but it's also worth noting that Subba Row was never selected to tour SA either.

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