Liverpool’s coloured communities


June 6, 1919
The outbreak of passionate violence between black and white men in the city calls attention to a problem peculiar to Liverpool and other big ports. Seafaring communities are always of a cosmopolitan nature. Few of our ports can show such a tendency to the formation of distinct foreign colonies as Liverpool does. We have China-town, Dark-town and other alien quarters, all in more or less distinct areas of the city. In some respects this tendency is a safeguard. It enables our guardians of law and authority the more easily to overlook the doings of foreigners. It is partly a check against the pollution of a healthy community by undesirables. Other peoples, other manners.

In the main advantageous, the system of foreign colonies nevertheless has disadvantages. The colonists are apt to look upon their particular quarter as their own. They take over, as it were the general amenities, to the exclusion of the English and other peoples, who may come to be regarded as intruders. Licensed houses and shops become the exclusive rendezvous of negroes or Chinese, where whites becomes undesirables customers.

The profound difficulty of the problem as it affects white women is obvious. This moral trouble is the principal cause of most of the racial conflicts, which recently have become more frequent. Liverpool’s Dark-town has grown tremendously during the war. In the main the negroes are quiet and law-abiding, but there are more vicious elements. The feud which has led to the spilling of blood and the conflict with the police cannot end here. It may have served a good purpose by leading to the elimination of a distinct menace.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: June 6, 1919)

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