Welcome to the Jungle brings a black British perspective to the critical reading of a wide range of cultural texts, events and experiences arising from volatile transformations in the politics of ethnicity, sexuality and "race" during the 1980s. The ten essays collected here examine forms of cultural expression in black film, photography and visual art exerging with a new generation of black British artists, and interprets this prolific creativity within a sociological framework that reveals fresh perspectives on the bewildering complexity of identity and diversity in an era of postmodernity. Kobena Mercer documents a wealth of insights opened up by the overlapping of Asian, African and Caribbean cultures that constitute Black Britain as a unique domain of diaspora.
As a result of the turbulent displacements of the 1980s, new forms of hybrid identity came out of the margins while others were progressively de-centered. Looking at the United States and Britain as societies of the black diaspora, ambiguous manifestations of this dynamic are critically examined across a variety of surfaces from Michael Jackson's ethnic androgyny to the cut`n'mix profusion of post-essentialist sensibility expressed in the medium of black hairstyles.