Professors Michael Veal and William Henry engaged William Henry’s most recent publication, What the Deejay Said: A Critique from the Street. Prefaced by Paul Gilroy, this text studies Jamaican cultural politics in the second half of the twentieth century. Combining autobiographical reflection with the lyricism of the many pioneers who “chatted” on Reggae Sound Systems, What the Deejay Said engages Jamaican cultural politics in the second half of the twentieth century. The book represents the first attempt by a Reggae Dancehall Deejay and scholar to grapple with the key role Jamaican culture played in shaping the black cultural politics of the 1970s and 1980s in the UK.
As Henry’s book upends what “experts” on race said about black youth during this period, the text thoughtfully documents a “hidden history” of the black experience in Britain, one that demonstrates the myriad ways black youth laid the foundations for transcending racism in their struggle against it.