Gypsies in Britain are descendants of people who survived an attempt at genocide in the sixteenth century. Laws making it a capital crime merely to be of Romani ethnicity remained on the statute book for two centuries. The British state and people have never apologised for this, never paid reparations, and almost every other European state has behaved in the same way.
Many books about Gypsies consider them only as a problem that a few teachers, council workers and policemen have to accommodate, without stopping to consider how and why Gypsy identity has survived four centuries of persecution. But relations with the state and with non-Gypsies have been central to the shaping of the lived identity of Gypsy people. This comparative study of Gypsy politics in Britain and abroad includes work from established Romani Studies' scholars but also from younger writers and represents the cutting edge of scholarship on this subject.
Published May 1997; 174pp; paperback
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