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Duration 00:05:14

Film of the month: ‘Our Jamaican Problem’

The National Archives education team’s film of the month highlights a Pathé film relating to current events, anniversaries or key topics that you may be covering in the classroom.

This month’s clip is titled ‘Our Jamaican Problem’– a film that explores Jamaican immigration to Britain in 1955. Despite its title, the film is largely sympathetic to the experiences of Jamaicans coming to Britain and the reasons behind their migration.

With this film, students could consider:

  • What does the film suggest is the ‘Jamaican Problem’ in the title?
  • How does the film immediately suggest that this is not the case?
  • What have the immigrants found when arriving in Lambeth?
  • How does the film continue to promote a positive view of immigration?
  • What does the Mayor suggest as an ‘answer’?
  • Why did Jamaicans want to come to Britain?
  • Why do you think the narrator states that the colour bar ‘legally does not exist in Britain’ despite saying it is the cause of the outcry?
  • Why does the narrator point out the numbers of white immigration?
  • What is the overall message of this film?
  • Is there anything you find surprising about this film?
  • What other sources would be helpful to understand the experience of those who came to settle in Britain?

This film could be used for studies of the post war era focussed on race relations and the treatment of citizens from British colonies. It can be used alongside our lesson Bound for Britain, the Caribbean Histories Revealed website and our Fifties Britain themed collection.


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