This article addresses early charges of racism, made against the original UK Reclaim the Night (RTN) marches in the 1970s. These charges appear to have stuck, and been accepted almost as a truism ever since, being maintained in several academic texts. Using archive materials, and recent, empirical qualitative research with founding RTN activists and participants, I shall investigate the emergence of RTN in the UK in 1977 and the practicalities and influences behind this type of protest. I will also consider possible reasons behind the charges of racism, addressing justifiable critiques and concerns. I will conclude that the specific charges made against the first RTN marches were inaccurate. However, I will also explore possible reasons why concerns about racism surrounded these marches at their formation. © 2014.
Mackay, F. (2014). Mapping the Routes: An exploration of charges of racism made against the 1970s UK Reclaim the Night marches. Women's Studies International Forum, 44(1), 46-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2014.03.006