The district has swung between periods of immense wealth and immense poverty over the years. Some say the Brixton of today—which hosts a plethora of new businesses and tourist attractions—has regenerated, bouncing back from years of neglect. Others say it is becoming gentrified, and losing touch with its diverse cultural roots, as more black-owned businesses close. Here, two long-term residents offer their thoughts on the corner of Britain they call home.
Eddy Grant's hugely successful 1983 song was written in response to the horror and anger he felt during the 1981 Brixton Uprising. The song's namesake, Electric Avenue, was the first market street to be lit by electricity.
JEANNIE BLUMIRE, 70, moved to Brixton in 1959 aged nine, when her parents took over a newsagents on Acre Lane.
When my family moved to Brixton in 1959, there was a real community spirit. You didn't wait to be introduced, you were automatically a member of the community. All the shopkeepers helped each other and the community out.
Brixton then, though on the wrong side of the river, was a very friendly, happy area. You could play in the street any time of the day, and there was no difference in races getting along—we were all just friends. Of course we were interested in each others cultures' clothes and such like, but it was a very lively, happy community. We all called for each other to play—if people were going to the common or park, everyone tagged along. All ages looked out for each other.
Our shop was more like a meeting place a lot of the time. The downside was that I felt I didn't have a home life or parents—long hours meant no one had time to talk to or listen. But I did have the rest of the community looking out for me.
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