Black History Events and News at 16 March

Events

Black Cultural Archives: see http://bcaheritage.org.uk

Thursday 19 March 6-7.45pm. All Eyes On Egypt

Historian Onyeka works with teachers, parents and mature children to share his renowned ability to research and communicate knowledge of the past. This concise session will support the principle of working scientifically found in the national curriculum’s science programmes. There will also be a panel discussion with Onyeka, Patrick Vernon and Donna Alexander, exploring the implication of the national school curriculum why do some families and teachers question Charles Darwin’s contributions to science? Can teachers of science really deal with the paradoxes and empower deeper learning? Solutions going forward. 25 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PB

For more information visit: http://abundancecentre.weebly.com/19th-march—teaching-inheritance-and-evolution-in-schools.html

Wednesday 25 March. ”Red Nelson”: the English working class and the making of C.L.R. James

Talk by Christian Hogsbjerg. The ten months that the black Trinidadian writer C.L.R. James spent in the cotton textile town of Nelson in NE Lancashire from 1932-33 were ‘ten months that shook his world’. This talk will discuss how James’s experience in Nelson shaped his emergence as one of the most important socialist intellectuals in Britain during the Great Depression. More information go to www.wcml.org.uk/events

Thursday 16 April.  The Moors of England Play – pre-screening and panel discussion
Talawa theatre. Visit https://twitter.com/moors2014

Saturday 25 April. 9.30am-4.30pm. History Matters Conference

Conference to discuss why there are so few history students and teachers of African and Caribbean heritage.

Some disturbing facts:

  • Last year only three Black students were admitted to train as History teachers
  • Official statistics indicate that History is the third most unpopular subject among Black undergraduates
  • During 2012/13 there were 1340 Black undergraduates studying History, 1.8% of the total
  • At present it is estimated that there are less than 10 Black PhD students studying History in the country

Why is there so few Black students studying History?

Why are there so few Black teachers of History in our schools?

Why are there so few Black academic historians?

Why do some young black people view History as just a ‘white middle-class pursuit’, when history is so popular at community level?

The Conference aims to explore these questions and to understand why such low numbers of Black students are engaging with History as a subject. Teachers, school and university students, as well as professional historians will convene to discuss their experiences of studying history and to suggest ways forward. ‘Our objectives are to identify the reasons for this under-representation and to encourage more young black people to study history.’ To book go to

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/history-matters-conference-tickets-15648486043

Wednesday 29 April. 11am-2pm. The Philosophy of Race
Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Thursday 14 May. 6-9pm. Look How Far We’ve Come Community Talk & DVD Launch/Is Jesus White?

History consultant Kwaku recently facilitated a ‘Is Jesus White?’ presentation before a small focus group in Accra, Ghana. The audience ranged from young adults to pensioners, Christians and non-Christians. ‘Judging by comments by some who’ve not seen the presentation, it seems the topic does not convey the multi-dimensional nature of the presentation. It covers history, identity, African and European psyche. Perhaps the sub-heading would provide better context: ‘An Audio-Visual Presentation On Christian Iconography: Putting Jesus, Christianity & Africa Into Historical Context’.’

Kwaku will make the ‘Is Jesus White?’ presentation, ahead of the Look How Far We’ve Come Community Talk event and Look… DVD launch: Look How Far We’ve Come Community Talk & DVD Launch/Is Jesus White? Abbey Community Centre, Westminster.

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/look-how-far-weve-come-community-talk-dvd-launchis-jesus-white-tickets-15149760341

Thursday 28 May.  7pm-9pm. The Africans of Georgian Britain: Active agents of Change

Historian Onyeka tells the story of Africans in Georgian Britain and the role they played in the development of society.

‘We think of the eighteenth century as the golden age of the British Empire, and it is widely acknowledged that African people played a part in its development. Hitherto, this has been seen through their roles as chattels, unpaid labour and objects to be traded as Britain became the largest slave trading nation in the world. However, the story of Africans in Britain at this time is far more interesting and complex. As the eighteenth-century writer Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (1741–1821) says, ‘Well! I am really haunted by black shadows. Men of colour in the rank of gentlemen: a black lady, covered with finery, in the Pit at the Opera, and tawny children playing the Squares, – the gardens of the Squares I mean, – with their Nurses, afford ample proofs that Hannah More and Mr Wilberforce’s success in breaking down the walls of separation.’ But more than Lady Piozzi acknowledges, Africans in Georgian Britain were in fact an integral part of the development of British society. Onyeka explores some of their stories.’ National Portrait Gallery, the Ondaatje Wing Theatre, just off Trafalgar Square. Tickets: £7 (£6 concessions and Gallery Supporters) – book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Black Poppies

See coverage  Stephen Bourne’s book at

http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/mainstream-media-ignoring-black-history-claims-author

BCA wins Civic Trust Special Award for Community and Engagement.

Black Cultural Archives and architects Pringle Richards Sharratt have been awarded the Civic Trust Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement.

Black Saints and Bishops

A note written in 1856 by Edward I’Anson, the architect, was published in 1858 about on the murals he had found when working on the partial restoration of Lingfield Church in 1845, which raised the question of whether there had been any black bishops. (Surrey Archaeological Collections. Vol 1. p. 71). The note was accompanied by a letter from 1856 by  Albert Way of Reigate stating:

‘I do not know of any negro bishop amongst the saints: there are several black saints, but not of episcopal character. In mural paintings I think I have noticed, where mineral red has been used, the colour has sometimes become black..’

https://www.academia.edu/3760219/From_slavery_to_freedom_the_Oromo_slave_children_of_Lovedale_prosopography_and_profileshttps://www.academia.edu/10997725/Black_Popular_Music_in_Britain_since_1945_Jon_Stratton_and_Nabeel_Zuberi

The Effinghams and Jamaica

Thomas Howard  2nd Earl of Effingham, married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Beckford of Jamaica. (p. Surrey Archaeological Collection. 1888. Vol. 9. p. 409)

Thomas the 3rd Earl was appointed Vice-Admiral of Jamaica on 21 July 1780, and Governor on 14 October 1789. He died in Jamaica on 19 November 1791. (Ditto. p. 410)

‘He had been for some time in a dangerous state of health; and it was partly in the hope of amendment (???) from the climate that he solicited the appointment to the governor of Jamaica.’ (Ibid. quoted from Annual Register xxxii. p. 62)

His wife Catherine died in 1791 on board HMS Diana on route from Jamaica to New York. (Ditto. p. 410)

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation

David Brion Davis,  Yale Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, has  won the US National Book Critics Circle Award for Non fiction for his book The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation.

Here is some of coverage of the award ceremony:

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/national-book-critics-circle-gives-awards-for-top-2014-titles-1.10052796

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/13/books/lila-by-marilynne-robinson-honored-as-top-fiction-by-national-book-critics-circle.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/03/12/wins-nbcc-fiction-prize/

Here are some reviews of the book:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/books/review/the-problem-of-slavery-in-the-age-of-emancipation-by-david-brion-davis.html

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117620/problem-slavery-age-emancipation-reviewed

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/scholar-who-shaped-history

(From Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University, enewsletter 13 March 2015. www.yale.edu/glc

A cradle of slavery and black resistance on the banks of the York

‘When English colonists began settling the south bank of the York River in the 1630s, enslaved black labor was the exception rather than the rule. But within a few decades, the planters at such properties as Kiskiack, Ringfield and Bellfield were producing such bountiful crops of lucrative sweet-scented tobacco that their resulting appetite for black labor created what for 50 years was by far the biggest and busiest slave market in Virginia.’ Mark St. John Erickson. Daily Press (Virginia). February 20, 2015. ‘Slavery may not have been born on the banks of the York River. But the rich alluvial soil that made the region’s sweet-scented tobacco so popular and profitable during the late 1600s provided the historic ground where Virginia’s slave culture took root and blossomed. Just up the hill from the docks where thousands of souls were sold into servitude during the early 1700s, however, the descendants of those slaves gathered in droves during the Civil War, forming a pioneering black settlement and even taking up arms for freedom.’ Read more: http://www.dailypress.com/features/history/our-story/dp-a-cradle-of-slavery-and-black-resistance-on-the-banks-of-the-york-20150220-post.html

From Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University, Newsletter February 23 2015

Uncomfortable Silences: Anti-Slavery, Colonialism and Imperialism

Take up the White Man’s burden,
Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your sons to exile,
to serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

Rudyard Kipling, 1899

‘In a major address to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2003, President George W Bush described the fight against contemporary slavery and human trafficking in the following terms:

We must show new energy in fighting back an old evil. Nearly two centuries after the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and more than a century after slavery was officially ended in its last strongholds, the trade in human beings for any purpose must not be allowed to thrive in our time.

Few people noticed it at the time, but this statement contained a basic historical error. It has not been “more than a century” since slavery officially ended. While legal slavery in the Americas ended in the nineteenth century, in many parts of the globe legal abolition took place during the first half of the twentieth century. In the case of sub-Saharan Africa, which is my main focus here, slavery remained legal in Sudan until 1900, Kenya until 1907, Sierra Leone until 1928 and Ethiopia until 1942. This more recent history is important, because it leads to a series of uncomfortable and difficult questions about the motivations behind—and practical effects of—the anti-slavery cause, with the elephant in the room being the close relationship between anti-slavery, imperialism, and European colonialism.’ – Joel Quirk, University of Witwatersrand. Read more: http://www.historiansagainstslavery.org/main/2015/02/uncomfortable-silences-anti-slavery-colonialism-and-imperialism

From Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University, Newsletter February 23 2015.

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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