Black History Events from 26 October & News

Wednesday 26 October. 2.30-3.30pm. Achievements of Black Women – Workshop

‘The stories of pioneering and heroic women in history are widely celebrated in many countries across the world. This retelling of their lives and accomplishments not only maintains their legacy but also provides women and girls with the desire to accomplish great things and gives them a sense of identity. In Britain the teachings of women in history, particularly Black history, often focuses on American history, ignoring the lives of women of African descent who built communities in 18th century England, who were activists in the British Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and who held the first major positions in politics. This interactive workshop will explore the achievements of Black Women in Britain and participants will be invited to develop frameworks for utilising this important history in the future.’

Organised by Narrative Eye. Enfield Town Library, 66 Church Street, Enfield EN2 6AX

To book go to


Friday 18 November. 4-5.30pm. Elizabeth I and the ‘Blackamoors’: the deportation that never was

This is a session at the In the Light of Gloriana Conference, Meeting Room, The Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB.

‘In a damning indictment of ‘Gloriana,’ the entry for 1596 on the Guardian’s Black History timeline bears the headline: ‘Elizabeth I expels Africans’. This resource, which is designed to help Britain’s schoolteachers and pupils mark Black History Month every October, is merely repeating a ‘fact’ reported in key textbooks for the subject for over forty years. However, it is a wild misrepresentation of the significance of the strange correspondence regarding ‘Blackamoores’ between the Privy Council, Robert Cecil, the bankrupt former treasurer-at-war, Sir Thomas Sherley, and a merchant of Lubeck named Caspar Van Senden in the last years of Elizabeth’s reign. This paper, based on original archival research into the State Papers and the Cecil papers, seeks to tell the full and cautionary tale of how such so-called ‘facts’ are created and the dangers of reading the past through a modern political lens. It will also place the episode in the context of my research into the lives of over two hundred Africans in Elizabethan England, whose existence was recorded in the parish registers, tax returns, court records and various other sources. It will show that these individuals continued to live in England after the so-called deportation, and further that they were not enslaved but rather made lives for themselves, being baptised into the Protestant faith, intermarrying with the local population, and in some cases becoming financially independent.’

Monday 21 November.  John Blanke Movie – UNFULFILLED

Senate House, University of London. to a panel of film industry experts chaired by the BBC’s Ritual Shah (see attached).

John Blanke was the black trumpeter to courts of Henry VII and VIII for which Michael is developing, curating and commissioning an exhibition of art, poetry, writing and music to celebrate his image – the John Blanke Project.

UNFULFILLED –Black Love at Henry VIII’s Court. Unfulfilled is the story of the illicit, ill-fated, miss-matched love affair between Henry VIII’s black court trumpeter – John Blanke and Katharine of Aragon’s black personal chamber maid – Catalina; set against the back drop of Henry’s doomed, twin desires for a male heir and an alliance with France against Spain.

It’s a free event but you do have to register to make sure you’ve a seat.

Book your tickets at 

Wednesday 30 November. 5.15pm.  Black Tudors

Dr. Miranda Kaufmann will present some of the research from her forthcoming book, Black Tudors, exploring the lives of Africans in 16th and 17th century Britain, explaining how they arrived in Britain, what occupations and relationships they found and how they were treated by the church, the law courts and the other inhabitants of Britain.

Arts 01.06, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ.

Monday 5 December, 5.15pm. The Drake Jewel

 As 30 November. Tudor and Stuart History Seminar, Wolfson Room, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU.

Tuesday 17 January. 5.15pm. Black Tudor and Stuart Seafarers

When we think of Africans aboard Tudor and Stuart ships, we might think first of those enslaved by John Hawkins and his successors. However, while researching Africans in Britain, 1500-1640, Dr. Miranda Kaufmann has uncovered records that paint a different picture. Voyage accounts, High Court of Admiralty and other legal records, Privy Council documents and the letters of merchants, voyage investors and  the East India Company reveal examples of African sailors, divers, translators, factors and circumnavigators aboard Tudor and early Stuart ships. In this paper, Dr. Kaufmann will tell some of their stories, and explore the questions they provoke, concerning how these individuals came to be aboard English ships in the first place, what their status was, and what became of them.

Maritime History and Cultuire Seminar. Wolfson Room, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU.

Equiano’s will

Joel Augustus Rogers

Read Patrick Vernon on Rogers at

 Black Women in Britain

For images of the 2014 Black Cultural Archives exhibition see

and video 

 Is Othello a racist play?

See debate at  Royal Shakespeare Company

Onyeka is raising money for his play Young Othello




About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. 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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