History events & news at 12 March

Thursday 16 March. What’s Happening in Black British History VI?



The latest workshop exploring British Black History is a reminder of how much more there is to be researched, written about and shared, and of course how much those of us involved still do not know. Do you know about:

  • John, the African servant of Dr James Barry (c. 1789-1799 –1865), the woman disguised as a man who trained to be a doctor and served in the military as one.
  • Charles Wallace, ‘An African Negro Servant to George Sealy Esq. Late of Brazil now of Everton, aged 18 years.’ Baptised 26 October 1817 y: R. P. Buddicom Minister.  (The Church of St George, Everton in the County of Lancashire — Register: Baptisms 1814 – 1866, Page 8, Entry 63 – LDS Film 2147913)?


I am chairing one of the sessions.

Thursday 16 March. 6pm. Ribeiro: A Celebration of Life, Love and Passion 

As part of the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture, the V&A has organised an evening of talks, performance, film and poetry about the life and work of the prolific Indian modern artist, Lancelot Ribeiro (1933 – 2010), with arts writer and journalist David Buckman, and writer, broadcaster and composer Gerard McBurney.

The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

£7, £5 concession. Special Offer: 2 tickets for £7.00 ring the V&A Bookings Team on 020 7942 2000 and quote ‘RIBEIRO 2-4-1 offer’.  Includes drinks reception with Trinidadian-Indian finger food

 See also http://www.burghhouse.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/retracing-ribeiro 

Tuesday 21 March. 6-8pm. Homes for all

A History Acts opportunity for historians with an interest in the housing crisis to engage with activists. Panel discussion by activists involved with Hackney Digs, Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians,  Focus E15 campaign, Professor Jerry White (ex-public health insopector; now Birkbeck Hospital), Dr Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite (historian of squatting in postwar London).

Dreyfus Room, Birkbeck, 26 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DR

Free, no need to book


Friday 31 March. 2-5pm. Music And Freedom Symposium

This event brings together academics and artistic and musical performers to discuss the role of music in US civil rights,. Professor Brian Ward , author of Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations, (Northumbria University) will speak on “Freedom Sounds: Music and the Civil Rights Movement”. Dr. María Rocío Cobo Piñero (University of Cadiz) will look at 1920s Jazz and Spanish flappers. Manchester based ballad singer and clog dancer Jennifer Reid and Scarborough based black British performance artist Jade Montserrat will show the links cotton established in the 19thC between enslaved Africans and the Lancashire working class using song and dance. T 

Mist, Media Factory, Kirkham Street, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2HE 

To book go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/preston-jam-music-festival-music-and-freedom-symposium-tickets-31486103784

Part of Preston Jam Festival

Saturday 8 April. 10.30am-4.30pm. Trade Unions: Organising in the Workplace and the Community

Independent Working Class Education day school will be discussing the strategies adopted by trade unions to improve and develop recruitment and organising amongst migrant and hard-to-reach workers. It will include discussion and debate about how far the trade unions as a whole are engaging with migrant workers, especially in the light of Brexit; how far models used by GMB and Unite Community have been successful in turning unions towards the community; the rise of ‘new’ unions such as the IWGB and their militant action in organising cleaners in London and developing new sectors like foster carers.

Dave Berry on recent developments in Sheffield; Jenny Webber on how the unions need to step up their organising in Norfolk;  David Condliffe on Unite Community; Carlos Cruz on Unite’s activity; Orlando Martins (Norwich Unite and NULG) on migrant workers; Carlo Cruz on Unite’s activity; Henry Chango Lopez (President, IWGB) on cleaning, bicycle and motorcycle workers.

All contributions will be short to include plenty of discussion (both plenary and in smaller groups)  Lunch will be provided and a small fee charged for food and hire of the room.

Methodist Church, Chapelfield Road, Norwich.

To notify attendance pleas email Dave Welsh davidwelsh83@btinternet.com, or Keith Venables iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk

 April – September. London’s Boatyards project

Volunteers are wanted for a living history project by Thames Festival Trust


Saturday 9 September – Launch of BlackPoppyRose Community Exhibition

Exhibition for three months


Money sought for Thames Walks publications

Thamesis Publications plans to publish Thamesis Walkies written by an assortment of walks leaders; local historians, poets, writers and artists. The first 4 titles are being launched through crowdfunding. The three pamphlet walks will consist of William Blake’s Lambeth, James Whistler’s Battersea and John Ruskin’s Herne Hill by The first will be by Jon Newman, archivist at Lambeth (‘River Effra: South London’s Secret Spine’, ‘What to do When the Air Raid Siren Sounds’ and ‘Battersea’s Global Reach: The Story of Price’s Candles’). The fourth ‘Death on the Brighton Road’ will be by an artist illustrating the walks. It is hoped to publish them in June 2017 to coincide with an exhibition at Morley Gallery in North Lambeth, featuring Jon’s texts and the artists paintings called Between Dog and Wolf: a South London Twilight. All supporters will receive, in addition to the reward of their choice, a voucher for 20% off any other Thamesis titles.


18thC American Anti-Slavery Literature 

Dr. Richard A. Hall of Fayetteville State University has compiled and edited anti-slavery writings in Before The Ratification of the American Constitution: a collection of  eighteenth-century documents.

John Brown read these documents and influenced his decision to try and organise a slave revolt. The writings comprise those by Samuel Hopkins “A Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of the Africans” (1776); “An Address to the Owners of Negro Slaves in the American Colonies” (1776); “The Slave Trade and Slavery” (1787), and “A Discourse Upon the Slave Trade and the Slavery of the Africans” (1793), and Jonathan Edwards Jnr’s “The Injustice and Impolicy of the Slave Trade and of Slavery” (1791).

Edward Mellen Press. Hbk & pbk.

Black Poppy Rose

In 2016 the Black Poppy Rose organisation:

  • sold just over 3,500 BlackPoppyRose Pins.
  • raised just over £7,000.
  • visited over 20 Cities within the UK delivering talks, presentations & workshops including Cardiff, Dublin & Glasgow.
  • laid the 1st BlackPoppyRose wreath to remember World War II veteran Sam King MBE who joined the ancestors.
  • laid 6 BlackPoppyRose wreath for the first time on Remembrance Sunday in: Croydon, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, and Luton.
  • celebrated its first November 11th Remembrance Day Event at the Black Cultural Archives, Brixton, London.
  • celebrated its Remembrance event of the Taranto Mutiny’s 98th Anniversary, Brixton, London.

Its aims are not only to focus within the U.K but it is a global effort to educate and inform. It is a self-funded campaign, through the sales of the pins and booking its services all the work we do is possible.


Swing Low

Alan Rice, Professor in English and American Studies and Co-Director of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research at the University of Central Lancashire was on BBC Breakfast on Friday 10 March talking about Swing Low Sweet Chariot as England Rugby song & slave spiritual. Unfortunately the podcast is no longer available. There are demands for its use to the banned as a sort of nostalgic/celebratory ‘anthem’ … esp. where there is no acknowledgement of the song’s roots.

House of Lords Debate on Memorial Statue

Lords Grand Committee discussed memorialisation and the slavery Memorial statue on 9 February.


Britain at Work

The latest newsletter (25) of the London Britain at Work project contains details about the independent working class education experience of Eddie Collins, a miner near Doncaster, and a review of  The Maltreated and the Malcontents’ by Mike Richardson about the working conditions and resistance at the Great Western Cotton Factory in Bristol 1838- 1914. (Bristol Radical Pamphlet). See www.brh.org.uk

Further information about the BaW project can be seen at https://www.britainatworklondon.com

Facts Britannica: What’s In A Nation?

Richard Blakemore (Lecturer, History of the Atlantic World, University of Reading) discusses what he calls Melanie Phillips’s ‘crude and careless approach to the past. Most of Britain’s history is not the stately progress of a united nation combining all parts of these islands. It is, rather, the history of troublesome bits. That is one reason why it is so fascinating.’






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 http://thecroydoncitizen.com. 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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