History Update 23 January

Legacies Of British Slave Ownership Centre Under Threat

Reduced funding has depleted the capacity of the Centre for the Study of British Slave Ownership. Its work has revolutionised our understanding of British slave ownership and its legacies. Yet despite the massive amount of work that has been undertaken there is still a great deal  more to be done. One of its strengths was working with non-academic and local historians. See the details of the crisis here and how you can help donate money to its work.


Lives and Labours of Care Workers

Freya Willis who is studying a Masters of History at the University of Oxford writes:

‘I am working on a research project about the lives and labour of care workers and working conditions in the care industry from the 1980s onwards. As part of my research, I am seeking to interview workers who cared for the elderly or worked in the social care or elderly care industry (in any capacity) between the 1980s to the early 2000s about their experiences. I am hoping to recruit as many participants as possible, please circulate as you see fit.

I am contactable on 07784 607229 or my email is freya.willis@magd.ox.ac.uk. 

Winners Of 100 Black Britons Schools Competition

The list of winners is at


Patrick Vernon of the 100 Black Britons project writes:

“I am amazed with the fantastic response and quality from entries which was completed during the last covid lockdown by schools and children. This is one of the biggest school competitions supporting celebrating Black British history to date.

This demonstrates the appetite and hunger for learning and for more inclusion on Black history in the national curriculum.

I want to thank the 1500 entries, over seventy plus judges who volunteered their time over the last 3 months in doing the long and short listing.

Finally thank you to our sponsors, individuals, and organisations who have donated prizes. We want to work with a museum or arts organisations to have an exhibition in highlight the winners and runners up leading up to Black History Month in 2022. Due to the success of 100 Great Black Britons School Competition we would like to run this again for 2022.”

I was one of the judges.


Tuesday 25 January.7pm. Mapping the City 

Mike Barke online re talk forNorth East Labur History Society about the history of Newcastle-upon-Tyne based on his new book, (co-authored with Brian Robson and Anthony Champion).


Meeting ID: 863 3740 4230

Passcode: 361822

Friday 28 January. 6.30pm to Sunday 30 January 6pm. Abolition A-Z 

Friday 28 January.6.30pm. Abolition A-Z  in conversation with No More Exclusions

MayDay Rooms

Saturday 29 January.10am-12.30pm. William Morris

Course led by John Stirling (Vice-Chair of the William Morris Society and NELHS Committee Member). £8.00, reductions available. 

Morpeth Methodist Church   

To enrol:

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2021/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C2527581 or ring 0300 303 3464 

February. Paul Crooks Black History Online Events

Thursday 3 February. 7pm. Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and his Books

Online talk for Socialist History Society  by Prof  Geoffrey Roberts.

Register here:


See also:


Tuesday 15 February. 7pm. Trade Union Banners

Online talk for North East Labour History Society by Lucy Grimshaw (Northumbria University) and Lewis Mates (Durham University) about using trade union banners for educational purposes based on their recent experience of the Follonsby Miners’ Banner Project for schools in the Gateshead area.

British History

NUR and Bus Worker Members


Campaigning For Access To The Moors

Gandhi in London


Nubian Jak Plaque to John Blanke

A Nubian Jak Community Trust Blue Plaque has been unveiled at Trinity Laban Conservatoire Greenwich Naval College 


National Archives have found a 1488 John Blank (sic), a footman to Henry VII which predates the current earliest known date of 1507 for John Blanke. For more details


Death in Police Custody of Colin Roach January 1983

Dorset Black History


Includes Anthony Bogle, Robert Wedderburn, Lilian Bader,  Thomas Lewis Johnson, Belle Davis, and American GIs

Bowie documents the lives of men and women, some of them – like John Ruskin, Ebenezer Howard and Sam King. The biographies enable us to imagine a hive of political activity taking place across the Dulwich area over time, from campaign meetings to pamphlet writing, dinner party conversations, organising and speech writing.

Obtainable from local bookshops in Dulwich or directly from the author – duncanbowie@yahoo.co.uk – price £10.

Photographs Of British Life In Black And White, 1917-1962 Exhibition In Oxford

Exhibition brochure:   


Selection of the photographs:


The Orbison Owenite Colony


West African Seafarers In Wales


Wales & Slavery

Troops Out Movement Archive

If you have any material you’d like to donate, loan or have scanned as part of this collection please contact MayDay Rooms – see above.

Nova Scotian Black History

230th Anniversary of Black Nova Scotians To Sierra Leone

Canadian historian Afua Cooper writes on her LinkedIn page (15 January)

‘Today marks the 230th anniversary of the departure of 15 ships from Halifax harbour, in which travelled 1,196 Black Loyalists to Sierra Leone. They were fleeing, simply put, Canadian racism. I was happy to be interviewed by CBC in commemoration of this historic journey. I share the interview on the link below.’

The interview can be accessed at


along with details of the 1792 Project.

Escape To British Warships In the War of 1812

Historian Alan Shaw Taylor discusses research from his book The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, which examines escapes by enslaved people from Virginia to British warships operating in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, their resettlement as free people in Nova Scotia and Trinidad, and the consequences of this story. www.facebook.com/MuseumOfCulpeperHistory/videos/398455812035902

Journey for Justice Online Civil Rights Exhibition

After 5 years on the road, stopping in 15 towns and cities, with over 180,000 visitors, JfJ’s exhibition is online. It contains powerful human stories from the US civil rights movement, and a hundred histories of activism from around this country.


JfJ also has an action toolkit focused on what can be done to tackle economic injustice and poverty in the UK: stories, tactics, explainers and more.

Enslavement And The Atlantic

US/UK Collaboration Funding For Slave Voyages Database







Setting Hiawatha To Music

Fred Scott writes:

‘Hiawatha inspired more compositions than any literary work of its time. Popular songs included Charles Converse’s “The Death of Minnehaha” (with a famous hand-colored lithograph on the cover, 1856), George Meyer’s “Hiawatha’s Melody of Love” (1908) and Al Bowlby’s “Hiawatha’s Lullaby” (1933). Early cantatas include those by Emile Karst ( Hiawatha, 1858), Arthur Foote ( The Farewell of Hiawatha, 1886), Frederick Russell Burton ( Hiawatha , 1893), and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor ( he Song of Hiawatha, consisting of Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast , 1898; The Death of Minnehaha, 1899; and Hiawatha’s Departure, 1900). Coleridge-Taylor also composed Hiawathan Sketches for violin and piano in 1896, and even named his son Hiawatha. The first orchestral treatment was Robert Stoepel’s Hiawatha: An Indian Symphony (1859), and Edward MacDowell made sketches in 1887 for an unfinished symphonic poem to be titled Hiawatha and Minnehaha.’ 


US Enslavement & Black History

Guadaloupe Slave Owner Promoted Mesmerism In USA

Raven Wilkinson Black American Ballerina


Anti-Slavery US Consumers And The Sugar Industry


US Congress Slave Owners

More than 1,700 people who served in the U.S. Congress in the 18th, 19th and  20th centuries owned human beings at some point in their lives.


1890 Racism Law


W. E.B. Du Bois Black Reconstruction 1935



History Today February 2022

Barbados and the End of Monarchy

The Roma Holocaust

Review of the Holy War: The Untold Story of Catholic Italy’s Crusade against the Ethiopian Orthodox Church book by Ian Campbell.

The History of Cassava

Washington Black

This novel by By Esi Edugyan is one of 25 being being promoted for book clubs  by Abe Books

‘Eleven-year-old Wash, a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric man turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Their travels will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self.’

I have two copies left for sale – 20% off.

About seancreighton1947

I have lived in Norbury since July 2011. I blog on Croydon, Norbury and history events,news and issues. I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I have submitted views to Council Committees and gave evidence against the Whitgift Centre CPO and to the Local Plan Inquiry. I am a member of Norbury Village Residents Association and Chair of Norbury Community Land Trust, and represent both on the Love Norbury community organisations partnership Committee. I used to write for the former web/print Croydon Citizen. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics history database. 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, radical and suffrage movements, 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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