Looking back over the Black History Month blog posts from last year, you will find descriptions of the many powerful Black women who successfully overcame the frightening violence and persecution that followed the uptick in racism and fearmongering in the 1950s following the post-war economic collapse. Figures such as Mavis Best who changed the law from a tool of persecution to a standard for equality that gave police sweeping powers of arrest without cause and allowed them to intimidate Black people with the threat of arbitrary arrest and instigated the Race Relations Act of 1965 that replaced colonial laws and established equal rights in law for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity. These figures are so important that I wanted to revisit them again briefly here.

Contrary to the prevailing myth that Black people arrived to an entirely white population mid-20th century on the Windrush, archaeological evidence suggests Britain was ethnically diverse from at least the time the Roman Empire arrived in Britain, facilitating international trade and mobility and have answered the call to aid Britain from every corner of her empire ever since.

Saluting sisters: celebrating the impact of Black British women This Black History Month, we are focusing on the history, legacies and lasting impact of Black women. With so much online content focused on Afro-Americans, I have tried to centre Black …

Black History Month in the Library 2023 Read more »

All that is necessary for racism to continue to flourish is for people like you to do nothing, but what can just one person achieve? From the examples of Black activists, we can see that under the right circumstances and with sufficient ability and will, we can see individuals can achieve quite a lot but that there are limits to what can be achieved by isolated individuals fighting institutionalised oppression. This post suggests four steps you can take to become actively antiracist and challenge the endemic racism in our society and institutions.

From Steven Lawrence to Chris Kaba, it is evident that Britain is not a safe place to be Black, while a quick look at the death rates in healthcare suggests these headlines only highlight the tip of a lethal inequality iceberg. It is imperative that everyone take notice and act to end the endemic inequalities in our society and institutions.

Founding member of the Black Unity and Freedom Party, which argued for the equal value of women within the Black liberation movement, Bean recognised the differing needs of Black and White women and promptly opened the Black Women’s Centre in Brixton to offer a safe, supportive space for women.

Olive Morris was just 27 when she died, but she is widely commemorated as a powerful campaigner for racial and gender equality, squatters’ rights and housing. The Jamaican-born community activist co-founded the Brixton Black Women’s Group in 1973, campaigning fiercely …

Heroes of British Black History – Olive Morris Read more »