‘A Black life lived large’ – Pearl Prescod, 1920-1966, Caribbean/British actor, singer, activist

The arrival of the Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury in June 1948, bringing 492 migrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands was part of the large scale migration of British Commonwealth citizens from the Caribbean that lasted until the 1962 Commonwealth Immigration Act instituted racist controls on their entry to the UK. The Empire Windrush and the 'Windrush generation', as they have been labelled, particularly since the scandal exposed in 2018, are now becoming part of […]

‘How Labour Governed’ – 1945-1951

1945: The war in Europe has just ended and the Labour Party wins a resounding general election victory. What follows is celebrated on much of the left as a period of progressive government which should inspire us to build a fairer society. However, at the time, critics pointed out that every socialist principle had been betrayed by politicians. In fact this was really a period much like any other, marked by continued militarism, colonialist suppression, racism, austerity and reactionary […]

A Night of Solidarity with Myanmar

Featuring the Rebel Riot UK Tour 2017 Documentary plus Discussion Panel and Q&A on Situation in Myanmar Now

A Night of Solidarity with Myanmar takes place at The Cube on 2nd March from 7.30pm - get tickets here. Early arrivals will enjoy some 'Myanmar snacks' cooked up by members of the Myanmar community in Bristol. Hosted by the local #WithMyanmar support group on FB, it's aim is to spread awareness, information & understanding of the current situation in Myanmar (aka Burma), and generate support for it's people resisting the Military Coup there on 1st February 2021. That Military Coup followed […]

The Fight for Monad

By Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams’s novel, The Fight for Manod was first published in 1979. As we know, 1979 was an important year, seemingly a watershed year. In this year Margaret Thatcher was elected, and Ronald Regan launched what was to be his successful presidential campaign. Yet the social forces that pushed them into prominence and the form of capitalism on stilts now commonly known as Neoliberalism didn’t of course suddenly emerge overnight from nowhere. Like deadly toadstools, the mycelium that brought […]

Congratulations Barbados

Ripples across the Pond

Slave ship Hannibal 1693-1695
On Tuesday 30 November 2021, marking the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, Barbados proudly became a Republic. In 2020 the then governor-general of Barbados, Sandra Mason, now president and head of state, stated that "the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state." The former Barbadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom Guy Hewitt, stated in an interview that many Barbadians believe that the country was due for "a […]

Statement of Support for the Toppling of the Colston Statue & for the Four Colston Defendants

Early this morning, on the first anniversary of the toppling of the slave-trader and former Tory MP Edward Colston from his plinth, the campaign coalition @GladColstonsGone issued the following statement and a press release. Amidst the chatter from policiticans, celebrities and media, it will likely be ignored, not least because it calls for the charges to be dropped against the four Colston Statue Defendants. But we reprint it here in full and unedited, because it's a collective work of […]

The Hummingbird: the role of the the black bookshop in community self development

Never allow skin colour to get in the way. Our status in life was not ordained by God. It’s an incident of history. Cathy Lecointe's aunt In 1985 the Hummingbird Bookshop situated in Grosvenor Road, St Paul's, Bristol was set up by an inspirational and pioneering Bristol black woman, Cathy Lecointe. Cathy worked in community education and self development for many years and ran the bookshop alongside her former husband Frank Waite for nearly ten years. The Hummingbird acted as a community hub, […]

Imperial Intimacies

A Tale of Two Islands

By Hazel V. Carby
A copy of The Bristolian
This is an eloquent and angry account of Professor Hazel Carby’s family history linked to the shameful history of the British Empire. She is painfully honest about the relationship of her own parents - her mother born in Wales, her father from Jamaica, their marriage soured by “the climate of virulent and violent British racism.” It was in Bristol where her mother had grown up and where “ambition took root and flourished, the city that nurtured and nourished her dreaming…the city’s architecture […]

Bristol Festival of Literature: Colston, Fact And Fiction

This event is part of Bristol Festival of Literature and you can can register for the meeting here. In this two-part event authors Roger Ball and Mark Steeds of Bristol Radical History Group and Countering Colston discuss how facts, fictions and silences about the history of Edward Colston became part of the collective memory in the Victorian period and were subsequently challenged by historians, writers and artists. Ros Martin is a literary-based artist and activist of many years standing. She […]

Black History Month 2020

Brecon slave trader plaque was removed, and a poem was penned!

During 2010, and during Black History Month no less, a plaque was quietly erected in the rural town of Brecon, Wales to commemorate the life of a slave trader and commander of the slave ship Hannibal without public consultation. African people were purchased by agents of The Royal African Company to undertake forced labour and childbearing as slaves for the accumulation of profit. In 1693 700 enslaved African women, men and children were forced below the decks of the Hannibal under the command […]