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 […]

The Fatal Shore

The Epic of Australia's Founding

By Robert Hughes
Anyone interested in the history of Australia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would do well to read Robert Hughes’s book. He describes in detail the development of the convict system and the colonisation of Australia from the first convict ship arriving at Sydney Cove in 1787 to the last convict voyage to Fremantle in 1868. With intensive research he has given the convicts a voice describing their own experiences of suffering, survival and resistance during that period. Robert […]

Lydney: Black Lives Matter and the Bathursts

1754 – 1831 Lydney Town Council has attempted to ban a Black Lives Matter event arranged to take place in Bathurst Park, Lydney at 2 pm – 4 pm Saturday 20 June. Forest of Dean Black Lives Matter has issued a statement on their Facebook Page which includes the following: We cannot continue to allow this oppression in our society; the primary purpose of this event to begin with was to challenge this and to encourage change, it is sad that you have prevented from us doing so. We do not wish to, and […]

Kick over the statues….Colston is going…going…gone

Over the last few years in arguments over the commemoration, celebration and memorialisation of slaver-traders we have been told many times that the so-called 'traditions' of Bristol must be protected. That is code for not changing anything; names of buildings, schools and statues, which are all part of the memorial landscape of Bristol created over the last couple of centuries largely by the merchant and business elite. Well, there is another great historical tradition in Bristol, that is […]

The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and The Caribbean

By Gerald Horne
As you will have probably gathered from the title, Professor Gerald Horne wastes no time with mincing his words. The first paragraph of the Introduction is likewise refreshingly uncompromising about the position that the book takes: The years between 1603 and 1714 were perhaps the most decisive in English history. At the onset of the seventeenth century, the sceptered isle was a second-class power but the Great Britain that emerged at the beginning of the eighteenth century was, in many ways, […]

The ‘Emergency’ in Malaya (1948- 60) and the Batang Kali Massacre [Postponed until further notice]

At the end of World War II, an almost bankrupt Britain was determined to reinstate the old areas of European power in the ‘Far East’ and held Vietnam and Indonesia until France and Holland could regain control. Shortly after, as Labour was building the ‘Welfare State’ at home, in Malaya, which had extensive tin mines and was producing over a third of the world’s natural rubber, our soldiers were fighting a counter-insurgency campaign to secure the country for British interests. In this […]