‘Triptych’ A poem by Marvin Thompson – Slaver Captain Phillips of Brecon (1693-1694)

A Poem by Marvin Thompson

On the weekend of 7-9 June 2020 the Brecon plaque to a slave trading captain was stripped from the wall on which it was erected in 2010. Poet Marvin Thompson was inspired to write the following poem: On the Anniversary of the death of George Floyd: Dear Brecon Town Council, A mouth drying to mud, tightening lungs and eyes on the edge of tears: that was the reaction of my Black British body when, on this wind-lash of a lockdown morning, I read who you class as a role model for my Welsh, Mixed […]

Black Power – a British Story of Resistance with director George Amponsah 

  Note: This online event is hosted by The Cube and requires booking. Details here. Join BAFTA-nominated documentary film-maker George Amponsah (The Hard Stop) in conversation with historian Rosie Wild about his latest work, Black Power: a British Story of Resistance. This will be followed by a Q&A session. The recent highly acclaimed history documentary Black Power: a British Story of Resistance (Rogan Productions, 2021) tells the story of Britain’s homegrown Black Power movement from […]

They don’t protect us: A history of the police and monitoring groups

Note: this an online event organised by Bristol Copwatch. Advance booking is required, please pre-register here in order to attend this meeting. Bristol Copwatch with Institute of Race Relations invite you to join them to hear stories from the work of Community Monitoring Groups who have been on the frontline challenging police abuses of power and racism for decades. Learn more about the police use of force in the UK, taser usage, and the controversial new Violence Suppression Units, and learn […]

Who will inherit the legacy of the Bristol Bus Boycott?

Lilleith Morrison and Richard Jones, co-author and publisher of Dr Paul Stephenson’s autobiography Memoirs Of A Black Englishman (Tangent Books) ask, along with artists and activists, Ros Martin and Rob Mitchell ‘Who will inherit the legacy of the Bristol Bus Boycott?’. The successful Bus Boycott campaign of 1963 was one of the greatest victories of the UK Civil Rights movement as the Black community and progressive thinkers in Bristol united to overthrow the ‘colour bar’ operated by Bristol […]

One Year On – Lantern Vigil of Remembrance

On the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by the police, a Lantern Vigil of Remembrance will be held on College Green, Bristol BS1. Floyd's killing re-ignited the Black Lives Matter movement, first in the USA, then around the world, as people demanded an end to police brutality and systemic racism. This Lantern Vigil will respect and remember all those who have suffered, died, and resisted – this year, last year, and over the centuries. At 8.00pm there will be a nine minute […]

‘Secret and delicate sources’: UK Black Power and undercover policing

Black Power in Britain started in 1967, reached its apogee in 1971 and was in terminal decline by the mid-1970s. It was an expression of frustration, anger and – most importantly – resistance to the individual, institutional and state racism experienced by the postwar generations of black immigrants to Britain and their British-born children. The British state took the threat of Black Power very seriously, both at home and across the Commonwealth. When an international conference on Black Power […]

State and Police Racism: The Making of a Hostile Environment in Post-War Britain

The term ‘hostile environment,’ coined in 2012 by Home Secretary Theresa May to deter “illegal” immigration, did not exist as official government policy during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s but this hostility was, nonetheless, part the atmosphere in state institutions, such as education, law enforcement and criminal justice. Young black males certainly experienced life as living in a hostile environment in which there were scant legal rights. In his talk based on a lifetime of personal experience, […]

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, […]

Abolition Shed

Bristol’s memorial landscape is woeful, there’s not one statue to any of the city's brilliant women, and a complete omission of the most important of all, a major memorial to the victims of enslavement - despite citizens calling for just such a thing many times over the past three decades. Apart from a single gallery in the city’s main museum, M Shed, and a notable display to abolitionist John Wesley in the New Room’s Methodist museum, there’s no specific memorial and nothing of any scale. […]

Abolition Shed 2 – details

A Vision for former Seaman’s Mission and Chapel, Bristol Currently owned by Sam Smiths Brewery (Yorkshire) Introduction After the rejection of our plans for Abolition Shed 1, alternative locations were then considered. These had to be within the parameters of our initial vision: In a highly visible central location, where the history actually happened In amongst other visitor sites with good transport links Fulfilling these requirements, these three new locations were then considered: - The […]