It’s so easy for one to think that African British history starts with the start of the Windrush generation in the late 1940s. There is a long and checkered history which north-west London voluntary organization BTWSC aims to highlight with its NARM African British Histories series of presentations.
This year, it’s focusing on delivering the Paul Stephenson & Bristol Bus Boycott and John Archer & Black Politics presentations in schools, libraries and work places. 2013 marks 50 years since Paul Stephenson successfully led the Bristol Bus Boycott against racist employment which was backed by the local branch of the Transport & General Workers Union at the Bristol Omnibus Company. The day the boycott ended was the same day Martin Luther King made his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. The boycott in part led to the enactment of the 1965 Race Relations Act.
One hundred years ago John Archer was elected mayor of Battersea in 1913, thus becoming London’s first African mayor. A photographer my trade, he was very much involved in social welfare, workers’ rights, he became a stalwart of Battersea’s Labour party and trade union movement, and successfully worked with an Asian Communist to be twice elected MP. Archer was also involved in pan-Africanism.
John Archer and Black Politics, a free audio-visual presentation by history consultant Kwaku, takes place Tuesday 16 April. 6.30-8pm at Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11 1JB. For more details: www.narm2013.eventbrite.com.