Black British Civil Rights, behind the scenes

April 21st 6.30pm

Revealing the unknown British Black power/civil rights groups and businesses active across London,1964 -1985. Housing, pubs, law, child care

Illustrated talk highlighting the little-known British Black power and Civil Rights groups active all over London between 1964 and 1985. Using Dr Rob Water’s book ‘Thinking Black: Britain’ 1964-1985, and his detailed information map of London’s many black businesses, cultural, advocacy and self-help groups we will cover:

  • Black owned housing associations that got accommodation for thousands of homeless black people in the 1970s
  • Black pubs of the 1960s that were packed out the door and racist pubs that were forced to change by black demands
  • Garvey’s Afro-Asia house, hostel, social and advice centre
  • The Black group set up to combat suicide and loneliness due to racism that later provided shared child care for working mothers and patrolled Brixton’s streets to protect against Klu Klux Klan members in 1965
  • The banning of Black Beauty shows at the Hammersmith Palais and the community response
  • How brothers and sisters squatted empty, derelict properties, fixed them up and turned them into centres of Black history and education
  • Record shops and beauty parlours as scenes of resistance
  • Rich white men and their patronage of Black Power
  • The Black American presence and collaborations: Marvin Gaye, Dick Gregory etc

Dr Rob Waters will be in conversation with Black History Walks. This is an online zoom lecture delivered at 6.30pm UK time. Zoom link will be sent 45 minutes in advance of the event please check your JUNK MAIL

Feedback on Thinking Black

“Thinking Black positions blackness and the conditions shaping the lives of those who embodied, imagined, and mobilized blackness in many forms at the center of analysis. From this vantage point, the book offers a view of contemporary British history and transnational race politics that has largely been ignored by historians.”Kennetta Hammond Perry, author of London Is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race

“Anyone committed to decolonising contemporary British politics and society must read Rob Waters’ book. Beautifully written and powerfully argued, Waters tells the story of when ‘thinking black’ in Britain promised the birth of a new, postcolonial society. This is a history buzzing with life, with intellectual ferment, with well-known and lesser-known black activists and intellectuals transforming the very terrain of British politics and culture. The book sheds important new light on the global history of postcolonial thought and activism. And, by rightly situating black radicalism at the center of public debate in Britain in the 1970s, Waters reveals that its history is truly essential to our understanding of wider transformations in British society at this time.” —Camilla Schofield, author of Enoch Powell and the Making of Postcolonial Britain

About the speaker

Rob Waters studied History at undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Edinburgh, before completing a PhD in English at Queen Mary University of London. he has since taught History, English, Sociology and Liberal Studies at Queen Mary, Birkbeck, New York University, the University of Sussex, and the University of Birmingham.He joined the School of History at Queen Mary in September 2019 as a Lecturer in Modern British History, and he held a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship at Queen Mary until the end of December 2019. Presently historian of modern Britain in the black Atlantic

Other Coming Events from Black History Walks

  • 1968 Race Relations Act and the legacy of Black Lawyers
  • Jim Kelly, Kung Fu and Black British Civil Rights
  • Black History River Cruise
  • Stan ‘Marvel’ Lee’s Black history
  • Bridgerton’s real Black history
  • How to Brainwash the Youth and make them act like fools!
  • Hip Hop to Opera via Negro Spirituals
  • Black Panther’s real Black history and the books to prove it
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy and Barbados
  • Prince the Black History Breakdown

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Reviews of Black History Walks, Tours & Talks

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Extremely informative and made it seem all really relevant

I just wanted to let you know that the students REALLY enjoyed the tour yesterday. I polled them in class and everyone overwhelmingly had positive things to say. They particularly enjoyed how you incorporated modern day information into the tour. They said it was extremely informative and made it seem all really relevant. And today it was great listening to them as they walked around central London, noticing some of the things you'd pointed out. So, your work was very well received. Well done and thank you!

Lori Tharps, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Journalism, Temple University, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T12:12:20+01:00

Lori Tharps, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Journalism, Temple University, USA

I just wanted to let you know that the students REALLY enjoyed the tour yesterday. I polled them in class and everyone overwhelmingly had positive things to say. They particularly enjoyed how you incorporated modern day information into the tour. They said it was extremely informative and made it seem all really relevant. And today it was great listening to them as they walked around central London, noticing some of the things you'd pointed out. So, your work was very well received. Well done and thank you!

Best element of the trip

You may hear this often, but many of my students named your tour as the best element of the trip last time.

Nancy Comerau, Assistant Professor of English, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T12:28:53+01:00

Nancy Comerau, Assistant Professor of English, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA

You may hear this often, but many of my students named your tour as the best element of the trip last time.

Absolutely brilliant lecture and walk yesterday

Absolutely brilliant lecture and walk yesterday. Students were really energized. Thanks so much.

Bill Mullen, Professor of English and American Studies, Purdue University, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:27:53+01:00

Bill Mullen, Professor of English and American Studies, Purdue University, USA

Absolutely brilliant lecture and walk yesterday. Students were really energized. Thanks so much.

A rich and detailed learning experience

Our guide's encyclopedic knowledge of the area, and his passion for black history, made for a rich and detailed learning experience. He was friendly and engaging, frequently involving the students in dialogue and relating his points to places and subjects that are familiar to them. The students were fascinated throughout and learned a great deal. We recommend this tour most highly!

Rebecca Whisnant, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Dayton, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:28:21+01:00

Rebecca Whisnant, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Dayton, USA

Our guide's encyclopedic knowledge of the area, and his passion for black history, made for a rich and detailed learning experience. He was friendly and engaging, frequently involving the students in dialogue and relating his points to places and subjects that are familiar to them. The students were fascinated throughout and learned a great deal. We recommend this tour most highly!

The children talk about it for a long time afterwards

I would really like to book two black history walk dates around St Pauls and the Barbican for our two year 6 classes. We have done them for the last two years and the children always learn such a lot and talk about it for a long time afterwards.

Helen Davies, Head of Year 6, John Scurr School, Tower Hamlets

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:29:08+01:00

Helen Davies, Head of Year 6, John Scurr School, Tower Hamlets

I would really like to book two black history walk dates around St Pauls and the Barbican for our two year 6 classes. We have done them for the last two years and the children always learn such a lot and talk about it for a long time afterwards.

I could not have asked for a better supplement to my Sociology course on race, identity, and culture

Thank you for organizing a wonderful walking tour for my students. You are incredibly knowledgeable, and it was such a joy to hear your take on things. The students loved this field trip. You did an excellent job relating the history, culture, and social contributions of Black and Afro-Caribbean people in a fun and lively way while still emphasizing the seriousness and importance of this often overlooked aspect of British life. I could not have asked for a better supplement to my Sociology course on race, identity, and culture. I really appreciate you helping make the class so special and look forward to arranging another.

William Force, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Western New England University

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:31:05+01:00

William Force, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Western New England University

Thank you for organizing a wonderful walking tour for my students. You are incredibly knowledgeable, and it was such a joy to hear your take on things. The students loved this field trip. You did an excellent job relating the history, culture, and social contributions of Black and Afro-Caribbean people in a fun and lively way while still emphasizing the seriousness and importance of this often overlooked aspect of British life. I could not have asked for a better supplement to my Sociology course on race, identity, and culture. I really appreciate you helping make the class so special and look forward to arranging another.

Engaging, moving, will keep you asking more questions.

What an amazing tour! It completely moved me to rethink the intricate web of social, economic and political relations that characterize British imperial rule and racial politics. Engaging, moving, will keep you asking more questions. The best way to get to know London.

Alai Reyes-Santos, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:32:29+01:00

Alai Reyes-Santos, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon

What an amazing tour! It completely moved me to rethink the intricate web of social, economic and political relations that characterize British imperial rule and racial politics. Engaging, moving, will keep you asking more questions. The best way to get to know London.

Nothing but positive feedback

The audience and the panellists had some incredibly positive feedback about your presentation. It went down so well and was an brilliant combination of information, revelation and humour. There were also a number of attendees whose firms or companies had organised a Black History Walk with yourself and also had nothing but positive feedback

Sharon Takhar, Origin Network, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Black History Walks
5
2020-08-19T16:34:16+01:00

Sharon Takhar, Origin Network, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

The audience and the panellists had some incredibly positive feedback about your presentation. It went down so well and was an brilliant combination of information, revelation and humour. There were also a number of attendees whose firms or companies had organised a Black History Walk with yourself and also had nothing but positive feedback

It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it for all

A brisk, informative stroll through the heart of the British Empire. Our cheerful and intellectually generous tour guide, led us through narrow alleyways and past Roman ruins, within halls constructed by powerful guilds; in the process, he revealed to us both the many layers of British history and the often unacknowledged cultural multiplicity at its core. The tour was exciting, informative and allowed everyone across age, interest, and temperament to participate and learn. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it for all.

Professor Caroline Brown, University of Montreal, Canada

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T11:38:44+01:00

Professor Caroline Brown, University of Montreal, Canada

A brisk, informative stroll through the heart of the British Empire. Our cheerful and intellectually generous tour guide, led us through narrow alleyways and past Roman ruins, within halls constructed by powerful guilds; in the process, he revealed to us both the many layers of British history and the often unacknowledged cultural multiplicity at its core. The tour was exciting, informative and allowed everyone across age, interest, and temperament to participate and learn. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it for all.

A truly inspiring day

A truly inspiring day, filled with information I may have NEVER been aware of, if it was not for attending this walk. The friendly intellectually amazing tour guide relayed facts that I would have had to research for months to be aware of. I would URGE any and everyone, of all ages to attend - a great, fun, educational day out.

Isschara Maxine, London

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T11:44:18+01:00

Isschara Maxine, London

A truly inspiring day, filled with information I may have NEVER been aware of, if it was not for attending this walk. The friendly intellectually amazing tour guide relayed facts that I would have had to research for months to be aware of. I would URGE any and everyone, of all ages to attend - a great, fun, educational day out.
5
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Black History Walks
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