The Black Liberation Front + Q&A

Tuesday 15 June 6.30pm
This event is organised by Black History Walks in conjunction with the Sarah Parker Remond Centre at U.C.L

The Black Liberation Front (BLF) was formed in 1971 and to date was one of the most active and impactful Black Power organisations in Britain. In 2017 the Young Historians Project interviewed 9 former members of the BLF to capture their stories and created a 38 minute documentary and a multi-panel exhibition for people to learn and be inspired by this history.

Watch the BLF documentary below online at the time of your choice, then join us on the 15th June for a 90 minute Q&A with members of the Young Historians Project and surviving BLF members, Zainab Abbas and Tee White . They will discuss their experiences, motivations, what they learned, current projects and the impact of 2020 on the appetite for black history.

About the Black Liberation Front

The BLF published the Grassroots Newspaper aimed at the people of Britain’s Black community. It offered an alternative news source to mainstream media. The pages of Grassroots were filled with artworks from BLF members, articles and poems relating to Black history, a Women’s Column, Family Page, information on cases of police brutality in Britain as well as news on anti-colonial struggles taking place in Africa and the Caribbean at the time.

At that time it was extremely difficult to source Black literature, and books on Black history and politics were near impossible to find in high-street bookshops so the BLF established three Black bookshops across North and North West London, including the Grassroots storefront on Ladbroke Grove which became a hub for information, events and community support. The Headstart bookshop on West Green Road in north London housed a supplementary school for young people. Volunteers taught maths, English and Black history on the weekends to counter the poor quality of education and discriminatory attitudes towards young Black people and children in British schools.

As a Pan-Africanist and socialist organisation the BLF was dedicated to the total liberation of Africa from colonialism in all its forms. In 1974 three BLF members were sent as delegates to the Sixth Pan-African Congress in Tanzania. The BLF also played a major role in organising the annual Africa Liberation Day celebrations in the UK during the 1970s and early 1980s. Using organisational links with liberation movements on the continent, the BLF raised money and sent medical supplies to support liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and elsewhere.

Alongside education, employment and police brutality, housing was one issue which affected Black people in Britain during the late 20th century. The BLF established the Ujima Housing Association to provide local Black communities, especially vulnerable young people and mothers, with safe and affordable housing. When Ujima eventually merged with London and Quadrant in 2008, it had assets to the value of £2 billion.

Other important aspects of the BLF’s work included its Prisoner Welfare Schemes and involvement in Britain’s Black women’s movement. Although the organisation folded in 1993 and experienced many challenges, including attacks from police, the National Front, state surveillance and internal political differences, the organisation left an indelible mark on the landscape of Black British activism and community self-help initiatives. It is during times such as the ongoing worldwide calls for an end to police brutality and racist structures, that we can lean on the legacies of groups such as the Black Liberation Front for guidance and a blueprint to create tangible change.

“We stand for the right of Black people to determine our own destiny. This of course involves great personal sacrifices, but it is a responsibility we must take up. We are our own liberators.”– BLF’s Working Platform

About the Speakers:

The Young Historians Project, founded in 2015, is a non-profit organisation formed of young people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. Their mission is to produce dynamic projects showcasing underrepresented aspects of Black British History, and to encourage other young people to engage in these histories.

You can watch the documentary produced by the Young Historians Project in 2017 (link below) at any time. Then you can join the Q&A with the YHP on the 15th June 2021.

This is an online event. Zoom link will be sent 30 minutes before the start. Please check your JUNK MAIL

Look out for our new book Black History Walks in London Volume 1 from Jacaranda Books

Other coming events from Black History Walks www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk

  • Black History River Cruise
  • Anti Racism as Politics with Professor Paul Gilroy
  • The Dangers of Sugar Sweetened Beverages in the African Diaspora
  • Black Superheroine of the 19th century
  • Fibroids and reproductive health: new research from the Caribbean
  • Jim Kelly, Kung Fu and Black British Civil Rights
  • 1968 Race Relations Act and the legacy of Black Lawyers
  • Prince the Black History Breakdown
  • Is Britain responsible for America’s Race Relations ?
  • Coded Bias: Racism disguised in computer programming
  • The Gentrification of Peckham and Black Urban removal worldwide
  • The British Black Panther Movement

About the Sarah Parker Remond Centre at U.C.L

The University College London Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation explores the impact of racism – scientific, metaphysical and cultural. Part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, they work closely with many partners on-site to provide a focal point for scholarship, teaching and public engagement activities that are addressed to various problems of racial inequality and hierarchy.

Book Now

Visit our Eventbrite page to book your place, or get in touch to find out more information.

Book Now

Reviews of Black History Walks, Tours & Talks

Don’t miss out some of the most fascinating and historically interesting events in London. Sign up to our free newsletter for updates on coming events or book one of our walks and talks today!

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.

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
5
10
Black History Walks
Menu