Arts & Culture
Black British Civil Rights: Behind the Scenes
- 8:15 pm
21 April 2021
Online | Free/Donation
An 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. In this Black History Walks event Rob will cover:
- Black owned housing associations that secured 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 childcare 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.
Register to attend here
“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.
Header Photo: British Library