Black British Civil Rights, Hackney and GCSE

Friday 26 July

Illustrated talk about the fight for racial equality in Hackney, the links to Notting Hill and James Baldwin.


On May 17th, a blue plaque honouring James Baldwin was unveiled at Hackney CVS.

Baldwin’s 1985 visit to Hackney, as an international celebrity, highlights the strength of local anti-racist groups.

This interactive presentation will highlight some of those groups and the racist problems they overcame like; no Black history books in libraries or indeed no Black librarians, and link them to the better known struggles for equality in Notting Hill.

We will reference the Pearson GCSE history exam book based on our Notting Hill walk. This book is now used by 10,000 pupils in 140 schools across the country. We will also share local knowledge from our Hackney (Dalston) Black History Walk.

We will cover:

  • Black economic empowerment
  • Black British Civil rights
  • Hackney Community Defence Association
  • Hackney CVS, what is it?
  • Racism in housing and West Indian community solutions
  • Black bookshops and white libraries
  • The impact and legacy of CLR James
  • The Rick Ross connection
  • Police brutality before Black Lives Matter
  • Jacaranda Books, Black women publishers and the fight to authentic Black stories

There will be a series of James Baldwin events between now and September hosted by Hackney Archives and Hackney libraries

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