Time For Real Change: Black British Rebels, figures from working class history

Monday 25 October 2021

Time For Real Change celebrates Black History Month with Hassan Mahamdallie, author of “Black British Rebels”

7-7.45pm Black British Rebels with author and playwright, Hassan Mahamdallie

7.45-8.15pm Fighting racism at work and Equalities Update from #TimeForRealChange NEC members (pc)

Last year, the Black Lives Matter movement erupted around the world in response to the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, America. Millions were horrified by the footage of his death and inspired to act against the system of racial injustice that exists across the world. In Britain, tens of thousands marched and many have “Taken the Knee” in solidarity with those protesting.

Despite the weight of evidence, the Boris Johnson’s Sewell Report tried to say there is no such thing as institutional racism. Yet, there is still no justice for Windrush or for those that died at Grenfell. Black people are still more likely to be stopped and searched or to die in police custody. Black UNISON members are more likely to be subject to disciplinary or lose their jobs in restructures. Disproportionate deaths of Black and Minority Ethnic people from Covid have laid bare the cost of racial inequality.

This Black History Month, we want to learn from our history to better fight inequality and racism today.

Black British Rebels with author and playwright, Hassan Mahamdallie

Playwright and author Hassan Mahamdallie will be joining us to share stories from his fantastic pamphlet, “Black British Rebels: figures from working class history” (available from Bookmarks: https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/view/31245/Black+British+Rebels++Figure+from+working+class+history).

Hassan has worked as a campaigning journalist, covering major events including the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, state injustices, and black and working-class deaths in custody. He writes and speaks regularly on issues of race and racism, Black radical history, Islamophobia, and Muslims in British society.

About the Book:

“At key moments in the British working class struggle for rights and freedom black leaders have emerged. This pamphlet is an introduction to that hidden but unbroken thread running through our history. Spanning the centuries from the 1750s to the 1970s, Hassan Mahamdallie brings to life six of these inspiring figures: Olaudah Equiano, who rose from slavery to become one ofthe most prominent campaigners ever against human bondage; Robert Wedderburn, unquenchable revolutionary firebrand of Regency London; William Cuffay, leader ofthe London Chartists; Shapurji Saklatvala, Communist MP for Battersea, jailed during the 1926 General Strike; Claudia Jones, a powerful figure who gave hope to Britain’s beleaguered black population ofthe 1950s; and Jayaben Desai whose steely pride pitched her into a historic trade union struggle of the 1970s.”

Fighting racism at work and Equalities Update from NEC

We want to create a space for members to discuss experience of racism at work and concrete examples of people fighting racism at work through collective action. There will also be a report back from #TimeForRealChange NEC members about what they are doing to challenge racism and inequality.

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