‘Look How Far We’ve Come: Disrupting African British History Narratives?’*
*For anyone marking, commemorating, discussing, commenting on or writing about Windrush @ 70 and other commemorations this year, such as Bristol Bus Boycott @ 55, West Indian Gazette @ 60 or the Carnival, needs to check out this book – for the sake of #NoMoreBadHistories even the odd history professor will find out one or two things to avoid repeating inaccurate received wisdom! For details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
History Consultant Cautions All Who Are Going To Be Commenting On Or Organising Empire Windrush Commemorations To Look To Historical Facts And Not Prevalent Received Wisdom
June 12 2018
This month there are several events planned to mark the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s journey from the Caribbean to Britain. Indeed whilst the Empire Windrush has now become a pivotal part of the African British history narrative, history consultant Kwaku cautions politicians, community leaders, historians, journalists, commentators and organisers of 70th anniversary events to use the opportunity to put the Empire Windrush story in its historically correct context and not rely on rejurgitating the body of inaccurate perceived wisdom that has been built up over the decades.
Kwaku will be highlighting some of the Windrush myths and erroneous accounts at the sold-out Look: From Empire Windrush To The Commonwealth & Windrush Scandal (1948-2018) event this Friday (June 15) at Hackney Archives, ahead of the Look: The Other Windrush Stories! event on Saturday June 30, which is based on the pre-release of his ‘Look How Far We’ve Come: Disrupting African British History Narratives?’ book.
The book covers numerous Windrush inaccuracies, from the ship’s date of departure from Jamaica and arrival in Britain, its route to the Caribbean and from the Caribbean, price of the fare, how many passengers were on board, the motivation of the passengers and whether they were invited to come to help rebuild Britain. It also highlights a number of historically incorrect information in the African British history narrative shared by academics, historians, politicians and journalists, and covers a wide range of revelations on subjects involving the likes of Queen Elizabeth I to Claudia Jones.
“It’s 30 years since the launch of African Jubilee Year, 50 years since the 1968 Race Relations Act, 55 years since the Bristol Bus Boycott, 60 years since the launch of the West Indian Gazette and the Nottingham and Notting Hill Race Riots, and 70 years since the Empire Windrush brought a large number of people from the Caribbean. These are all very important histories worthy of commemoration.
“I have respect for historians. However, British African history is being short-changed by academics and historians, whose sloppy, inaccurate histories aren’t challenged, and end up being repeated by politicians, community leaders and journalists,” asserts Kwaku, who prefers to be referred to as a history consultant, rather than a historian.
Look: From Empire Windrush To The Commonwealth & Windrush Scandal (1948-2018) will address the misconceptions surrounding the Empire Windrush’s voyage from the Caribbean to Britain in 1948, highlight some of the British government’s conversations and what it did to limit Caribbean and other New Commonwealth migration from the 1940s to 1960s, and show why what’s playing out in 2018 as the Commonwealth and Windrush scandal has a long back-story stretching back more than 70 years.
Look: The Other Windrush Stories! questions whether we can continue commemorations by re-telling the same histories that don’t quite match up with the facts.
For details of these events: www.AfricanHistoryPlus.eventbrite.com.
BTWSC/African Histories Revisited resources available at www.freewebstore.org/oldies-and-goodies.