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Liliana Obregón

The Black Codes comprise an elaborate set of principles, rules, and procedures that were designed to protect plantation economies and prevent slaves from running away. But because they conflicted with the slaveholders' actual interests and practices—the codes specified minimal standards for slaves' food and clothing, restrictions on punishments, and means of achieving manumission—they were rarely implemented. Nevertheless, the codes give insight into the working conditions, economic interests, and social practices of the French Caribbean and Spanish American slave societies they addressed. These laws contrast with those relating to slavery in the Portuguese colony of Brazil; the Brazilian laws were never codified, though compilations were published to instruct slaveholders on their rights and responsibilities.



Lucy MacKeith

City with a low black population, but a good example of the historical presence of Blacks in areas outside the major port cities, an indication of how omnipresent they were in Britain from the 17th century onwards.

Parish registers provide examples such as the burial on 4 February 1631 at St Mary Major of ‘Thomas, sonne of a Blackamore’; the baptisms on 16 February 1689 at St Stephen's of ‘Mary Negro, black’, on 9 April 1735 of ‘Charles English, negro’, and on 4 December 1778 of ‘Thomas Walker, a black boy’; and the burial on 8 May 1791 of ‘Robert Hill, black, a servant at the Devon and Exeter Hospital’.

A contemporary broadsheet in November 1668 gives details of ‘200 blacks brought from the plantations of the Netherlands in America’, part of the procession led by William of Orange on his way to claim the throne in London. On 22 ...


Gretchen Gerzina

The nearly 200 years (1714–1901) that comprise the Georgian and Victorian periods in England were also the most formative and important in the history of Blacks in Britain.

1.The arrival and settlement of Blacks in Britain

2.The legal position of Blacks in Georgian Britain

3.Prominent ...



Jacqueline Jenkinson

One of Britain's leading trading ports between the 17th and 20th centuries. Links between Glasgow and the black world originated through trade. In the late 17th century the merchant guilds of Glasgow added to its flourishing trade with the colonial tobacco plantations in mainland North America by forging trading connections with the West Indies. The Glasgow West India Association was founded in 1807. The Association spent many of its early years defending the slave trade interest. Glasgow was involved in the slave trade, but to a much smaller degree in comparison to the major slaving ports of Bristol, London, and Liverpool. Trade connections and the slave trade led to the creation of a permanent black presence in Glasgow by the late 18th century as black people arrived, settled, and married. One early black Glaswegian was David Cunningham lawfully born to Anthony a black labourer and ...


H.R. Costello

City in north‐western England which, by the end of the 18th century, had become one of Europe's greatest ports because of its involvement in the slave trade.

1.18th‐century settlers

2.The 1919 riots

3.Black seamen

4.Social and economic disadvantage



S. I. Martin

Capital of the United Kingdom and a historic centre of black political and cultural organization and development.

1.The black population in 2005

2.From Roman to Elizabethan London

3.London and the slave trade

4.Georgian and Victorian London

5.Black organizations


Lola Young

Term used to refer to sexual relations between different races resulting in ‘mixed’ offspring. It comes from the combination of two Latin words: miscere (to mix) and genus race Across the centuries miscegenation has been the subject of heated discourse and debates about the desirability or otherwise of cross ...


Angela Leonard

One way to understand how a nation lives with its past and present is by locating monuments and memorials markers and places that commemorate historic events celebrate achievements of individuals help the bereaved remember and mourn the dead give meaning to the past and locate the presence of groups who ...


Philip Herbert

Black composers and musicians have made valuable contributions to classical music in Britain over the centuries, and, in order to do this, they have had to grapple with the social constraints of the period in which they lived.

1.18th‐century music and musicians

2.19th‐century African‐Americans

3.The survival of ...


Lucy MacKeith

The struggle for social political and economic justice has been central to the history of black peoples in Britain This struggle has continued unabated since at least the 18th century a period that ushered in the beginnings of the establishment of permanent black communities Over the centuries black women and ...


Dianne Payne

Poor black children rarely appear within historical records Several thousand African children were brought to England to labour as unpaid servants in the households of the wealthy Many were abused ran away and grew up alongside the poor white population Those born outside the country had no legal status and hence no access to parochial relief or education Many worked as crossing sweepers street hawkers or ballad singers others made a living at fairs as puppeteers acrobats rope dancers and musicians and some became beggars As the century progressed more black children were born in England but specific references to poor black children in parish records are rare Several were admitted to the London Foundling Hospital and others to parish workhouses Young boys served in the Navy and the Marine Society and others enlisted in the Army The records of the criminal justice system reveal the suffering of poor black ...



Tanuka Loha

Racism is a long‐standing feature of human societies, but it has taken many different forms and been interpreted in many different ways in the course of history.

1.Theorizing race and racism

2.Early British racisms

3.Colonialism and domestic racism in the colonial era

4.Racializing non‐whiteness

5.The ...


Jonathan Morley

A refugee is a person fleeing persecution or suffering, under the entitlements of international law. The largest proportion of the world's refugees live in poverty‐stricken countries of the Third World, to which they move from neighbouring areas afflicted by war, dictatorship, famine, drought, or other natural disasters. The term ‘asylum‐seeker’ is specific to Britain, denoting applicants who may be granted official refugee status, humanitarian protection, or discretionary leave to remain. Those rejected during the asylum process are, in effect, illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country by false means: they are returned to their home countries or moved to a third state (either one they have passed through to reach Britain or a further point of stoppage). Since the accession of the east European states to the European Union in 2004, debates on illegal immigration have become applicable almost exclusively to non‐white immigrants.

Until the late 19th century there ...


Racial categories are still being practised even though most scientists agree that genetically speaking there is little or no validity for dividing groups of humans in this way Although the creation of racial hierarchies has to a large extent fallen into disrepute skin colour remains a powerful signifier in contemporary ...


Charlotte Williams

The smallest though arguably the most ethnically distinct of the four nations of the United Kingdom. With a population of almost 3 million, Wales has its own language (Welsh) spoken by just over 20 per cent of the population.

There is evidence to suggest that the first Africans to visit Wales did so as part of the Roman occupation of Britain. However, the earliest black settlers in Wales arrived as a result of Wales's association with the slave trade and the fashion among the aristocracy for keeping black pageboys, maids, and servants. Parish records all across Wales tell the stories of these isolated individuals, the earliest record being that of Joseph Potiphar, a black servant baptized on 30 May 1687 at St John's Church, Cardiff. Perhaps the most well known was Jac Ystumllyn (1737–68 known locally as Black Jac Brought to Wales at the age of 8 Jac ...