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Article

Jeffrey Green

Black‐rights group active in 1918–27, formed in London under the leadership of Liverpool‐born John Archer. From 1921 to 1924 the Trinidadian Dr John Alcindor led it, then the Ghanaian Kwamina Tandoh. Its activities were broader than the reports in West Africa (London) and the Sierra Leone Weekly News (Freetown) suggest. It requested the government to include a black delegate at the post‐war peace discussions in Versailles; it subsidized the lawyer Edward Nelson, who defended Blacks on trial after the Liverpool riots of 1919; and it participated in the American‐led Paris Pan‐African Congress (1919) and the London congresses of 1921 and 1923. The Union sought justice when a Kenyan settler murdered a farmhand, alerted by an African‐British Guianan barrister residing in that colony, and also provided practical help for students. Alcindor's committee included the merchant Robert Broadhurst, the American composer Edmund Jenkins ...

Article

James Graham

Formed in California in 1966, the Black Panther Party was a black revolutionary group whose original purpose was to patrol black ghettoes to protect residents from acts of police brutality. The Party was influential in shaping black radicalism in Britain.

Following the separatist black nationalist agenda pioneered by Malcolm X, the Panthers developed into an international Marxist revolutionary group. Among the demands contained within its ten‐point plan was the armed mobilization of Blacks; a radical redistribution of social and economic institutions within black communities; and reparations to Blacks for centuries of exploitation. Membership peaked around 2,000 in the late 1960s, when the Party's activities and influence were such that in 1968 it was declared by the FBI the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States Several shoot outs in the late 1960s and early 1970s led to severe repression from the police and the ...

Article

The largest ever demonstration of black people in Britain. Organized by the Black People's Assembly and the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, the mass mobilization of black people on Monday 2 March 1981 was a strategic element in a campaign organized by black community groups to draw attention to what they regarded as the failure of the Metropolitan Police Force to investigate fully the circumstances of the New Cross fire, which had claimed the lives of thirteen young black people at a birthday party in January 1981. Many among the black community believed the fire to have been deliberately started by racists.

In the decade leading up to the New Cross fire black and Asian people had endured a spate of racially motivated attacks against their persons homes businesses and community centres These attacks were believed to have been the work of the neo fascist right wing anti ...

Article

Cecily Jones

Notorious riots that took place on a housing estate in Tottenham, north London, in 1985.

1.The catalyst

2.The riots

3.Police and community relations before the riots

4.Broadwater Farm estate: pre‐riot problems

5.Rebuilding the Broadwater community

Article

David Dabydeen

West Indiancarpenter murdered in Notting Hill by white youths. Britain was particularly racially tense in the late 1950s, when the white working classes felt culturally and economically threatened by the presence of Blacks. Two active political groups in the Notting Hill area were the White Defence League and the National Labour Party, one claiming to be a Nazi group, the other a racial nationalist one. The culmination of the situation were the ‘race’ riots in 1958 in Notting Hill. One of the tragic results of these events was the murder of Cochrane, an Antiguan who was on his way back from the hospital after having had his broken thumb bandaged. He was stabbed with a knife in May 1958 by six white youths who were never caught. Following Cochrane's murder, the black activist Claudia Jones campaigned for the black community and helped to organize strategies for approaching the ...

Article

Kathy Chater

Most work done on Black people and the law in the 18th century concentrates on the handful of cases in which the question of the legality of slavery in England and Wales was brought to court, most notably the Somerset case which led to the landmark Mansfield judgment Black ...

Article

Annell Smith

As with other aspects of British society, black people have had a long and sometimes difficult and contentious relationship with the criminal justice system.

1.Historical background

2.The Empire Windrush and after

Article

David Dabydeen

Renowned figure in the British radical movement during the regency. He was born in Jamaica to the island's Attorney‐General and a local black woman. At 14 he was sent to Glasgow to study law, and later became apprenticed to a lawyer in Liverpool.

Davidson's radical inclinations were formed quite early on in his life and, while still in Scotland, he joined in the public demand for parliamentary reform. After failing to continue his studies, he set up a cabinet‐making business in Birmingham, and taught in a Wesleyan Sunday school. The Peterloo massacre in 1819 incited anger in him and he resumed his radical politics, joining the Marylebone Union Reading Society, which was formed as a result of the massacre. He was introduced to George Edwards, a police spy pretending to be a radical, who recruited Davidson to fellow radical Arthur Thistlewood's groups the Committee of Thirteen and the ...

Article

Richard Pankhurst

Fascist Italy's unprovoked invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, then better known abroad as Abyssinia, was one of the most important international events between the two world wars. Carried out in defiance of the League of Nations, it produced worldwide indignation, notably in Britain and among African nationalists.

Italy's interest in Ethiopia dated back to the late 19th century, when the Italian government established the colonies of Eritrea and Somalia, to the north and south of the country respectively. The Italians had tried to establish a protectorate over Ethiopia in 1889, but was foiled by the Ethiopian emperor Menelik II's victory at Adowa in 1896. This was remember in Italy: the Italian dictator Mussolini sought to ‘revenge Adowa’, and obtain a ‘place in the sun’ for Italy's supposed ‘surplus population’.

Mussolini's decision to invade was taken in 1933 Road port and airport facilities in Eritrea were thereupon ...

Article

Leila Kamali

British barrister who came to prominence in the Somerset case. Hargrave was born in London, and entered Lincoln's Inn as a student in 1760. Having written to the abolitionist Granville Sharp offering his services, Hargrave was the most prominent of the five lawyers who appeared on behalf of James Somerset, a slave who was brought from Boston, Massachusetts, then a British colony, to England in 1769. Somerset escaped, but was recaptured and imprisoned on a ship bound for Jamaica, also a British colony. At Sharp's intervention, hearings began in February 1772.

In this Hargrave s first appearance in court he argued that while colonial law might permit slavery those laws did not apply in England and further that English law did not allow for any person to enslave himself by contract Somerset was freed and Hargrave s argument was decisive in Lord Mansfield s ruling ...

Article

Former slaves whose kidnapping case was fought by the 18th‐century abolitionist Granville Sharp. John Hylas and his wife, Mary, were both born in Barbados. In the year 1754 they were each brought to England—John by his mistress, Judith Aleyne, and Mary by her master and mistress, Mr and Mrs Newton. They met in England, and married with the consent of their owners in 1758. After their marriage John Hylas was set free, and the couple lived happily together until, in 1766, Mary was kidnapped by her former owners and sent to the West Indies to be sold as a slave.

Having heard of Granville Sharp's fight for the liberty of Jonathan Strong, in 1768 John Hylas approached Sharp, who prepared a memorandum enabling him to begin an action against Newton.

The court found in favour of Hylas, who was awarded 1s nominal ...

Article

Cecily Jones

On 22 April 1993, 18‐year‐old Stephen Lawrence was murdered at a bus stop in Eltham south east London Though police investigations failed to secure the convictions of his killers Stephen s murder was the catalyst to some of the most important changes to the operation of the criminal ...

Article

Cecily Jones and Ian Jones

Report of the public inquiry into the police investigation of the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence in south‐east London on 22 April 1993. The Report, published on 24 February 1999, was to have a profound impact on the criminal justice system in Britain, and on other government agencies, including the National Health Service, local authorities, and the state education system. The Lawrence Inquiry put the police and British justice as a whole on public trial. It raised allegations of systematic corruption and institutionalized racism.

Although there was widespread dismay over the police handling of the case as well as more general concerns regarding previous police investigations of racist murders the Home Secretary at the time considered that it was not necessary to commission a public inquiry However the Lawrence family and their supporters campaigned vigorously for a major public inquiry and following the election of ...

Article

Richard Pankhurst

Treasures looted by British troops from Emperor Tewodros of Ethiopia's mountain capital of Magdala (now Amba Mariam) on 13 April 1868. Most came from Tewodros's palace and the nearby church of Medhane Alem. The loot was transported, on fifteen elephants and 200 mules, to a nearby site, where a two‐day auction raised ‘prize money’ for the troops. Most of the booty was purchased by the British Museum's representative Sir Richard Holmes, who also secretly acquired an icon for himself. Over 400 manuscripts went to the British Museum (later British Library), while the finest were given to the Royal Library in Windsor Castle. The Victoria and Albert Museum received two crowns, one of solid gold, and the Museum of Mankind, two embroidered tents.

Tewodros's successor Emperor Yohannes IV in 1872 requested the return of the icon and a manuscript on the Queen of Sheba The Museum which had ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Nickname of Edgar McManning or Manning (1889–1931), Jamaican criminal. Living in London by 1916 and working in an armaments factory, Manning achieved notoriety through widespread newspaper reports. Their misrepresentations have since fuelled memoirs, biographies, and histories. He shot three men in 1920 and was sent to prison for sixteen months. In 1922 he was alleged to be dealing in cocaine. The Times described him as an ‘important drug trafficker’: he pleaded guilty to being in possession. A year later he was again found with drugs, and again pleaded guilty. Newspapers linked him with a young woman's death through heroin, and with prostitution, but without evidence.

Cocaine use was expanding in London and the amended Dangerous Drugs Act changed the maximum sentence for possession from six months to ten years Manning was the first to be convicted under these rules and went to prison for three years He returned ...

Article

David Dabydeen

Adopted name of Michael de Freitas (1933–1975), black revolutionary and civil rights activist in London. Michael X was born in Trinidad to a Portuguese father and Barbadian mother. He immigrated to London in 1957 and lived in the Notting Hill area. Before converting to Islam, Michael X, who was also known by the name of Michael Abdul Malik, was a pimp and a hustler, similar to his idol Malcolm X. He founded the Racial Adjustment Action Society and in 1967 became the first person to be imprisoned under England's Race Relations Act. Michael X's impulsive nature resulted in several convictions, among them an eighteen‐month jail sentence for advocating the shooting of black women who were seen in the company of white men. He argued for the congregation of Blacks in social communes. In 1969 he was given money to start a commune in Islington but ...

Article

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 ...

Article

John Gilmore

On 11 October 1865 a crowd of several hundred people attacked the court house in the town of Morant Bay in the parish of St Thomas in the East, Jamaica, where a meeting of the vestry (the official body responsible for local government at the parish level) was taking place. Officials had been expecting trouble, and members of the local volunteer militia were present to protect the meeting. After the crowd had begun to throw missiles and attack the volunteers, they opened fire, killing seven members of the crowd and wounding others. The crowd resumed their attack, eventually setting fire to the court house and killing eighteen officials and members of the militia and wounding 31 others. Over the next few days other places in the parish, mainly plantations, were attacked, and there were two further deaths.

Opinion has been divided among both contemporaries and modern historians about the nature ...

Article

Cecily Jones

Nickname of Rahasya Rudra Narayan (1938–1998), barrister and civil rights activist. He was born in British Guiana (now Guyana), the ninth of ten children of Indo‐Guianan parents. He arrived in Britain in 1953, and after a series of menial jobs enlisted in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, where he served until 1965, before leaving with the rank of sergeant. He then read for the Bar, at Lincoln's Inn, where he helped to found the Bar Students' Union, and later also became the Union's first president. He was called to the Bar in 1968, a year before his marriage to Dr Naseem Akbar, with whom he had two daughters.

When, in 1973, Narayan and Sighbat Kadric QC founded the Association of Commonwealth Lawyers (the predecessor to the Immigrant Lawyers' Group, which became the Society of Black Lawyers in 1981 the chairman of the ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Lawyer in Lancashire and Cheshire born in British Guiana (now Guyana). The son of a Georgetown builder, Nelson studied at St John's College, Oxford (1898–1902), where he was an officer of the Oxford Union under Prime Minister Asquith's son Raymond. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1904, and established his legal practice in Manchester and his home at Bowdon, then Hale, Cheshire. He married, had a daughter, played cricket, and was elected to Hale Council from 1913 to his death. He chaired the Council in 1937.

Nelson achieved fame following the murder of George Storrs at Stalybridge in 1909. As defence lawyer, Nelson secured the acquittal of Mark Wilde, who had been accused of the crime. The Yorkshire Herald called him ‘the coloured barrister’ (29 October 1910) but the Stalybridge Reporter of that date just published his ...