Anthony Brown, a paralegal in Manchester, established the Windrush Crusade last year to provide assistance to Manchester’s Caribbean diaspora caught up in the immigration debacle. The Crusade has now joined forces with UK-wide BME Lawyers 4 Justice in a bid to demand that the government put an immediate halt on deportation flights. They are planning a day of action on June 22. It is hoped that a coordinated plan of action can be devised which will see protests happening in major cities including, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and London. Read more here.
Edward Colston died nearly 300 years ago but remains a controversial figure in his home city of Bristol. A generous benefactor to the city, Colston has been unquestioningly venerated for many years, but with little or no mention of the fact that the fortune he donated from was generated by his trading in slaves: a major factor in Bristol's growth as a city. Bristol Council is about to recognise this aspect of his past, but this article on the BBC website asks if it going far enough. The group 'Countering Colston' has long been campaigning for this reconsideration of Colston who has dozens of streets, buildings, institutions and memorials named after him.
Bristol poet laureate Miles Chambers sums up the legacy of enslavement in Bristol: "Some people don't get that black people still feel the full impact of slavery today. We can look at the descendants of the slaves and economically they are still worse off; psychologically they are still worse off; mentally they still feel collectively as inferior; more African-Caribbean males are disproportionately in prison and in the judicial system; they do worse at schools; economically are paid less and are working less.
"The pattern continues and even though many people say slavery is over, because of those legacies we still feel enslaved. A name change or statue move is not going to rectify racism or eradicate the slave mentality that still exists, but it will help to say to black people: 'You are equal to us, you are British, you are valuable and you mean as much to us as any other citizen.'"
Read the full article here.
US lawyer and campaigner Bryan Stevenson contends that slavery in America did not end in 1865 but evolved into lynching, to segregation and to mass incarceration. The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. Black men are more than six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men. Stevenson's Equal Justice Initiative works on behalf of 3000 children as young as 13 who have been given life sentences without the possibility of parole, and thousands of adults given death sentences.
Are we in the UK much different? Here, despite being 2.8% of the population, 10% of prisoners are black.
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