In response to requests for resources to help people think and reflect more deeply on the issues raised in the MJR documentary ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' we have produced a workbook. This contains six sessions based on the film's themes for group work or individual study, plus an option extra session on Reparatory Justice, an article on the Development of Trans-Atlantic Slavery and a list of further reading and resources.
The workbook was written by Alton Bell and Paul Keeble, with assistance and advice from After the Flood director Sheila Marshall and was sponsored by USPG.
Cost is £5 and it can be ordered here.
This is the title of a new report from the Runnymede Trust to mark 30 years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. This is from the introduction:
Racism is often a matter of life and death. This was never more true than for Stephen Lawrence, a bright young man who dreamed of becoming an architect.
Stephen was murdered by racist strangers as he made his way home with a friend in South East London, 30 years ago. The fight for justice that followed, led by Stephen’s grieving parents, has brought us all to know Stephen’s name, and carry forward his legacy.
Stephen’s murder changed the country, and was core to progressing racial equality in the UK. This report, produced in partnership by the Runnymede Trust and Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, is intended as a small contribution to mark this difficult anniversary and assess just how far we have come as a nation in the last 30 years.
In 'Dear Stephen', we reveal the points of hope and connection in our communities, at a time when the UK feels increasingly polarised. Data from the British Social Attitudes Survey shows that, although people feel the world around them is becoming more hateful and prejudiced, people’s own attitudes are shifting in a much more positive trajectory, and that race, inclusion and belonging are not such divisive issues as we are led to believe.
Download the report here.
The MJR documentary film 'After the Flood' was one of 6 nominees in the TV/Video category at this year's Sandford Awards, which took place in Manchester on June 21. The deserving winner was 'Children of the Ukraine', runner-up 'David Baddiel: Jews Don't Count'. The other nominees were all BBC, ITV C4 and RTE commissions, so we felt proud to be there at all! It says much about the amazing job director Sheila Marshall and her team did with the comparatively small budget we were able to give them. Lots of nice things were said to us about 'After the Flood' on the evening, and our hope is that it will open new opportunities for the film to be screened more widely and to access more resources for MJR to promote the film. Like to help? Please email us.
The screening of MJR documentary ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' at the University of Manchester on April 19 was followed by a Q&A session with an appreciative but questioning audience. The panel consisted of:
Organiser Prof Dawn Edge commented: "My overall sense was that the questions from the attendees reflected a general desire to see real change, reconciliation and reparations. Your responses were informative and provided practical solutions to a difficult discussion, reflecting that whilst Manchester University has acknowledged the need to move beyond discussion, the work must continue in earnest. I do hope that we can continue to work with you to ensure that together we can move this agenda forward."
The event was fully booked meaning some were turned away. This meant a number of 'no-shows' was a disappointment.
'After the Flood' continues to have an impact and generate discussion and reflection as it is screened in various places around the country. As we approach and pass milestones such as the 30th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the 75th anniversary of Windrush, the issues it raises remain important. If you would like to host a screening where you are please send MHR an email. If you would like to hire or purchase the film click here.
The biggest and most comprehensive survey of race inequality in the UK for more than a quarter of a century has found that more than a third of people from ethnic and religious minorities have experienced racially motivated physical or verbal abuse. The two-year research project declares that “Britain is not close to being a racially just society.” Its detailed evidence of discrimination and unfairness directly challenges the findings of the government-commissioned Sewell report on racial disparities of 2021, agreeing with many at the time who argued it downplayed the existence and impact of structural and institutional racism in the UK.
The study was led by Nissa Finney, professor of human geography at the University of St Andrews, who said it showed racism was “part of the daily lives” of people from ethnic minorities. Halima Begum, chief executive of the race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust, said: “Sadly, few ethnic minority Britons will be surprised by the findings."
Commenting on the report on Channel 4 News, Professor Jason Ardey, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, said: "There are no immediate shocks or surprises. In some respects it's more of the same. It reflects the glacial change that's transpired in the last twenty or thirty years in relation to race, equality and mobilising greater race equality in the UK. What we are seeing is that racism is a systemic and institutional problem. It's ability to re-invent itself and pivot to the prevailing inequalities that exist is in some respects quite impressive in a strange way."
The research, produced by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity at Manchester University, will be published this week in a book Racism and Ethnic Inequality in a Time of Crisis. It claims to be the most extensive survey of racial inequalities since 1997. Read more here.
King Charles has given his support for research into the monarchy's links with the slave trade for the first time as an American historian unearthed a a ledger which reveals his predecessor King William III was given shares in the Royal African Company - transatlantic slaving firm - by Bristolian slave trader Edward Colston in 1689. Buckingham Palace said “This is an issue that His Majesty takes profoundly seriously. As His Majesty told the Commonwealth heads of government reception in Rwanda last year: ‘I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact.’" The document, published by The Guardian was found in a royal archive by Virginia-based historian Dr Brooke Newman. Dr Newman's research is being supported through access to the royal collection and the royal archives
MJR welcomes this bringing of another piece of hidden shameful history into the light and looks forward to the results of the research. Read more in this Guardian article, and in this Daily Mail article (which states King Charles was "forced to support probe into royal family's slavery links".)
A special course, based on the MJR film ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' will be a part of the summer term at Manchester Bible School, based at our partner Nazarene Theological College. The course will take place over 4 Monday evenings from June 12 to July 3, 7:30-9:30pm.
The University of Manchester have acquired the rights to use ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' in any of its courses and teaching material and is having a special screening of the film' on Wednesday April 19. Venue is St Peter's House Chaplaincy, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9GH. Hosts: Professor Dawn Edge (Academic Lead for ‘Race’, Religion, and Belief), Banji Adewumi (Director, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Paul Keeble (Movement for Justice and Reconciliation).
Guests for a keynote and Q&A include Professor Robert Beckford, who narrates the film, and Dr Elizabeth Henry, one of the interviewees.
The event begins at 4.15pm with light refreshments and the screening will commence at 5pm. Places are free, but due to high demand, to ensure yours, please register here.
The MJR documentary ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' has been shortlisted for a Sandford Award. These are the UK’s most prestigious broadcast awards for radio, TV and online programmes and content that explore religious, spiritual or ethical themes. 'After the Flood' has been shortlisted for the TV/Video award – see the list here. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in Manchester’s Whitworth Hall on 21 June.
A new exhibition in the library at Lambeth Palace includes artefacts such as a “slave bible” with passages relating to freedom and escape removed and documents revealing the Church of England’s involvement in a fund linked to transatlantic chattel slavery It is the latest step in a wide-ranging programme of work launched in 2019 that aims to “address past wrongs” by researching the church’s historical links to the slave trade.
The Queen Anne’s Bounty fund, set up on 1704 to tackle poverty among clergymen, made significant investments in the South Sea Company, which the church knew was involved in purchasing and transporting enslaved people as its main commercial activity between 1714 and 1739. This fund has grown into the £9bn managed by the Church Commissioners out of which a new fund of £100m was set up last month to support projects “focused on improving opportunities for communities adversely impacted by historic slavery”.
The exhibition also features early abolitionist views, which was intended to showcase the “spectrum of opinion about the slave trade”. However, Prof Robert Beckford said: “The focus on abolition is an obfuscation of the horror of the slave trade and a willingness to collude with the sub-humanisation of black people. What it means ultimately is there is no recognition of how the church’s theological ideas made slavery possible.” He mentions as an example the omission from the exhibition of the Codrington plantation in Barbados, which in 1710 was bequeathed to and subsequently run by the Anglican church’s missionary arm, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). It was known for its brutality, with enslaved people branded with hot irons bearing the SPG’s logo.
Read more here.
The Codrington Estate is featured in MJR's film ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation'.
The latest information, views and news from MJR.