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Cambridge University has launched a two-year study to investigate its own historical links with colonial slavery and will examine how it might have gained financially from the slave trade. A number of Universities have faced questions about the legacy of links to slavery. "It is only right that Cambridge should look into its own exposure to the profits of coerced labour," said vice-chancellor Stephen Toope.
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In an opinion article in Saturday's Independent Kehinde Andrews claims that the voices of the 73% of Black and 67% of Asian voters who opted for Remain in the 2016 referendum are missing from the Brexit coverage and debate. Ethnic minorities for the most part "...were not persuaded by visions of romantic past in which we were colonised and enslaved." Pointing out that the 7.5 million people from ethnic minorities are a larger population than Scotland and Northern Ireland combined, she says: "...it is high time that these voices are no longer marginalised. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, it is the will of white English people that is being represented as that of the nation." Read the full article here.
Students at Washington DC's Georgetown University voted last week to an increase in their tuition fees to benefit descendants of the 272 enslaved Africans sold nearly two centuries by the Jesuits who ran the school to secure its financial future. The increase of $27.2 (about £20) evokes the number of slaves sold and is an amount 'not too onerous' on the students. The student vote has to be agreed by the university's board. The board agreed in 2016 to give admissions preference to descendants of the 272, and one of the first to be admitted under this policy, Shepard Thomas, said: "“Students here always talk about changing the world after they graduate. Why not change the world when you’re here?” The fund they voted to create would represent the first instance of reparations for slavery by a prominent American organisation. Read more here.
Rapper and activist Akala speaks to Good Morning Britain about knife crime in the UK and says the crimes can't be explained simply by race. Some excellent points made, such as: "Where young black boys over-achieve, is race offered as an explanatory factor? ... It's almost as if, a black person does something negative, the entire so-called black community is to blame. A black person does something positive and they suddenly regain their humanity and their right to be regarded as an individual."
In a move described as "overdue" by its own producer, Iain MacLeod, TV soap opera 'Coronation Street' is to introduce the first black family in its 59-year history. Through the Baileys the show will explore themes of racism and homophobia in sport. Theatre director Matthew Xia commented: “It blows my mind that our longest-running soap, set in the heart of one of our most cosmopolitan cities, has only just introduced the idea of ‘the black family’ to its viewers.”
The 'Standing Together' Rally in London's Trafalgar Square drew around 400 people to pray and call for action on youth violence, especially through knife crime with over 40 offences a day in London in the last 2 years. In particular the call was to churches to respond and act in practical ways, and it was encouraging to see a wide range of church leaders present. MJR founding trustee Rev Les Isaac, CEO of Ascension Trust, was a driving force behind the rally, and challenged those present to make sure it was a catalyst for further action. "Faith without works is dead. We need to go out of our church buildings and serve people". Prayers were led by a number of church leaders and there were moving stories from several families who have suffered loss of a loved one. One mother said: "We need to create safe spaces. Our children are walking around with knives because they are fearful". The causes of knife-crime, which disproportionally affects black young people, expose the race-fuelled injustices in our society: another symptom of the legacy of slavery.
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