'Journeying to Justice' is a new book edited by Antony Reddie which explores the search for equality and justice amongst British and Jamaican Baptists amidst the legacy of colonialism, slavery and racism. The book will be launched at Luther King House in Manchester on Monday 6th November 6:30-9pm. There will also be a lecture by Antony Reddie and Richard Kidd. Organised by Luther King House, the Centre for Theology and Justice, and the Baptist Union. For further info and how to book click here.
Manchester prospered from the horrors of slavery for much of the 18th century. Yet by the end of that era the growing, newly-industrialised town was leading the campaign for its abolition. The turning point was a meeting held at the Manchester Collegiate Church (now Manchester Cathedral) on 28 October 1787 led by the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.
Find out about Clarkson and others such as Bright, Cobden, the Gregg and Heywood families and the unique relationship with Abraham Lincoln on this guided walk around Manchester city centre. October 18, 2-4pm. Tickets available here.
Also, on October 12, 6-30 to 8.30pm, there will be a talk: 'Slavery and Abolition in Manchester' at the Portico Library. Tickets and more information available here.
On Monday September 11 MJR held its second gathering to present research into aspects of the legacy of slavery. Called 'Talking Legacy', presentations were made by Nigel Peacock ('The Legacy of Slavery: Towards an Aetiology of African-Caribbean Mental Health') and Alton Bell ('Physical Health Research: The outcome of African Chattel Enslavement circa 1500-1800. A presentation of the suggested link between the legacy of the enslavement of Africans in the Caribbean and the propensity of their descendants to develop debilitating diseases'). These can now also be downloaded from our Resources page. A lively discussion followed with a number of interesting comments and questions that might suggest future research (such as: What about the other side of the legacy of enslavement i.e. that left on the white population?)
The day also included the MJR AGM with reports on activities over the last year and some exciting plans taking shape for the future, which we hope to be able to go fully public on soon.
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The Right Honourable David Lammy MP was asked by Prime Minister David Cameron to undertake a review of the criminal justice system and its treatment of BAME individuals. The publication of this review on 8 September 2017 brings to public attention many of the concerns those who work in inner-city communities have faced for a long time.
The Review notes that PM Theresa May said on the steps of 10 Downing Street, “If you’re black you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you are white.” It tactfully does not mention the fact that her Government has done nothing notable to redress the situation. But perhaps they’ve been waiting for this review before taking action!
The number of young BAME offenders continues to rise each year; so too does their proportion in comparison with white offenders. The review commends the “deferred prosecution” model pioneered in Birmingham showing a significant success rate. It makes a number of other recommendations that need to be noted by Government and all those involved in the prison service and justice system.
MJR Chair Revd Alton Bell, welcomed the report, and said: “This clearly is a valuable report which underlines many of the issues that have been emphasised by the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation (MJR) and others working in the community.”
Aspects of the report underline our contention that there is a legacy of slavery still existing in Britain today. Until the reality of this legacy is recognised and confronted, the institutional injustices suffered by black children of Caribbean descent will continue to exist. There are many positive things that can be done to address the situation, but so long it is swept under the carpet, no progress will be made.
MJR is having its Annual Meeting today, 11 September 2017, when reports will be given of latest research concerning the legacy of slavery which is to be seen in health factors as well as in issues of education which affect BAME young people disproportionately. News will also be given of plans by MJR for further activities in coming years to alert the nation and specific localities to the extent of the colonial slave trade in this country and its legacy. Details of MJR activities can be obtained from: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Right Honourable David Lammy MP has today (8 September 2017) published his final report into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system. As well as a number of other concerning statistics. the study found that BAME disproportionality in the criminal justice system costs the taxpayer at least £309 million each year. A response from MJR is being prepared. Download the report here.
An article by David Lammy about his report - The racial bias in our justice system is creating a social timebomb - can be found here.
This article by Afua Hirsch appeared in the Guardian as a response to the recent violence in Charlottesville. In it she asks important questions about statues in the UK and who gets remembered from history and why. William Wilberforce is known for his abolition work, (though not the many black activist and writers who also campaigned). However, he was vigorously opposed by Nelson, the naval hero, who used "his position of huge influence to perpetuate the tyranny, serial rape and exploitation organised by West Indian planters, some of whom he counted among his closest friends." Should his statue be next on the list for toppling?
Afua comments: "We have 'moved on' from this era no more than the US has from its slavery and segregationist past. The difference is that America is now in the midst of frenzied debate on what to do about it, whereas Britain – in our inertia, arrogance and intellectual laziness – is not." Read the full article here.
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