Black History Walks Newsletter 16.5.2018
Black history is longer than a month...
Walks, Talks & Films on African history all year long
16 years of Education Through Film
Check out our website HERE
Coming educational events:

  • Zombies and the Demonisation of African Spirituality lecture HERE
  • Black Panther's African history and the books to prove it ! HERE
  • Black British Civil Rights film and talk @phoenixcinema HERE
  • Black Power Women of Brixton walk HERE
  • African Odysseys Windrush Women's Day HERE
  • The Amazing James Baldwin course HERE
  • African Women Resistance Leaders course HERE
  • Secrets of Soho walk HERE
  • St Paul's/Bank walk HERE
  • Hackney (Dalston) walk HERE
  • Notting Hill walk HERE
  • Trafalgar Square walk HERE
A Brief History of Legal British Racism Part 1

1562 to 1834 mass kidnap, false imprisonment, torture, murder and rape -- often summarised as the slave 'trade' -- results in tens of millions of Africans being deported from their civilisations and dumped across the Americas and the Caribbean. Full details HERE

1905 Aliens Act brought in to to keep Jewish refugees out of the country, at a time when they were experiencing widespread persecution and massacres in Eastern Europe. Full Details HERE

1943 world famous Trinidadian cricketer Learie Constantine had volunteered to come to England to help Britain fight against the Germans. Despite working for the government, he was refused entry to the Imperial Hotel, in Russel Square, and called the N-word. He sued the hotel for breach of contract, as there were no laws against racial discrimination at this time. He won his case and later campaigned for anti -racist laws to exist but that did not happen until 1965, with the weak 1965 Race Relations Act. Full details HERE

1962 Commonwealth Immigration Act. On the surface this law was brought in to reduce the overall flow of immigration, in practice it was designed to keep Black people out of the country while allowing white people in. This was admitted by the Home Secretary at the time as shown in the extract below from 'A Very British Monster : a Challenge to UK Immigration Policy' by Stanley Hope. Full details HERE
1968 Commonwealth Immigration Act. In 1968 the British government rushed through, in three days, an act whose purpose was to strip Asian people from the British colony of Kenya that had British passports of the right to enter Britain. Meanwhile white Kenyans who had British passports were allowed in. This was self-evidently a racist piece of legislation, although it was denied at the time. This five minute video clip from a 1999 BBC programme called Playing the Race Card explains further. Click image below to watch

1971 Immigration Act. Prior to, during and after this act, prominent politicians like Enoch Powell and groups like the National Front were openly calling for Black people to be sent back 'where they came from'. They also wanted their children, who had been born here, to go as well. In the 1971 Immigration Act the government introduced the 'grandfather clause': a vicious piece of institutional racism which stated that those immigrants who could show a parental link to Britain could enter the country far easier than those who did not. The effect of this clause was to ease entry to white people and their descendants who had left England to migrate to parts of the old empire, but to bar Black people who were also part of that empire. The descendants of white South Africans, Australians and Canadians could breeze through immigration controls . Meanwhile equally qualified Barbadians, Pakistanis and Kenyans were harassed and deported. The government knew this at the time but denied it in public, as can be seen from the Guardian article below.
Extract from the above Guardian article by Alan Travis dated 1.1.2002 states :

'The government knew it would face charges of racism when it clamped down on the flow of "new Commonwealth" immigrants to Britain while introducing "open door" concessions for citizens of the "old Commonwealth" - Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa - who were "of British stock".
The secret cabinet minutes show that, in agreeing the 1971 immigration act, which still forms the framework of much British immigration law, ministers agreed that their decision to exempt from the clampdown "old Commonwealth" citizens who had a UK-born parent or grandparent would "probably attract some criticism as being discriminatory in favour of the 'white' Commonwealth".

However, the home secretary, Reginald Maudling, said such racism could be defended on the grounds that Britain had a special relationship with Australia, Canada and New Zealand and "from Gallipoli to Inchon there are enduring monuments to its reality."

He told the cabinet that tougher restrictions on the inflow of Asian immigrants were "necessary and defensible given their propensity in contrast to aliens to settle permanently and bring in their dependants..."
The 1981 Nationality Act created several categories of nationality and citizenship, including a category of ‘Commonwealth citizenship’, which removed from British nationals in the Commonwealth and Hong Kong their historic rights to residency in the United Kingdom. As The Sunday Times reported in 1981, the Act ‘for the first time seeks to define British Citizenship and those who “belong to Britain” [and] to abolish the historic right of common British citizenship enjoyed by the colonial peoples’.

Whilst race and ethnicity were never directly named, the 1981 Act effectively designed citizenship so as to exclude Black and Asian populations in the Commonwealth, while leaving ‘routes home’ for white nationals born within the boundaries of the empire. As postcolonial theorist Ian Baucom notes, ‘to be British, [the Act] mandated, one had to trace a line of descent to an ancestor born on the island. In effect, the law thus drew the lines of the nation […] around the boundaries of race’. The passage of this Act through parliament was thus a significant event in the history of British race relations, a moment when, through citizenship, racism was implicitly incorporated within the judicial body of the state becoming an active component part of its operational system of ‘legal justice’. Indeed, critical lawyer David Dixon described the Act as ‘constitutionalising racism’ . Full details HERE
The 1981 Nationality Act resulted in numerous deportations. On the 28th July 1993 Joy Gardner died when police and deportation officers used force to restrain her, tying her with a body belt and ankle straps and gagging her mouth with thirteen feet of tape. There was a national outcry when people heard how Joy had died. The documentary 'Justice Denied ' by Ken Fero, hears from members of her family about Joy's death, reports on the reactions to it in the Black community, examines two other deaths related to immigration control, that of Kwanele Siziba and Joseph Nnalue, and asks what are the political circumstances that allow these deaths to happen?

The film examines how the media carried out a character assassination of Joy, in order to justify the way in which she was killed and how this fed into a widespread cover-up.

The film asks why senior police officers and the immigration service did not face charges for their involvement in this controversial incident. Throughout 'Justice Denied' the families speak out to keep the memory of their loved ones alive, to demand justice and to challenge the climate of fear created by Britain's enforcement of immigration controls. Full details HERE
Extract from above Guardian article by Matthew Taylor and Robert Booth dated 16 December 2014 states:

Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been cleared of manslaughter by a jury at the Old Bailey.

The 46-year-old died after being restrained by the G4S guards on a British Airways flight on 12 October 2010. Terrence Hughes, 53, Colin Kaler, 52 and Stuart Tribelnig, 39, were accused of manslaughter by forcing Mubenga’s head down and restricting his breathing as the flight prepared to take off at Heathrow airport. The jury cleared them of the charges on Tuesday after a six-week trial.

The court had heard how fellow passengers said they heard Mubenga cry out: “I can’t breathe” as he was pinned down in his seat, despite already being handcuffed from behind with his seatbelt on.

The guards said in court that they had not heard him say he could not breathe and had not pushed his head down and forward towards his knees in a position known to risk asphyxia. They said they had been restraining him to stop him hurting himself or other passengers on the plane.
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