Black history


Cornwall and Devon in the Age of Transatlantic Slavery

The Arts Institute, Roland Levinksy Building, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
Event Date: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 19:00 to 21:00

With Dr Richard Anderson, University of Aberdeen

A Historical Association & University of Plymouth History department talk

Dr Anderson’s talk will explore the historical connections between Cornwall and Devon and the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the African Diaspora. Beginning with the African presence in South West England from the 16th Century onward, it will look at Plymouth’s role in the foundation of the British slave trade and the interconnectivity of South Western ports, West Africa and the Americas. The talk will consider...

Talk and Film: 1745 (2017)

When two young black slaves escape into the wilds of 18th-century Scotland, they must use all of their courage and strength to survive, unite, and stay free. 1745 highlights a forgotten part of Scotland’s history: while Scotland was fighting for its national freedom in that fateful year, its economy was in large part founded on the booming colonial slave trade. While the majority of slavery happened elsewhere - off-stage, across the Atlantic - there were African slaves in the UK, kept as trophies and pets in the houses of their rich merchant masters.

1745 was inspired by...

Film: Daughters of the Dust (1993)

Julie Dash’s ground-breaking work follows a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina.

As former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions, Daughters of the Dust portrays the struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore.

The first wide release by a black female filmmaker, the film was met with wild critical acclaim and still resonates today – most recently as a major influence on Beyoncé’s video album Lemonade.

Restored (in conjunction with UCLA) for the first...

Talk: ‘An Inextricable Network Of Mutuality’: Martin Luther King, the US Civil Rights Movement And British Race Relations Since the 1960s

Professor Brian Ward of Northumbria University assesses the life and legacies of Martin Luther King on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis in April 1968.

He will be discussing Dr King’s changing sense of his role in a global struggle for peace, justice and equal opportunity. This talk will pay particular attention to his impact on British race relations and politics, and on the ways in which King and the Civil Rights movement have been memorialised in Britain and the US since his death.

Tickets: £6 (standard), £4.20 (concessions), Peninsula Arts...

Film: Young Soul Rebels (1991)

In his first narrative feature film, director Isaac Julien aimed to champion "black independent cinema, which deals with questions of sexuality, gender and national identity".

In the long hot summer of 1977, London prepared for the Silver Jubilee celebrations to the sounds of the burgeoning punk, soul and funk scenes. Soul boys Chris and Caz, a pair of pirate radio DJs, broadcast their show from a friend's garage, tussling with the local skinheads and clubbing with Chris' sassy music-industry girlfriend Tracy. But, social and sexual tensions in the community...

Film: I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

Dir: Raoul Peck Running time: 94 mins Cert: 12A

Starring Samuel L. Jackson, I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to the present #BlackLivesMatter movement. The critically acclaimed film takes on the unfinished and revolutionary personal account of James Baldwin’s Remember This House about the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Master filmmaker Raoul Peck has created a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond and,...

Talk: Britain's ‘Brown Babies’: The Children of Black GIs and White Women Born in World War II

The Mary Jacobs Memorial Lecture by Professor Lucy Bland

Lucy Bland’s research has concentrated on the history of gender, sexuality and feminism in Britain between 1880s-1980s. Her new projects are a social and cultural history of transracial adoption in Britain since World War II and an investigation of mixed race offspring of black GIs and British women born during World War II.

£6/£4.20/Friends free. Discounts available via the Artory App and free to Plymouth University students via SPiA.