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Britain Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen and royal family support Black Lives Matter movement, says senior aide

By News & Current Affairs

Kenneth Olisa, the first Black lord-lieutenant of London, told Britain’s Channel 4 that race had become a “hot conversation topic” among the royal family. By Rhea Mogul, NBC News — From the soccer pitch to Buckingham Palace, the racial reckoning that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s death has been felt across Britain. Amid social media abuse of sporting stars and bombshell interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II has remained largely silent on the issue that has engulfed…

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Groups from London, Preston, Manchester and other regions gathered in Brixton for a day of ‘non-violent direct action’.

Hundreds demand reparations for Windrush generation

By Reparations

Event in Brixton, England marking end of slavery in British empire also hears calls for restored citizenship. By Isobel Frodsham and Eleanor Leith, PA Media— Hundreds of people have gathered in south London to call for reparations and restored citizenship for the Windrush generation and their descendants. The event, organised by a coalition of campaigning groups, was staged in Max Roach Park, Brixton, where the crowd listened to speeches expressing solidarity with…

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slave barracoons

The Global Reparations Movement: The Greatest Political Tide of the 21st Century

By Reparations

Statement by the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) — The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) welcomes recent developments in the movement for reparatory justice, especially in the Caribbean and across the United States, and the wide media coverage of the movement in the aftermath of the globalization of the Black Lives Matter campaign. Rastafari, civil society organizations, and prominent public figures in the Caribbean like Hon. Michael Lester “Mike” Henry and Hon….

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Jamaica plans to seek reparations from Britain over slavery

By Reparations

By Kate Chappell, Reuters — Jamaica plans to ask Britain for compensation for the Atlantic slave trade in the former British colony, a senior government official said, under a petition that could seek billions of pounds in reparations. Jamaica was a centre of the slave trade, with the Spanish, then the British, forcibly transporting Africans to work on plantations of sugar cane, bananas and other crops that created fortunes for…

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Britain’s Role in the Rise and Fall of Transatlantic Slavery

By Reparations

By Don Rojas — Independent MP William Wilberforce wrote the Slave Trade Act in 1807 which abolished the industry across the British Empire. It was enacted in 1833 The transatlantic slave trade was launched by Portuguese traders with the construction of sub-Saharan Africa’s first permanent slave trading post at Elmina in 1492. But it soon passed into Dutch then English hands and, by the 18th century, was seeing tens of…

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A statue of former British prime minister Winston Churchill in London.

U.S. protests push Europe to face its own histories of injustice

By News & Current Affairs

By Ishan Tharoor with Ruby Mellen, Washington Post — Edward Colston was a 17th-century English merchant who rose to the position of deputy governor of the Royal African Co. His family became fabulously wealthy as a result, profiting from the company’s role in the British trade of African slaves to the New World. Under Colston’s watch, about 84,000 Africans were shipped to lives of bondage and misery. An estimated 19,000 of them perished during the…

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Protestors march down Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand on Monday, June 1.

Thousands around the world protest George Floyd’s death in global display of solidarity

By News & Current Affairs

By Zamira Rahim and Rob Picheta, CNN — Protesters have marched in the US for six consecutive nights over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. Their anger over the killing of the unarmed black man has now spread worldwide. Over the weekend demonstrators gathered in London, Berlin and Auckland, among other cities, to protest against police brutality in solidarity with the US crowds. Britain In London, protesters rallied…

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Shoppers on Brixton High Street in South London. As in the United States, ethnic minorities are disproportionately falling victim to the pandemic.

Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Being Left for Dead

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), News & Current Affairs

The government could have predicted, and perhaps prevented, many deaths. It did not. By Sonia Faleiro, NYT — In early April, Maruthalingam Thiyakumar, a 58-year-old employee of the corner shop in my neighborhood in South London, died from the coronavirus. While some of my neighbors and I were able to follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s injunction to “stay at home” and “save lives,” Mr. Thiyakumar continued to provide toilet paper and tea…

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The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, addresses the General Synod at Church House in London.

Church of England to apologize for being ‘deeply institutionally racist’

By News & Current Affairs

By Ivana Kottasová, CNN — The Church of England has decided to apologize for racism experienced by “countless black, Asian and minority ethnic people” over the past 70 years. The Church said in a statement that the General Synod, its legislative body, voted on last Tuesday to issue an official apology and commission an outside expert to prepare a report on racism, race and ethnicity in the church. Speaking at the synod,…

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Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, Sir Louis Straker and staff at the Mission to the United Nations.

SVG begins ‘historic journey’ on UN Security Council

By Editors' Choice

By Nelson A. King, Caribbean Life News — As St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday officially assumed a non-permanent seat on the United Nations’ Security Council, the country’s Ambassador to the UN, I. Rhonda King, says the “historic journey” begins with “Three Stories and a Prayer: The Manifestation of the Prophetic Imagination.” “With the audacity of David, the widow’s faith, the spirit of Chatoyer, the prayer of Saint Francis…

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Meghan Markle

Black Britons Know Why Meghan Markle Wants Out

By Commentaries/Opinions

It’s the racism. By Afua Hirsch, NYT — The British press has succeeded in its apparent project of hounding Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, out of Britain. The part it perhaps didn’t bargain for, however, is the loss of Prince Harry — a much loved royal and a key part of the family’s global brand — along with her. In a statement released this week, the couple said they want to “carve out…

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David Comissiong

Ambassador David Comissiong’s most recent Address on Reparations

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

Address by Ambassador David Comissiong to the West and Central Africa Conference on the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent Organized by the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and the African Union Dakar, Senegal (23-24 October, 2019). In 1834, after 225 years of relentless rebellion by our enslaved ancestors, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire: and the methodology devised by the British Government for the…

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