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Britain Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

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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Brexit Rally

From Brexit to El Paso: The Geopolitics of White Hate

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Sikivu Hutchinson, The Humanist — On the bustling streets of Kensington in London last week, one of the Black women I asked to comment on the recent election of Boris Johnson (who has been branded as Donald Trump’s British mini-me) vehemently declined. “I wouldn’t be able to without cussing,” she said, her response encapsulating the rage and distress Johnson’s election has elicited for progressive people of color. The backlash…

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When Franco Rosso’s “Babylon” premièred at Cannes, in 1980, it was hailed for its soulful depictions of a community largely invisible in British media.Photograph Courtesy Kino Lorber Repertory / Seventy-Seven

What “Babylon” Captured About Racism and Reggae

By Editors' Choice

By Hua Hsu, The New Yorker — In June, 1948, the H.M.T. Empire Windrush docked in the Port of Tilbury, near London. Among its passengers were approximately eight hundred West Indian workers, mostly from Jamaica, who had come in response to England’s postwar labor shortage. Some planned to earn money and return home; others wondered what it would be like to stay. There was a lot of work to be…

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Empire Windrush migrants arrive at Tilbury in 1948.

‘There were Africans in Britain before the English came here’

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

How Staying Power shook British history. When it was published in 1984 Staying Power vividly captured the struggle for black British identity. Nearly 35 years on it still has lessons to teach. By Gary Younge, The Guardian — “The very serious function of racism is distraction,” Toni Morrison argued in a lecture in Portland, Oregon, in 1975: It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and…

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‘A reparative justice programme’ … Glasgow University has completed a two-year review of how it grew wealthy from the slave trade. Photograph: University of Glasgow

Reparations for slavery are not about punishing children for parents’ sins

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

Reparative justice, whereby communities are compensated for losses caused by the slavery or the Holocaust, is morally fair. By Julian Baggini, The Guardian — Justice requires a good memory, one that is both accurate and not self-servingly selective. But whether it is well-served by a long memory is more contentious. We know that many still pay the price for sins previous generations never paid for. But most agree with the…

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