Welcome back to the Black & Asian Heritage Mix! You will find below, as usual, new resources from different sectors (archives, museums, arts etc.).
Key reports to explore this month include the Arts Council England “new guidance for museums on restitution and repatriation” and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s report on the Colonial History of the school (1899– c.1960).
The resource that I found original this month is “A Brief History of Buddhist Temples in England” from The Historic England Blog. Did you know that there are around 190 Buddhist buildings in England?
I have also highlighted below multi-layered events, including the art education project “The World Reimagined”, “British Ugandan Asians at 50” and also TV documentaries on the Partition of India that you can access online.
BLACK EUROPE RESOURCES
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HISTORY & NOW
Bristol bus boycott campaigner Roy Hackett dies at 93, The Guardian, 3 August 2022
“The civil rights activist Roy Hackett, who was one of the lead organisers of the Bristol bus boycott, has died at the age of 93. The 1963 campaign, which lasted four months, mobilised people across the city to stop using Bristol Omnibus Company buses because of its refusal to hire black and Asian people. At the time, a “colour bar” in Britain meant that people from minority ethnic backgrounds could legally be banned from housing, employment and public places. The protests that followed not only forced the company to change its policies, but paved the way in passing the Race Relations Act of 1965 and 1968.”
Queen Elizabeth II: a reign that saw the end of the British empire in Africa, The Conversation, 6 June 2022
“Britain’s relationships with its former African colonies are now those of trade, aid and diplomacy. The Queen herself remains highly respected, and acknowledged as head of the Commonwealth. Yet once she has gone, and that cannot be long, even that status for the British monarch may go. At that moment, the rout of the British monarchy in Africa will be complete.”
ARCHIVES & LIBRARIES
Gulzar Waljee – from Tanzania to Guildford, helping build the NHS, Surrey Heritage, August 2022
“After the Second World War, staffing Britain’s fledgling National Health Service (NHS) was made extremely difficult by national labour shortages. From the 1940s onwards, thousands of young men and women came from India, Pakistan and other South Asian communities answering the call to help ease this crisis and help build a new and free health care system for all. One of these was Gulzar Waljee (née Shivji), a young woman of Gujarati ethnicity, who in April 1959 arrived in London from a small town in Tanzania (then Tanganyika) as part of a British Council-funded opportunity to train as a nurse and midwife…” Related links: South Asian History in Surrey
“Find out how colonialism and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was reported on and represented in Georgian Bath. The Bath & Colonialism Archive Project aims to share information on the City of Bath’s links to the transatlantic slave trade through the Georgian copies of the Bath Chronicle Newspaper 1760-1780.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Arts council publishes long-awaited restitution guidelines, Museum Association, 5 August 2022
“The guidelines come amid a sea-change in approach to repatriation across the international museum community. It was confirmed this week that Oxford and Cambridge universities will support a request to legally transfer ownership of 203 Benin bronzes in their collections to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments. The case has been submitted to the Charity Commission for approval.” Read the Guidelines here.
Female in Focus photography award 2022 – in pictures, The Guardian, 3 August 2022
“The Female in Focus international award from the British Journal of Photography and its publisher 1854 Media, was established to champion the work of exceptional female photographers and combat gender inequality in the industry.”
HERITAGE, MUSEUMS & MEMORY
London medical school benefited from colonial exploitation, report finds, The Guardian, 11 August 2022
“The study sets out how the school, founded in 1899, for decades received most of its funding from Britain’s colonies, particularly those in Africa, and colonial companies, but its medical research only benefited white people.”
Communities to take back control over proposed street name changes, Gov.uk, 5 July 2022
“Residents and business owners will have the final say over whether their street name can be changed, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced today (5 July 2022)… All councils in England will need to get agreement from two-thirds of people who live or run businesses on a street before changing its name, subject to parliamentary approval.”
London museum to return 72 Benin treasures to Nigeria, The Guardian, 8 August 2022
“Horniman museum is first government-funded institution to hand back artefacts looted by British forces in 1897…About 10,000 objects looted during the raid on Benin are held in 165 museums and many private collections across the world. The British Museum in London holds 900 objects, the largest collection in the world.”
A Brief History of Buddhist Temples in England – The Historic England Blog, heritagecalling.com, 11 August 2022
“There are around 190 Buddhist buildings in England, ranging from adapted historic buildings to purpose-built temples and pagodas…The first Buddhist buildings in England were of the Theravadan tradition, which is found predominantly in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and South East Asia. The London Buddhist Vihara was founded in 1926 by a Sri Lankan monk named Anagarika Dharmapala.”
Oriel College’s Cecil Rhodes plaque given Grade II listed status, BBC News, 28 July 2022
“The Oriel College memorial is near the statue that sparked years of protests by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign. Historic England previously said the plaque did not merit legal protection. But the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) said culture secretary Nadine Dorries felt it to be of “special historic interest”.”
Statue of pioneering black footballer Jack Leslie to be unveiled at Plymouth Argyle, ITV News, 9 August 2022
“The statue of pioneering black footballer and Plymouth Argyle legend Jack Leslie will be unveiled outside Home Park in October. The unveiling ceremony will take place at 12pm on Friday 7 October. A crowd of footballing dignitaries, sponsors and supporters, as well as many members of Jack Leslie’s family will gather for the big reveal. Leslie was called up for England in 1925 but was later denied his place due to the colour of his skin.”
Tea and sugar are colonial spoils, say castle officials after race row (msn.com), The Telegraph, 10 August 2022
“The “English staples of tea and sugar” are the “spoils of empire”, according to a new information sign erected as part of this decolonising work, which states that such imperial spoils “are everywhere”. The sign for the benefit of visitors to the castle – most famous for its legendary links to Robin Hood…The drive to decolonise Nottingham Castle comes amid continued criticism of the attraction’s leadership over the handling of an alleged racist incident at the site in 2021…A Charity Commission probe concluded in January 2022 with the regulator stating that it “did not find evidence of wrongdoing by Nottingham Castle Trust trustees”…A second investigation by HR group The People Factor did find failings.”
Foreigners sink their hands into France’s bread heritage, Le Monde in English, 12 August 2022
“These bakers are Japanese, Italian, American and British. They shun baguettes but cherish loaves of leavened bread made with the old-fashioned flour that is so symbolic of French identity. Their shops are popping up all over Paris.”
TV: India 1947: Partition in Colour review – a heartbreaking, rage-inspiring history of Britain’s colonial legacy, The Guardian, 7 August 2022
“Lord Mountbatten’s division of India into two countries was a disaster in which a million died. Using newly colourised archive footage, this documentary explores those brutal events.” Watch the documentary via Channel 4 here.
Ground-breaking national art project ‘The World Reimagined’ will bring a trail of Globe sculptures to Bristol, Bristol247.com, 28 July 2022
“The national art education project The World Reimagined has a clear and momentous objective: “to transform how we understand the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its impact on all of us”… This journey is being explored across dedicated trails in seven host cities in the UK – Bristol amongst them. The trails are intended to be walking tours, lasting 90-120 minutes… The Bristol trail, begins on August 13 and concludes on October 31, the end of Black History Month.”
“Fifty years ago, on 18th September 1972, the first evacuation flight of Asians fleeing from Uganda landed at London’s Stansted Airport. A few weeks earlier, on 4th August 1972, the Ugandan dictator, General Idi Amin, had served 90 days’ notice on around 70,000 Asians to leave the country. Each was family was permitted to take only £55 and one suitcase per individual. 28,200 of these who held British passports were admitted to the UK…”
Various Events here (ongoing until 2023).
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