Insightful Black History
Insightful Black History

Insightful Black History


Welcome to the first video from our Insightful Shorts Series.A series of shorts that we will be releasing in between our longer more in-depth videos.

Today, we recognise the birthday of C. L. R. James. A tireless political activist, also known as an Indian and African descent historian, journalist, and cricket writer. Several parts of his writings were dedicated to the Afro-nationalism as well as Caribbean region.

James strived hard to put across the voices of the African native races. James was attached with socio-political causes like putting across the voices of lesser African races to the world.

James was widely known for his varied range of activities that included sports, occasional playwriting and acting. C. L. R.James is perhaps best known for his 1937 (1938)3 work, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. Based on the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, the work also examines the brutal conditions of slavery as well as the social and political status of the slave-owners, poor whites, and free blacks.

James was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from South Bank Polytechnic in London for his immense contribution to socio-political awareness building work on races and sport.

To learn more, you can check out some of those links below

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In April 1981 protest against racist policing spilled into violence. For three days, from Friday 10th April 1981 the area of Brixton in South London became the scene of an uprising which left at least 45 people injured, 279 police officers injured, over 100 cars – including 56 police vehicles - damaged and 82 people arrested.

The spontaneous revolt saw violent clashes between the predominantly Black youth of Brixton and the Metropolitan police force, and homophobic businesses were also attacked. Over-policing of multicultural communities and the use of police powers, and particularly as stop and search, known as the ‘Sus Laws’ had become a major point of contention for many of Britain’s black youth.

SUS or 'suspected person laws' were resurrected nineteenth century vagrancy laws, which gave police the power to stop and search anyone they suspected of intending to commit a crime. These powers were abused by the Metropolitan Police, the police force responsible for policing in London’s 32 boroughs. They were used not only to harass Black people, but also to commit violence against anyone who was considered to be ‘loitering with intent’ without any evidence.

Today marks 40 years on from that weekend and in this video we discuss the events leading up and surrounding what would be known as The Brixton Uprising.

Commissioned by the UK Black Cultural Archives. We had the pleasure of working with their team on this one.

#BlackHistoryMonth #BlackHistory #BrixtonUprising #April1981

- Marcus Garvey - The Black Moses (Black History Animated)

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a master organiser, was born into Jamaica’s colonial system and decided to fight for change. After reading Booker T Washington’s autobiography, he was devoted to teaching the black community the importance of being self-reliant through education. He had high aspirations for building a worldwide organisation to empower people of African descent. His goals would inspire later leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko and Malcolm X. Garveyism symbolised the transformation of the way black people worldwide looked at themselves and their place in the world.
Garveyism taught that Black people would only be recognized when they were economically and spiritually strong, preached an independent Black economy within the structure of white capitalism, and inducted a black spiritual leader, a flag and a black national anthem. The UNIA established the Negro Factories Corporation, the Black Star Shipping Line (1919) and a chain of businesses including grocery shops, restaurants, a printing press, laundries and a hotel.

As today is Black Pound Day, it feels more than fitting for this video.

#blackpoundday #marcusgarvey

The Black People’s Day of Action -

On Monday 2nd March 1981, around 20,000 Black people from all over the UK came together and marched through London. Beginning in New Cross in South London in the morning, people walked for over eight hours, with numbers swelling as the procession moved towards central London.

The march moved through Peckham and Elephant and Castle in South London with chants like ‘Blood Ah Go Run if Justice Nuh Come,’ ‘The people united will never be defeated’ and ‘Thirteen Dead and Nothing Said!’ towards central London via St George’s Circus.

What was the reason for the march? On Saturday 17th January, teenagers Angela Jackson and Yvonne Ruddock were celebrating their joint birthday at Yvonne’s house at 439 New Cross Road when a fire broke out. In the early hours of Sunday morning, thirteen people, all between the ages of fifteen and twenty-two, including one of the birthday girls, died in the New Cross Fire.

The New Cross Fire numerically represented the largest loss of life in Britain since the second world war, yet neither the media nor the political establishment acknowledged the tragedy.

In today's video, we take a closer look into the events surrounding and leading up to the Black People's Day Of Action. In 1981 13 were dead, and nothing was said, but not anymore.

Written and Voice By Kesewa John

Thanks to: Carol Pierre and Claudia Tomlinson.

Further References:

Blood Ah Go Run by Menelik Shabazz -

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Hi All!
With the recent release of Judas and The Black Messiah, we wanted a take a deeper look into one of the great revolutionaries of the 20th century. Fred Allen Hampton was born August 30, 1948, in Chicago and was the youngest of three children born to Francis and Iberia. He grew up in Maywood Illinois and Fred shows early signs of being one to speak up for the oppressed and In high school, he led the school's Interracial Committee and protested the school for only nominating the white female students to run for homecoming queen, this resulted in the inclusion of Black girls going forward.

He went on to join the black panther party, moving up through the ranks he became the leader of their Chicago’s branch, engaging in public activism, working as an organizer, a peacemaker, and taking part in the parties free breakfast program to feed children in a number of cities.

This is just a snippet, check out today's video to learn much more.