Tag Archive | "Black"

Jack Leslie

Jack F. Leslie was a former black football player in Britain. He signed for Plymouth Argyle from Barking Town in 1921.Jack F. Leslie is a former football player. He signed for Plymouth Argyle from Barking Town in 1921. Leslie scored over 400 goals in his career, 134 of those for Plymouth in 400 appearances. He retired in 1935. A call-up to the national team was cancelled when officials realized he was a “a man of colour.

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie


Despite an impressive 15-year run which saw him playing to crowds of over 40,000 people and notching up an impressive 400 match appearances with over 130 goals, Leslie suff ered catcalls from the crowd, who discriminated against him because he was black.

“I used to get a lot of abuse in matches. ‘Here darkie, I’m gonna break your leg,’ they’d shout.

“There was nothing wicked about it – they were just trying to get under my skin.”

Argyle co-ordinator Peter Hall reminisces about the times he saw Leslie play.


“On August 26, 1933 – I was six years old – we played Manchester Utd and won 4-1. “I always remember that Jack Leslie played a huge part in that win – it was a real treat to watch him play. He was everywhere, his passing was first class, and his shooting power was enormous. If there ever was an Argyle legend, it was Jack Leslie.”

No Black Footballers for England

Leslie proved himself as a top goal-scorer, holding the record for the most league goals scored (35) between 1927 and 1929, but this still wasn’t enough for officials who believed he wasn’t fit to join the esteemed national side.

“They found out I was a darkie and I suppose that was like finding out I was foreign.”

This shattered Leslie’s dreams of an international career.

He famously commented to Pilgrims teammate and later journalist Brian Woolnough,

“They must have forgotten I was a coloured boy.”


Jack Leslie retired in 1934, later he went to work for his local club West Ham United as part of their back room team.

Related Links

BBC – Footballer Jack Leslie
Wikipedia – Jack Leslie




Posted in Black History Month UK, Black Sports StarsComments (0)

Mixed Marriage Record 1770

Mixed Marriage 1770

Mixed Marriage 1770

Marriage Record

Record of a Michael Thomas(Black) & Ann Brandley (White) being married in Southwark on November 5th, 1770. This Morning Michael Thomas, a black, and Ann Brandley, a white, were married at St. Olave’s, Southwark; but while the ceremony was performing a preƒs-gang interupted the minister in the celebration of his office;
upon which a conteƒt aroƒe, and the clergyman received a blow upon the breaƒt, but a conƒtable being called immediateley, the Lieutenant was ƒecured and carried before a magiƒtrate, but after proper ƒubmiƒƒion, was, by the generoƒity of the miniƒter, was releaƒed without farther proƒecution. The poor black, with his bride, made his escape in the fray.





http://Annual Register VOL.13 Dec 1770 Page 161. (Chronicle)


Posted in Black History Month UKComments (0)




Legal Futures

Legal Futures

The LEGAL FUTURES 2011, the national law careers conference for ethnic minority students, will take place on Saturday 19 November at City University.
Confirmed speakers include:

Joshua Rozenberg Journalist, Broadcaster & Legal Commentator
Urvasi Naidoo Solicitor and Chief Executive, International Federation of Netball Associations
Tim Ward QC Barrister, Monckton Chambers
Michelle Egbosimba Solicitor, Ashurst LLP
Debra Smith-Gorick Founder & Director, China Law & Business Internship Programme
Susan Cooper Founder and Chief Executive, Acculaw
Laura Durrant Head of Litigation, Regulatory & Investigations, Royal Bank of Scotland
Peter Herbert OBE Barrister & National Chair, Society of Black Lawyers
Jide Lanlehin Barrister & Head of Chamber, Middle Temple Lane Chambers
Tunde Okewale Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers

Conference master classes include:

• I’m a paralegal, get me out of here!
• Commercial Awareness: what is it and how do I develop it?
• Resume Building Techniques: internships & volunteering
• Training Contract Bootcamp: Strategies for Success
• Pupillage Bootcamp: Strategies for Success
• It’s Showtime! Build your confidence & presentation skills

Attendance at the conference is only £10 and students can register online at www.legalfutures.eventbrite.com.

Any queries or for more information please do not hesitate to email SBL (events@blacklawyer.org) or visit our Legal Futures page on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/legalfutures.



1. £500 bursary towards an internship in either China (with the China Law & Business Internship Programme) or Arusha (working alongside Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda). One bursary is available.
2. One week mini pupillage at Middle Temple Lane Chambers with a £100 bursary (2 bursaries are available).
3. Legal Futures Conference Attendance Bursary (25 bursaries worth £10 each are available)

Attendance at the conference is only £10* and students can register online at www.legalfutures.eventbrite.com

Any queries or for more information please do not hesitate to email events@blacklawyer.org

*Conference registration fee will be refunded to bursary winners.

Posted in African History, Black BritainComments (0)

It's not that Black or White…

Mixed Race

Mixed Race

I often think that my mixed heritage gives me a fantastic advantage of speaking about race issues.  A perspective that some times I feel neither Black or White people can truly understand.

Looking in the mirror every day as a child and wondering where my brown features came from was a particularly hard thing to
grapple with but apart from one time in infancy, I don’t ever remember being troubled by my ethnicity.Quite the opposite in fact, I always felt proud of who I am, despite not having much actual detail.
I was born to a White woman in the 1970′s, my Black father has never been a part of my life. I was adopted from Manchester and went to live in the Derbyshire countryside with a loving, childless, working class White couple.

Despite the obvious pitfalls that would follow. My early life was great.

Being one of the only kids with a drop of colour in the area certainly provided it’s challenges. My adoptive parents, who are the only parents I have ever known faced the normal whispering campaign by the village gossips and bigots but on the whole people were supportive of their decision to take in a “coloured” child.

I always had plenty of friends to play with, but there were experiences that revealed the racism engrained in English society
in the Seventies and Eighties.

Racist 80s

Some of the nicknames I had were Choccy, Coony, and Chalky. Seriously, this seems unreal now, but the number of mixed race guys
I have met over the years who were also dubbed “Chalky” after the Jim Davison character “Chalky White”. Although my parents tried their best to protect me from this name calling, there was a limit to what they could do.

At the time I was so woefully ignorant of the true meaning of these slurs. Yet I honestly believe that the kids who called me these names, were too. These were names picked up from the culture of their parents. Comedians such as Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning were popular in those days and “Black Jokes” were part of the “comedy” landscape. I bore it all, until puberty.


I have, like many people suffered racism, and like many mixed race people, I have suffered discrimination at the hands of Black,
White and Asian people. I probably have too many experiences of racism to go into here but indulge me, whilst I present to you a few of the ones that
stick in the mind, for your examination.

  • One School report day, my mum sat me down to discuss my distinctly average grades. Almost every class report said, Philip is intelligent , he refuses to apply himself. My mum told me that one of the Teachers had said to her “Negroes are naturally indolent, they need to be pushed at every turn”.
  • Aged about 12 I was hanging around at the other end of the village and this little kid came up to us and was chatting to us, he let me sit on his bike. I was cycling round and round in circles and suddenly his dad came running out into the garden bare chested. Saw me on the bike and shouted “get off that bike, you Black Bastard”. Naturally, stunned I jumped off the bike, dashed it to the floor and flipped him the bird and shouted “up yours” before sprinting off before retribution was visited.
  • Like so many Black and mixed race kids my ageI had no reason to love the police in the 80′s. Aged 14 I was cycling my Bike through the Village of Bradwell, suddenly a Cop car past me and pulled me over. I faced a barrage of questions such as “Where are you from”, “what’s your name” , “whats your name?…”where are you from?”, “who’s bike is that?”, “where did you buy it?”, “whats your name again?”. After explaining several times who I was, and that I was from the next village, the cop let me go on my way. when I asked him why pulled me up, he told me that a bike fitting the description had been stolen from the area, but I know that was a croc of lies because he never even took the frame number, it was just intimidation , plain and simple.
  • In Junior School I was something of a wimp, but I was turning 11, when something clicked in me. I had decided that I wasn’t going to take racism anymore, because I knew that if I didn’t start standing up for myself, I’d be in trouble when I got to high school. One sunny afternoon I was strolling around the village when I was challenged by another boy, who was in fact, a year younger than me to get off the path. In fact his words were “move Choccy!” , I just laughed and said, “No, you move.” this went on for a few minutes before we resolved to settle this like men at one o’clock on the corner of the street. He went and spread the word, lots of the older kids came down on their bikes, I’m sure they thought he was gonna beat me up, he had a reputation for being a hardnut. That day the worm turned. I battered that kid, in fact he only landed one punch in the whole fight and that was when I was trying to pull my coat off, because I’d gotten too hot from punching him repeatedly. He didn’t know my Dad had taught me a load of boxing moves. That day things largely changed forever. High School was a breeze and I had respect.


Changing 90′s 

When I was around 16/17 I used to go drinking in the Ex-Servicemans Club. It was a Private Members Club and you could be a member at 16. There were these two blokes, who used to go in there who would just sit and abuse me. They were in their mid 20′s and I was just a skinny 17 yr old so the best I could do was give them some verbal back. I have no problem naming these Idiots, because in my eyes they still haven’t paid for the abuse they gave me.

Years later I walked into the George Hotel, and was having a drink when I spotted one of these Idiots sitting in the pool room, he was clearly drunk so I thought I’d have a word. Bear in mind that I was about 24 at this point and I’d filled out considerably, strolled over to him and said “Hello there, Frank”. “oh, hello mate” he said. Well that was it, red rag to a bull time! I started shouting at him, “Don’t you want to call me Nigger, or Coon , or Wog?

“its mate now is it? , I’ve a good mind to smash you all over this place! ” He started protesting his innocence and a few other people intervened. It was totally worth it to see the cowardly reaction he gave though without the backup of his mate Mo.
You see so many of these racists had clearly identified me as being different to them, simply by the colour of my skin, to them I was Black.
Yet conversely, many Black people I have known have sneered at me or frowned upon me for being “too White”.

In the late 90′s I was at University, I had a wide social circle that included people from Norway to Nigeria, Greece to Ghana. When meeting some of the Black guys for the first time they would all greet me with the stereotypical Black handshake which consisted of a hand grasp, then sliding the fingers, then a thumb lock and flick/click of the fingers or a gimme five motion.

The maddening thing was that no two guys ever seemed to do the same shake. they always looked at me with suspicion when I couldn’t do it. You see, that despite being heavily interested in Black politics and left wing movements, I’d had little contact with Black people on the whole.

Years later in Africa, I had no such experience, no African I met in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia or Mozambique greeted me in the same way as the Black guys at Uni. Instead of regarding me with suspicion they treated me like a long lost brother.

Another example of my “Whiteboyness” came at a Jamaican wedding, my first one. I didn’t know any of the dance steps. Everyone else in the room did.. I prayed for the ground to eat me up, I dropped out, my girlfriend at the time was cringing and I can’t remember feeling so alone in a crowd. Even eating the food was an issue. what man doesn’t like “Curry Goat” , but Pigs foot? No, I wasn’t up for eating a pigs foot and again I stood out from the crowd.

Over the years I have received both plaudits and criticism from Black people over the creation of this site my motives for creating it. I have been told I’m “Not Black”. My answer is I’m not White either, and I look Black, and have been treated the same way you have. I have also pointed out that had I been living in America, or Apartheid South Africa, I would have been treated as a Black person. It bought little creedance.

You see the thing with being mixed race in Britain is that you STILL don’t actually fully fit in anywhere. My point of view is, that people of all colours need to know the struggles of peoples of African Descent, before anyone can truly begin to understand that the colour of a persons skin does not wholly define them. It is merely a part of their identity. Culture and experience actually count for much more than a superficial marker like skin colour.

Posted in Black History Month UK, Editors BlogComments (6)

Black Romans At Hadrians Wall

Black Romans at Hadrians Wall In the 3rd Century AD. the Libyan born emporer of Rome sent a “Division of Moors” to be Garisoned at Hadrians Wall.In the 3rd Century AD. the Libyan born Emperer of Rome sent a “Division of Moors” to be Garrisoned at Hadrians Wall.

The division was named (Numerus Maurorum Aurelianorum) after Marcus Aurelius or another emperor who may have been known by the same official name.

The Unit was stationed near Burgh on sands, near Carlisle.

Septimus Severus was inspecting the Wall inthe year 210 when he was reputedly mocked by an “Ethiope” who was wearing a garland of Cyprus. The Cyprus bough was sacred to Pluto, god of the underworld.

When ordered away, the black soldier replied with sarcasm ” You have been all things, conquered all things, now, O conquerer, be a god!”

Severus perceived this to be a bad omen. He died shortly afterwards in York.

As well as the common soldier or slaves, there may well have been officers or Prefects from North africa Living in the area.

In 1951 a Romano-British cemetery was unearthed in York. 350 skeletons were found of which several exhibit limb proportions which suggest that they were black Africans.

It is important to state that no one can be exactly sure of the ethnicity of Septimus Severus. Todays Libyans are Arabs in the main, yet there are Naturalised sub saharan Africans living amongst them. Libyans have a high mixture of Arab and Berber blood. Berbers are found from the top of Africa, right down into Mail and Senegal.

North AfricaRomans

Comment on the Black Romans http://tinyurl.com/2xewet

Roman Emperors http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm



Posted in Black History Month UK, Black SoldiersComments (0)

Mixed Marriage 1770

Inter-Racial Marriage

Inter-Racial Marriage

The Annual Register Marriage Record

Record of a Michael Thomas(Black) and? Ann Brandley (White) being married in Southwark on November 5th, 1770.

This Morning Michael Thomas, a black, and Ann Brandley, a white, were married at St. Olave’s, Southwark; but while the ceremony was performing a press-gang interrupted the minister in the celebration of his office;Upon which a contest arose, and the clergyman received a blow upon the breast, but a constable being called immediately, the Lieutenant was secured and carried before a magistrate, but after proper submission, was, by the generosity of the minister, was released without farther prosecution. The poor black, with his bride, made his escape in the fray.

Posted in African History, Black Britain, Caribbean HistoryComments (1)

Black Dance in London – Circa 1780s

Above is a set of Newspaper articles from the 1780s.? Black Dance in London – Circa 1780s

Posted in African History, Black Britain, Black People in Europe, Caribbean HistoryComments (0)

Driving in Ghana

Driving In Ghana

I remember taking my last taxi to Tema before picking up my new second hand car that came off a ship from Germany. It felt good that i was finally avoiding bartering with the greedy taxi drivers who when seeing a foreigner would double their fare.

You see the taxi driver is one of the most arrogant and contentious people in Ghana. I was later going to find out that their plight i had only exchanged and not gotten rid of.

I stood there amongst many cars next to mine waiting for the Ashanti dealers to arrive for the exchange of the millions of cedis cash i had in my ruck sack for my car. Soon they came smiling and after counting every note they handed over the car to me.

Everything seemed to go smooth i had the car ownership papers my road worthiness and tax along with my driving license within a few days. It wasn’t long before i was stuck at kwame Nkrumah’s circle in a huge static traffic jam. I had Taxi’s and tro tro’s on all sides boxing me in and not giving up even an inch.

It was a million miles away from driving in the mostly good mannered streets of south London.
Sure in London there was “Road rage incidents” that could lead to your death if you met the wrong driver in the wrong situation, but in Ghana minus the death every driver almost is the wrong driver. All of them want to go before you. All of them don’t have respect or have knowledge of “The right of way”, and even more shockingly some are literally suicidal in there driving.

I know you the reader outside of Africa probably think i’m exaggerating but believe it or not i am being very careful to choose my words carefully to only tell you the truth.

Let me give you some examples. It is very common for you to be driving along and a parked car usually a taxi without checking his mirror pulls out in front of you making you slam on your breaks to avoid hitting him. He will do it without apology and most of the time in total oblivion to you your speed and any eventuality he may cause.

In the cases where you hit him he will blame you, and to be truthful if you are a foreigner the local people in most cases will also blame you.

I have even had on about 3 occasions a suicidal driver over taking about 4 vehicle’s coming to wards a row of cars ahead of me in our lane. In these situations i remember the drivers flashing there lights ignorantly to move the traffic ahead of me out of the way even though we are in our rightful lane. Amazingly the cars ahead of me would give them way by driving into the place where people walk. In other words giving these deranged individuals the priority of an emergency at the cost of endangering pedestrians and other road users.

But by far the most amazing thing i have experienced was in a place called Dodowa. You see Dodowa is a very quite town hardly any cars at all. I was driving though there one Sunday afternoon, i was the only car on the road. Up ahead i notice a woman standing on the reservation that separates the road. She had already cross half the road and was waiting i thought for me to pass with a small boy before she continued.

To my surprise the woman made a desperate run in front of my car pulling the hesitant boy. I slammed on my breaks and swerved to miss her causing a screech. When she got to the other side she foolishly smiled.

A woman who felt it fit in inpatients to risk her life and the life of her son rather than to just wait till i pass. This made me think for some days after, and i can only draw the conclusion that Ghanaians both pedestrians and drivers have an erroneous and unhealthy attitude towards road use. This can be confirmed in the number of fatal road traffic accidents that happen here every day. According to the government 3 people die due to road accidents every day in Ghana.

Only just last month on the Accra Wenniba Road some 45 people perished as a truck carrying yams from Tema hit two cars that had crashed in the middle of the road. People who was about to rescue the occupants of the cars where ran over by the truck.

Even though there are far less cars in Accra than in London, driving in Accra is far more demanding. In order to get from A to B you have to anticipate whats unimaginable in London.

I can almost hear you ask “What about the police in all of this?”. Well they are very busy trying to make a decent salary from road block bribes rather that chase bad drivers. I had a policeman stop me at a road block, he checked for everything. When he saw i had all that the law required he just asked me for money. The asking for money was the purpose of the road block it seemed.

Wilton Muhammad Accra Ghana: Wiltons website: Diasporan Returns

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Oak Bluffs – Summer's Home For Elite Blacks

Home of the black elites

Home of the black elites

Washington Post Staff Writer DeNeen L. Brown wrote an interesting? August 20, 2009 About how Americas Elite blacks are flocking to Martha’s Vineyard to take their annual holidays.

Over the 4 page web article. Brown highlights the fact that this isn’t a new phenomenon, but a generational thing. Black families have been attracted to the area for well over 100 years. The first African Americans to visit the area were attracted by the areas safeness.

The town was once a Methodist retreat where anti-racism sermons were preached.? Some of the first African Americans? to visit the area came as servants to wealthy white families. Others worked in the hotels. These early pioneers were later followed by, elite blacks from New York, Boston and Washington retreated here for summer vacations

Further down the road is West’s cottage, and farther down the road is Shearer Cottage, an inn built by a Charles Shearer, the son of a slave and a slave master. Shearer built the inn to provide lodging for blacks during segregation. Famous guests included singers Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters and Lillian Evanti; and composer Harry T. Burleigh as well as Madame CJ Walker, an early self-made millionaire . More recent visitors and home owners include Henry Louis Gates Jnr, Spike Lee and Valerie Jarrett.

It’s all about class and money. American high flyers from the Black middle classes are acutely aware of their position in the social strata. Money is known and respected; though not necessarily flaunted. The Area has been described as “The black Hamptons”.

Despite the emphasis on class and regular “summering”, there is a group in Marthas Vineyard that doesn’t let class and breeding affect your membership. That is the early morning swimming group, “The polar Bears”. The group takes the name, somewhat ironically because of the cold temperature of the sea in the early morning.

Related Links

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The Only Black Man on the Titanic

There was a Haitian man on the Titanic

Hatian family on the titanic

Hatian family on the titanic

There was a Haitian man on the ship!
His uncle was President of Haiti!
Joseph Phillippe Lemercier Laroche was the only black man, a Haitian man, to perish in the Titanic; that’s after he saved his wife and kids. Laroche was born in Cap Haitian, Haiti , on May 26, 1889.

In the blockbuster film Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s role could have easily been played by a Black man and it would have been historically accurate. In fact, the life story of Haitian native Joseph Phillippe Lemercier Laroche is far more intriguing than the movie’s lead character, but no one knew of his existence until recently.

The silence about the stranger-than-fiction life story of the Titanic’s only Black passenger astonishes noted Titanic historian Judith Geller, author of Titanic: Women and Children First, who said, “It is strange that nowhere in the copious 1912 press descriptions of the ship and the interviews with the survivors was the presence of a Black family among the passengers ever mentioned.”

The story of this interracial family was not known until 2000, three years after the movie’s release, when the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry and the Titanic Historical Society revealed the information as part of a Titanic exhibit.

Joseph Laroche was born into a powerful family. His uncle, Dessalines M. Cincinnatus Leconte, was the president of Haiti . When Joseph Phillippe Lemercier was fifteen, he left Haiti to study engineering in Beauvais , France . Several years later, he met Juliette Lafargue, the 22-year-old daughter of a local wine seller. The two eventually married.
Despite having an engineering degree, Joseph’s skin color left him unable to find employment in France . The Laroches decided to return toHaiti and booked second-class reservations on the Titanic. After the ship struck an iceberg, Joseph loaded his wife and children onto a lifeboat and he went down with the ship. His body was never recovered.
Shortly before Christmas of that year, Juliette Laroche gave birth to their son, Joseph Laroche Jr.
Juliette never remarried.


Posted in Black Britain, Caribbean HistoryComments (1)