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Black History Sessions

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Event description
A course of ten sessions on black history for PCS members only.

About this Event

This course of sessions, initiated by reps in Albert Bridge House Manchester, is run by Ken Olende a former tutor of black and African history for the Workers' Education Association. Ken is currently studying for a PHD about what 'Black identity' is in modern Britain at Brighton University. You can register for individual sessions only but attending as many sessions as you can will give you the most benefit from this course. You do need to select each date that you wish to attend.

10th August Introductory session 1:

British history is closely entwined with the rise of the slave trade and racism. This session will discuss British involvement in the growth and ending of the Atlantic slave trade; how that trade was different from earlier slavery; why modern racism is inseparable from the trade; and what happened to former slaves and former slave owners after the trade ended.

17th August Session 2

Early Visitors and slavery.

The history of black involvement with Britain goes back much further than most people realise. This class will look at Roman and Medieval Britain. It will discuss the dramatic changes associated with the Atlantic slave trade and the presence of black slaves in Britain.

7 September Session 3

The British Empire.

Immigrants to Britain have largely come from countries that were part of the British Empire. This class will examine how the empire grew and how attitudes shifted to the subjects of empire.

21 September Session 4

Post war immigration.

With the “Windrush” generation, large scale non-white immigration to Britain began in the period immediately following the Second World War. We will look at why the call went out for immigrants to come and build the economy and the different kinds of welcome they received.

5 October Session 5

Growing communities and shifting responses.

Through the 1960s attitudes to immigration shifted, laws changed and people who had come to work had to decide if they were going to stay, and how they were going to be accepted.

19 October Session 6


In the 1970s established communities of immigrants, and many who had been born or grown up in Britain were not prepared to put up with racism. Trade unions shifted to be more welcoming. At the same time groups like the National Front grew actively opposing immigrants.

02 November Session 7

Riot and compromise.

The 1980s began with riots around Britain. They saw both the alienation of sections of the growing black communities and the integration of people through political and economic shifts.

16 November Session 8

1990s onwards.

Issues of who is an outsider shifted, with the rise in fear and prejudice against Islam. With no primary immigration issues around refugees and asylum became dominant. With the expansion of the EU different kinds of primary immigration shifted the focus of discussions on immigration.

07 December Session 9

Black immigrants and British culture.

For the past 50 years there has been no sector of British life that has not been affected by immigrant culture. We will discuss what this has meant for the country and the wider immigrant community.

21 December Session 10

Black in Britain now.

In the age of the Windrush scandal, Brexit and Black Lives Matter, we will discuss the experience of black British people now and how it has been affected by centuries of history.

As these are online events using Microsoft Teams and we can't actually meet you in person you will be asked to complete a PCS learner enrolment form prior to the evenst. We are required by the Department for Education to gather evidence to show that real people engage in our learning events and being able to do this supports our on-going funding to promote learning. After we receive your learner enrolment form for the dates you wish to attend you will be sent the link to join the Microsoft Teams meeting(s) at least a day before each event is due to start.

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