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‘It’s about action’: Black Lives Matter activists in Crouch End hold exhibition spotlighting Black history outide of Hornsey Town Hall

PUBLISHED: 18:07 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:07 06 July 2020

Organisers, speakers and attendees on the green in front of Hornsey Town Hall raise a fist in support of Black Lives Matter in Crouch End. Picture: Polly Hancock

Organisers, speakers and attendees on the green in front of Hornsey Town Hall raise a fist in support of Black Lives Matter in Crouch End. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists held an exhibition outside Hornsey Town Hall on Wednesday to showcase a centuries-long timeline of Britain’s slave trade legacy, from abolition to Windrush.

Socially distanced speakers line up along the scaffolding at Crouch End's Windrush exhibition. Meghana Duggirala (right) is speaking. Picture: Polly HancockSocially distanced speakers line up along the scaffolding at Crouch End's Windrush exhibition. Meghana Duggirala (right) is speaking. Picture: Polly Hancock

After a series of Wednesday afternoon protests in light of the George Floyd killing in America, last week volunteers attached posters to the scaffolding by the green describing how Britain took 3.1 million Africans to its colonies and after the Abolition of Slavery Act 1833, introduced an apprenticeship that kept freed slaves bound to their former owners for another six years.

“We wanted to show that the Windrush scandal didn’t just happen out of nothing,” said Andrea Hodgson, a teacher and Crouch End BLM activist. “There’s this continuum from slavery, to colonialism, to attitudes post-colonialism.”

READ MORE: Councillor calls for Haringey’s own review into Covid-19 impact on BAME communities

When asked how significant the recent protests and debates around statues have been, Andrea said that “there’s no going back” and it is “absolutely essential” that we continue to reexamine our history. SHe added: “All history is a set of interpretations and the loudest voice wins.”

QR codes were also on the posters for people to scan and research further.

Activist Georgia Yexley speaks at Crouch End's Black Lives Matter Windrush exhibition on July 1. Picture: Polly HancockActivist Georgia Yexley speaks at Crouch End's Black Lives Matter Windrush exhibition on July 1. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Andrea explained: “The idea is that they’ll do more research and educate themselves. We have leaflets as well with sources of where people can access help to get compensation for the Windrush scheme, because it’s not just about doom and gloom and how awful this was,

“It’s about action.”

Andrea added embedding the Black history into the curriculum was essential, but said it was also necessary to retrain teachers so they are able to teach black history more effectively.

“When I started teaching 20-30 years ago, the sum of black history was – if you were lucky – black history month, which was an add-on, and teaching slavery and abolition from a very white point of view.”

The Wednesday evening event also a saw attendees observe a one-minute silence to pay tribute to victims of racial injustice.

Further exhibitions will take place in Pond Square, Highgate on July 12 at 2pm, at 1pm on July 16 outside Planet Organic in Muswell Hill, and at 3pm on July 18 at Albert Road Recreation Ground’s pavilion.


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