Slavery: Resistance amid the horror By Jane Perlez Published: August 23, 2007


Exhibits at the new International Slavery Museum in Liverpool span the sufferings endured by slaves to the achievements realized by people of African heritage worldwide. (Jonathan Player for The New York Times)

LIVERPOOL: The riverside docks here, now a gentrified quarter, were a critical pivot in the trans-Atlantic slave trade when this city rose from seedy port to rich entrep??t in the 17th century.

From Liverpool, traders sailed forth with guns and metals to sell in Africa, and from the proceeds bought slaves for the flourishing markets in the Americas. After the merchants sold their human cargo, their ships returned home brimming with sugar, cotton, coffee and tobacco.

To commemorate and, more important, elucidate this dark passage of the city’s past, the International Slavery Museum opened here Thursday, part of a series of events across Britain on the bicentenary of the 1807 British law that banned the slave trade.

The windows at this compact museum’s entrance, on the third floor of a refurbished Victorian warehouse, overlook the gray and blustery Mersey River; it is a vista that conjures the sailing ships, hard-nosed traders, sailors, African and Asian servants, and runaways who journeyed to Africa.

But rather than focus on the local story, Richard Benjamin, who directs the new museum and is a Briton of Guyanese descent, takes a different tack. Under his guidance, some of the museum exhibits thrust the visitor directly into the cultures of West Africa, emphasizing that many slaves came from a proud heritage that continues to thrive. Its aim is to be an educational institution rather than primarily a repository of important artifacts.

Full article here.

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Notes from England: Black and Asian women are "missing" from almost a third of workplaces in areas with significant ethnic minority populations


As it releases the results of a two-year investigation, which reveals for the first time the full scale of the workplace penalties faced by Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is today calling for a fundamental cultural shift in the way black and Asian women are treated at work and by public policy makers.

Moving on Up: Ethnic Minority Women at Work, the largest investigation of its kind in Great Britain, has established that Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women face significantly greater penalties than white women in the workplace. Those who want to work are finding it more difficult to get jobs, progress within them and are more likely to be segregated into certain types of work, despite leaving school with the same career aspirations as white girls and similar or better qualifications than white boys.

In areas with above average numbers of black and Asian women participating in the local labour market, BME women are entirely absent from 3 out of 10 workplaces and under-represented in almost 3 out of 5 workplaces. The EOC’s report suggests it’s not too late to set the country on a different course. 28% of employers surveyed said they intended to introduce steps to improve the recruitment and progression of black and Asian women. However, the same percentage said they were unsure what action to take.

The EOC is today urging Britain???s employers and policy makers to catch up with the diversity of modern Britain and develop ???cultural intelligence??? – the awareness, understanding and confidence to communicate and relate positively to people from different cultural backgrounds, to get the best from them at work and design policy that meets their needs.

The EOC warns that cultural intelligence is absolutely crucial if Britain is to avoid paying a high economic and social price. Between 2001 and 2020, ethnic minority people are expected to account for over 70% of the growth in the UK population aged 16-59. With Britain???s employers facing skills shortages, it is crucial to tap into a growing and increasingly well-qualified pool of young Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women’s talent if we are to maintain economic growth.

And with access to jobs being a key ingredient of community cohesion, policy makers will fail to build stronger communities unless black and Asian women’s skills and ambitions translate into better-paid jobs in a wider range of organisations.

Read the entire press release here.

By the numbers:

Breakdown of Black Caribbean women in English cities (Sources: ONS (2004) Census 2001: CD Supplement to the National report for England and Wales; GROS (2004) Scotland???s Census 2001: CD 5 Volume 1.):

Birmingham: 25,700
Bradford: 1,500
Leeds: 3,600
Leicester: 2,500
London: 191,500
Manchester: 4,700

Black Business Community Magazine

Diane is doing something exciting in London:

On the 20th July my new online magazine went up. Its called the Black Business Community Magazine for businesses in London. I am currently giving away some free subscriptions for anyone who already has content they would like to include in the magazine.

I haven’t created a press release about this yet but one will be going out this week. The free offer is limited so please visit the site www.blackbusinesscommunitymagazine.net and take a look.

Also if you know of a business in London that may benefit please forward this to all your friends so that they can include their business.

This is a magazine for black businesses based in London who want to start using audio and video to promote their business. There is also space for text articles too.

I will be doing all of the promoting so this is an opportunity for extra business. The next 3 months will be spent doing nothing but promotional activities so get yourself in there now and thank you for sharing this with other black businesses.

Lewis Hamilton-First Black F1 Winner Wins Again in Indy

The 22-year-old Englishman fought off a couple of challenges from Mercedes McLaren teammate and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso on Sunday to win the U.S. Grand Prix, the second straight victory for the first black driver in F1’s 61-year history. “Coming into the season, being realistic, I never expected anything like this, but I hoped to do well,” Hamilton said. “I hoped maybe I’d get a podium at some point. This is just insane.”

This latest win, coming on the heels of his inaugural F1 victory a week earlier in the Canadian Grand Prix, gave Hamilton his seventh top-three finish in as many starts – one of his numerous unprecedented feats for a rookie.

Read the full story.