Saturday, 26 November 2016

Just an Ordinary Lawyer - Jan 11-28th at Theatro Technis in London

Just An Ordinary Lawyer
Theatro Technis
26 Crowndale Rd
London NW1 1TT
United Kingdom

11-28 January
Nigerian Tunji Sowande quietly breaks through multiple barriers to become Britains first Black judge in 1978. Also a fine concert singer and keen cricket lover, he muses on international politics and history as they affect the Black world from Africa to the USA and Britain, from the point of view of one who would rather watch sports, and spread love and peace through the medium of song.

Recalling heroic sporting achievements alongside epoch-defining political events, Tayo Aluko follows the multi-award-winning Call Mr. Robeson with another "brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art."

Tickets from here:

"First Rate" The Guardian on Call Mr. Robeson
"Prepare to be bowled over" (4 stars) Wirral Globe
"Another triumph  that thrills and touches" (5 Stars) British Theatre Guide
"Immensely enjoyable" (4 Stars) One4Review
"A superb play" (9/10) Liverpool Sound and Vision
"Every socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist will love this" Socialist Worker
"I learnt more about black history through your show than my entire secondary school education" E.I.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

LSHG Seminar - Merilyn Moos on children of refugees from Nazism


Monday December 5th - Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism'

 Merilyn Moos will be focusing on the continuing impact on the ‘second generation’, people born in Britain to refugees from Nazism, of their parents’ terrible losses and dislocation, but also on whether  having parents who actively opposed the Nazis from the left makes a difference to their children. She will conclude by making some suggestions about similarities and differences with today's refugees.

Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at 5.30pm. Free without ticket - no need to book in advance.  For more on the subject and a link to Merilyn Moos's book please see here
For more information please contact LSHG convenor Keith Flett on the email address above...

Book launch - Rocking Against Racism 1976-1982

Free Event: Rocking Against Racism 1976-1982

Monday 5th December @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm – Conway Hall

Book Launch

 Rocking Against Racism

Celebrating a movement of both Cultural and Political importance in the UK’s history, Reminiscences of RAR – Rocking Against Racism 1976-1981 hears from a number of collaborators, rockers and fighters. The launch event will host talks, readings and, of course, music, not only looking back at the events of 40 years ago, but also looking at the struggles and fights we face in Britain today.
Rock Against Racism (RAR) came into existence in the autumn of 1976 in response to a rise in racist attacks, and the continuing growth of the Nazi National Front. In August a racist tirade by blues guitarist Eric Clapton from the stage in Birmingham led to a letter, jointly signed by the compilers of this book, to the music press critical of Clapton’s racism and asking for readers to support an anti-racist campaign through music. The response was overwhelming and a movement was born.
For the next six years RAR was at the centre of a cultural movement against racism and the NF. From 1978 it was partnered with both the Anti-Nazi League and School Kids Against the Nazis. Together they had broken the National Front by 1979 and continued the fight against racism with RAR’s Militant Entertainment Tour, and in 1981 the fourth and final Carnival in Leeds.
With 65 contributors this book brings together the reminiscences of activists and supporters during the period. From many backgrounds and ages, musician and audience, punk and Rasta, street fighter and pogo dancer, united with a single aim: to Rock Against Racism.

Book via eventbrite here

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The History of Labour and its Environmental Aspects

Raphael Samuel History Centre - History and Environment seminar series  

The History of Labour and its Environmental Implications

30 November 2016, 7:30 pm, Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green, London, United Kingdom

‘The Generalisation of Wage Labour, and the Changing Relationship with the Land in Early Modern England’, George Yerby, author of The English Revolution and the Roots of Environmental Change (Routledge 2016)

 ‘Capitalism, the Use of Labour, and the Environmental Context’, Martin Empson, author of Land and Labour: Marxism, Ecology and Human History (Bookmarks 2015)

 ‘Urbanisation, Industrialisation, and their Impact on Labour Militancy’, Neil Davidson, author of Nation-States, Consciousness and Competition (2016)

Chair: Carrie Hamilton (Roehampton)

All welcome. No booking necessary.

 Contact:George Yerby: or Neil Davidson:

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

LSHG seminar - John Boughton on Labour and the rise and fall of High Rise Housing

London Socialist Historians Group seminar 

Monday November 21st - John Boughton (Municipal Dreams blog), 'High Hopes - Labour and the rise and fall of High Rise housing'. 
Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at 5.30pm. Free without ticket - no need to book in advance.

Other seminars coming up - venue / time same as above

Monday December 5th - Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism'
For more information please contact LSHG convenor Keith Flett on the email address above...

Hadaway Harry play


Putney will play host to a hit play about the Victorian Geordie who invented the sport of rowing we know so well today.

Harry "Hadaway" Clasper, who was from Tyneside, was the Sir Steve Redgrave of his day having led seven teams to win the Championship of the World on the Thames at Putney. In addition Harry, in the 1840s, invented and built the slim, light boats and outriggers used by modern scullers.

At the time Clasper's revolutionary new initiatives were ridiculed because rowers were still using the old clinker-built boats that had been a feature on rivers for centuries.

Harry also went on to train future world champions and umpired world championships.

The play, "Hadaway Harry", which will be performed at Newcastle's 1200-seat Theatre Royal, will have an out-of-town-run at the prestigious London Rowing Club on the banks of the Thames in Putney on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18.

The play itself, which was performed to sell-out crowds and received standing ovations on Tyneside in June 2015, focuses on the very first time the Geordie oarsmen - led by Clasper and comprising his brothers - defeated the "unbeatable" Thamesmen in 1845.

Playwright Ed Waugh, whose shows have been performed nationally and internationally, explained: "Rowing was the sport of the working class prior to football. Every major river had its champion so there was huge interest in matches because civic pride was at stake.

"When Harry led his team of brothers to Putney in 1845 to win the World Championship for the first time it caused a sensation nationally; was akin to Fulham beating Barcelona in the final of the European Cup!

"Even Charles Dickens wrote about the wonderful spectacle of the Geordies versus the Thamesmen."

Ed continued: "The National Rowing Museum in Henley features the modern greats but at the very start of the rowing timeline there you'll see writ large the name of an illiterate, former Durham miner called Harry Clasper."

Waugh added: "After 1845, Harry went on to dominate national rowing for the next 25 years and when he died in 1870, aged 58, more than 130,000 people crammed the streets of Newcastle and Gateshead to pay tribute."

Harry Clasper was a regular visitor to Putney. He often lodged in The Feathers pub at the mouth of the River Wandle when preparing for races.

Harry Clasper's son, John Hawks Clasper, himself a top rower, went on to live in Putney; Lower Richmond Road and Stainbridge Road, both within a few hundred yards of the London Rowing Club.

John, who also lived in and ran The Feathers pub, was a master boater builder; his workshop, on the banks of the Thames in Putney, is now the Westminster School boathouse, which still bears his name, JH Clasper.

Hadaway  Harry will be performed at London Rowing Club, Putney (SW15 1LB) on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18. The show starts at 7.30pm on both evenings with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday.  Tickets, limited to 80 per show, cost only £16 from (0191) 424 7788.

For further details visit: Hadaway Harry

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Killing Communists in Havana

Launch of a Socialist History Society Occasional Publication

Killing Communists in Havana

The Start of the Cold War in Latin America
Steve Cushion
Author of
Socialist History Society Public Meeting
Saturday 26th November 2016 2.00pm
37a Clerkenwell Green EC1R 0DU
nearest tube Farringdon
The Cold War started early in Cuba, with anti-communist purges of the trade unions already under way by 1947. Corruption and government intervention succeeded in removing the left-wing leaders of many unions but, in those sectors where this approach failed, gunmen linked to the ruling party shot and killed a dozen leading trade union militants, including the General Secretary of the Cuban Sugar Workers' Federation.
Based on material from the Cuban archives and confidential US State Department files, this SHS Occasional Publication will examine the activities of the US government, the Mafia and the American Federation of Labor, as well as corrupt Cuban politicians and local gangsters, in this early episode of the Cold War.

Friday, 4 November 2016

CfP: Reparative Histories 2: The Making, Re-making and Un-making of ‘Race’

6-7 April 2017, Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories, University of Brighton, UK

This interdisciplinary conference aims to build on the momentum created by the first Reparative Histories symposium held in 2014 and by the subsequent publication of a special issue of Race & Class (‘Reparative Histories: radical narratives of ‘race’ and resistance’, Race and Class, 57, 3 (2016)). That first event was interested in critically addressing the ways in which conceptions of the ‘reparative’ are currently shaped and understood, and in exploring what it means to turn to history in the appeal for recognition and redress. We set out to explore the question of how to relate the past to the present in the context of ‘race’, narrative and representation. Significant issues stemming from the first symposium concerned the importance of thinking through forms of historical interconnectedness both spatially and temporally, and ways of addressing, the dialectics of anti-colonial struggle, anti-racist resistance and mobilisation. This conference aims to further develop the concept of ‘Reparative Histories’ and to build on these concerns.
Given that racialised meanings continue to powerfully structure understandings of identity, belonging and exclusion within multiple social, cultural political and economic spaces. How might we further trace the history and politics of the making and unmaking of ‘race’? How might we connect effectively these historical formulations and to the maintenance of particular contemporary power relations? This conference aims to explore critically the ways in which processes of making, re-making and un-making ‘race’ are rooted in particular histories, politics and cultures. The conference aims to further elucidate the processes of racialization associated with histories of imperialism, colonialism, transatlantic enslavement and other forms of global labour production. It also aims to question how ‘legacies’ might be traced in the light of contemporary social and economic formations. ‘Race’ continues to signify either by glossing its historical provenance, or by drawing upon it.
At the same time, ‘race’ and its histories, offer a powerful political platform for those engaged in anti-racist, anti-colonial resistance. These traditions of struggle are currently being re-activated and re-articulated in ways that confront the power and pull of the universalism of liberal orthodoxy and they are increasingly exposing its fault-lines and occlusions. What is the role of history and indeed, memory, in relation to these resistant political processes. How might representations of the past be activated for the now?
Possible themes for this symposium could include ‘race’ and colonialism, ‘race’ and labour; anti-slavery resistances; decolonisation and de-colonial struggles; capitalism and ‘race’; interracial class solidarity; gendered racialization; anti-racist resistance movements; the racializing of ‘suspect communities’; anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; Whiteness studies and the limitations of privilege theory; ‘race’, representational form and expressive culture; and contemporary anti-racist politics;  
 Questions for consideration might include (but are not limited to the following):
 How does tracing the historical making of ‘race’ contribute to reparative history?
·         How do re-makings of ‘race’ in the contemporary moment draw on raced histories of the past?
·         How has an anti-racist insistence on racialization functioned in forms of political mobilisation and/or political resistance?
·         What are the limits of liberal humanism in accounting for normalising discourses of ‘race’?
·         How can the history and legacies of transatlantic enslavement, colonialism and imperialism be drawn upon for the purposes of resisting contemporary racisms?
·         What sort of politics do histories and memories of inter-racial mobilisations either enable or delimit?
·         How are migrants placed within the language of racialized labour practices both historically and in the present?
·         What does the treatment of refugees tell us about contemporary politics of ‘othering’?
·         What is the role of literary and other forms of cultural representation in securing/subverting racialized imaginaries?
·         How can memories and/or memorialisation negotiate the contested histories of ‘race’?

We invite proposals from across the disciplines. They may concern historical and/or contemporary issues or moments and address any representational form. We welcome proposals for single papers, panels, or for plenary discussions. (Please provide a brief rationale for a panel or a plenary.) If your proposal speaks to one of the conference questions listed above, please specify this in your submission. Postgraduate submissions are of course welcome.

Proposals of 250 words and a brief biography/CV should be sent to Anita Rupprecht ( and Cathy Bergin ( Closing date for proposals: December 31st, 2016.
The conference fee is £80. There is a fee of £40 for graduate students and for those with no institutional affiliation. 
The conference will be held at the Grand Parade Campus, University of Brighton.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

CfP: The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic - October 2017, UCLan, Preston

Institute For Black Atlantic Research
The Red and the Black – The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic - Conference to be held at the Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR), University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 14-15 October 2017, to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Image result for claude mckay comintern

Claude McKay addressing the Fourth Congress of the Comintern, Moscow in 1922

The Russian Revolution was not only one of the most critical events of the twentieth century in its own right but an inspirational event across the ‘black Atlantic’ as a blow against racism and imperialism.  For colonial subjects of European empires internationally as well as black Americans, the Russian Revolution promised the hope of a world without oppression and exploitation.   This conference aims to build on the growing scholarship and literature in this area to explore the impact the revolutionary events in Russia during 1917 made across the African diaspora and the subsequent critical intellectual influence of Marxism and Bolshevism on the current of revolutionary ‘black internationalism’ in its aftermath.
For details of the full CfP and submission of abstracts and proposals for this conference - please see  here