Thursday 2nd May
Exhibition Launch: 1919 Race Riots
Venue: Central Library, William Brown Street, L3 8EW
Time: 2nd May, 12.30pm
Tickets: Free, no booking required
Following the aftermath of World War I many black servicemen and those men working in reserved occupations were left stranded in port cities across the UK. These men were British citizens; some from the colonies, answering the call of the ‘mother country’. Throughout 1919 countless communities experienced recession and intense competition for employment and housing. In Liverpool a policy of repatriation was pursued following increasingly desperate communications with various government departments.
The Great War to Race Riots archive contains first-hand testimony from the men themselves and local organisations urging the Lord Mayor into action. Simmering racial tensions inevitably exploded into three days of rioting and looting across the city in early June 1919. A young Bermudan sailor, Charles Wotten, was targeted and murdered by a white mob during these riots.
The exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the race riots in Liverpool also contains correspondence from The National Archives. Statements and letters to the Home Office and Colonial Office show the rising tensions across the colonies, from the employment colour bar to the impact of rioting in UK port cities.
A collaboration between Writing on the Wall, the Liverpool Record Office and the National Archives. 2nd May to 24th June 2019.