Re-Righting History: Liverpool
Date: Tuesday 20th October
The removal of the Colston Statue, street names painted over and the BBC’s dithering over Rule Britannia at the Proms reveal that British History is highly contested. Progressive historians argue that history, as it is taught and celebrated, has been whitewashed, sanitised and distorted. In Liverpool communities are preserving their own heritage and ensuring that their stories are accurately told. The Liverpool Black History Research Group, Great War to Race Riots, Mandela8’s Liverpool Anti-Apartheid Activists and the L8 Archives are innovative heritage projects which promote histories that are not taught in schools but which add to our understanding of Liverpool, its position within global political and economic systems and of the tenacity of those most exploited by those systems. Joining Madeline Heneghan, WoW’s Co-Director are Community Historian, Laurence Westgaph, Sonia Bassey, Chair of Mandela8, Emy Onuora, co-author of Great War to Race Riots and Stephen Nze, Senior Detached Youth Worker and Mandela8 Ambassador.
Madeline Heneghan became WoW’s first full-time Festival Director in 2006 and was ultimately responsible for the delivery of the annual month-long Festival and all WoW projects. Madeline has an MA in American Literature and History, and prior to joining Madeline was the Action Plan Coordinator for The Black and Racial Minority Network. Most recently Madeline and has written and published, with Emy Onuora, a book based on the findings of the Great War to Race Riots Creative Heritage Project. Madeline is now delivering our latest Creative Heritage Project based on the archives of the Liverpool 8 Law Centre, and working to shape WoW’s long-term strategy and development.
Sonia Bassey is a founding member of the Mandela8. Shea has an extensive background in community and arts regeneration and engagement, predominantly in BME communities and was instrumental in the development and establishment of a long standing exhibition on the 1981 Toxteth Riots – 30 Years On. Sonia is a former chair of the Merseyside Black History Month Group and is currently a member of Liverpool’s Culture and Tourism Select Committee, a Director of Africa Oye and a Director of Mandela 8.
Laurence Westgaph is an independent researcher, community historian, writer, broadcaster and tour guide. He has a particular interest in Liverpool’s role in the slave trade and how its legacies have benefited the city and impacted its built environment, civic, cultural and educational institutions. Laurence has written on these subjects for Historic England and the architecture journal, Context, and has also advised HE on their Liverpool listed buildings that have a connection to slavery. Laurence is currently leading on the Liverpool Enslaved Memorial Project, established to create a permanent monument in the city to commemorate the enslaved people who lived, died and were buried here during the slave trade period.
Author of Pitch Black, Emy Onuora has an MA in Ethnic Studies and Race Relations from the University of Liverpool and has lectured extensively on issues of Race and Sport within higher education. He was co-editor of the Merseyside based football fanzine What’s the Score and co-wrote Writing on the Wall’s From Great War To Race Riots, a publication detailed the rediscovered section of Liverpool Lord Mayor’s correspondence concerning the plight of black soldiers, seamen and factory workers in Liverpool between May 1919 to November 1921.
Stephen Nze, one of the original founders of Mandela8, is currently the Young People Facilitator and building manager at Tiber. He also manages a team that goes out onto the streets of L8 to engage young people who avoid organised activities. With a drive to empower today’s youth, Stephen’s aim is to give them the skills they need to better themselves and their community.