Welcome to the Bernie Grant Archive, a tribute to the life and times of the late Bernie Grant MP.
Through this site you can learn not only his story, but also that of the generation of black and minority ethnic citizens who arrived in Britain in the post war period.
This website contains a browsable and searchable inventory of the Bernie Grant Archive which is kept at the Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London.
To mark Burns Night 2017 read about When Bernie met Rabbie Burns.
Lord Gifford’s Broadwater Farm Revisited Report now available to download
Following his well received Broadwater Farm Inquiry report, in 1988 Haringey Council asked Lord Gifford to review progress against his recommendations. Broadwater Farm Revisited, published in 1989 is an equally important and unique document, which chronicles in detail the struggles of a riot torn community to re-assert itself and to rebuild community police relations, despite numerous appalling miscarriages of justice and abuses of civil rights.
Highlight: Bernie Grant’s parliamentary questions and speeches
Over 13 years as an MP Bernie Grant made use of his position to articulate the concerns of the community of his day on the floor of the House of Commons. His speeches were often powerful and moving, and always listened to intently. He was often too in advance of public opinion, his speeches attracting much controversy at the time – although in many cases this may be hard for us to understand given changes in public opinion on many issues, such as racism and anti-apartheid.
You can access his parliamentary questions and speeches here on the They Work For You website.
Lord Gifford’s Broadwater Farm Inquiry Report now available to download
Thirty years ago saw the worst ever rioting in the UK, after black mother Cynthia Jarrett died as police raided her home, following rising tension between police and the black community in Tottenham, North London. The death of policeman PC Keith Blakelock during the riot, on the Broadwater Farm Estate, prompted outrage nationally – but also locally, as the search for those responsible rode roughshod over civil rights, leading to widespread racist vilification, and ultimately the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals.
The independent Broadwater Farm Inquiry, chaired by Lord Gifford pre-dates the digital age, and has not previously been available on-line. It was commissioned by the local authority to establish the truth about what happened, and reported in 1986. It countered many of the disturbing myths which had already grown up about the events of 1985, and placed them in the context of urban and policing policies of the day, and of highly racialised media bias. For the first time, we make the report available digitally.
30th Anniversary of the Broadwater Farm disturbances of 1985
The riots on the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham in 1985 were described as the worst ever on mainland Britain. A policeman PC Keith Blakelock was sadly killed during the riots and there followed months of intense media focus on the estate, on the search for the culprits, and on Bernie Grant himself. It was in this climate that three young men, Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite, and Engin Raghip were wrongly convicted of the murder in 1987, only to be released four years later when it was found that the evidence against them had been fabricated.
This newly discovered original paper by the late Dorothy Kuya, believed to have been written during her work for an enquiry into the disturbances, examines the distortions and racism which characterised the media coverage during those early months.
Click on this link or the image below to download the report.
The Bernie Grant Memorial Lecture 2015
by Gary Younge. 10th September 2015
The award winning Guardian journalist Gary Younge gave the Bernie Grant Memorial Lecture 2015 at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tottenham, London N15 on 10th September 2015.
After more than a decade of reporting in the USA Gary Younge argued that even as America celebrates the election of a Black president, the sanctity of black life is still denied. The litany of black people being murdered by police and the large number of policemen who get away with it, provides an ugly metaphor for the contempt for black life in this post-civil rights, post-industrial moment – dispensable, despised and discarded.
The lecture was followed by a discussion chaired by Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP – Chair of the Select Committee on Home Affairs with panellists Deborah Owhin, Nathanial Tobias Coleman, Miranda Grell, and Phillip Udeh.
The following is a link to some photographs of the event.
Marginalised No More: Marking the 15th anniversary of Bernie’s death, a celebration of black political representation
On 8th April 2015 at The Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham a well attended event was held in memory of Bernie’s life. It focused on his achievements and drew attention to black and minority ethnic candidates standing for parliament in May 2015.
You can see an album of photographs of the evening by local photographer David Tothill by clicking here.
The Bernie Grant Trust is a charity, and relies on donations to maintain and preserve its unique archive, and to run social and educational projects using the collection. Please help us by giving today! Click here or on the button below to make an online donation.