As chair of African Reparations Movement, Bernie Grant was keenly aware of the importance of history and heritage for African diaspora peoples:

‘Only if we understand our past can we as Black People move forward in the future. We must demand compensation for the biggest crime in history – the colonization and enslavement of our people.’

Anyone interested in exploring the life and times of Bernie Grant will find much that is of interest in this fascinating collection of papers, photographs, books and audio-visual material. But the Bernie Grant Archive does more than give insights in to the work of the well-known politician. It helps us to understand how perspectives on issues change, and why policies and practices develop in the way they do. Due to Bernie Grant’s tireless campaigning of behalf of numerous diverse communities, many individuals can also find something that’s relevant to their history in his archives.

The 70 cubic feet of items held within the Bernie Grant Archive come in a variety of formats and cover an extensive range of activities, as undertaken by Bernie Grant, on a local, national and global scale. The following is just a visual taster of some of the many remarkable items to be explored whilst visiting the Bernie Grant Archive:


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Ephemeral copy of African Reparations Movement Repossession Notice submitted to the Director of the British Museum, 15 March 1997. African Reparations Movement notice flyer
Labour Party Election flyer, 1997


Personal Memorabilia:

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A sampling of the many badges and lapel stick pins maintained within Bernie Grant’s personal memorabilia. Benin Centenary commemorative ribbon
State Banquet Programme in honour of the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela



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Haringey Unison MEC Presented To Honourable Bernie Grant MP In Recognition For His Fight Against Racism In UK & Europe 1995 One of many placards used in the picket campaign held outside the British Museum, 11 July 1994
Bernie Grant met with responses ranging from delighted to shock when he proudly wore an African dashiki at State openings of Parliament whilst MP for Tottenham. This is one of a few robes held within the archive


Papers & documents:

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Full text of speech delivered to the International Symposium of the Danish Board for Ethnic Equality, Copenhagen, 1996 Bernie Grant’s handwritten speech notes for a police lecture, c.1990s
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Letter to Bernie Grant from Chief Superintendent T.A. Stainsby, Tottenham Police, 13 May 1987 Reparations or Bust! speech from 1993


Published Reference Material:

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One of many significant books in the collection that help to support and supplement the original sources Book given as a gift to Bernie Grant from members of the Rhode Island Black Caucus of State Legislature



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Local protest by Tottenham pensioners at the House of Commons, 1994 Local campaign to save Bruce Grove Post Office
Local campaign against traffic at Mt Pleasant Road, Tottenham, c.1986


Press Files:

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Tottenham Labour Party Press Release Press headline from ‘The Voice’, 3 May 1999
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Black Focus on Election Group newsletter from press file, c.1987 South East Region TUC Broadsheet from 1988



These brief  excerpts provide a unique glimpse into the nature and content of the Archive collection.


Inventory of the Bernie Grant Archive