On Thursday 30th of September 2021, a blue English Heritage plaque was unveiled in Hammersmith, commemorating the residence of Ellen and William Craft. The Crafts were an African American couple who married as slaves and did everything in their power to flee to Britain. Their escape began in 1848 and after their arrival in 1850 they continued their abolitionism work from across the Atlantic. The impact of their escape and substantial work was unparalleled and profound – so is a plaque enough to sufficiently commemorate these figures?
1821 was possibly the most inopportune time to begin a war for independence in Europe. A few years prior, Napoleon was crushed, and the European powers inaugurated a revived conservative status quo in the Congress of Vienna that endeavoured to prevent any further upsets to the continent’s power balance. No more shocks and a good dose of conservative rule. Then came the Greeks declaring independence.
The summer of 2021 will live long in the memory of English football fans as manager Gareth Southgate took England to the very edge of glory, aiming to end 55 years of footballing hurt and rekindle the spirit of previous glory. Whilst ultimately ending in heartbreak for Southgate’s young squad, the feeling generated by his team’s promising performance throughout the summer brought joy to the nation. But, this was not the first time, and won’t be the last, that the country was gripped with Euro’s Fever. 25 years ago, England played host to EURO 96.
Contemporarily, we often learn of identities through mainstream media and popular culture. Being black, you soon realise the restricted identities the media portray you as are simply inadequate. Black men are aggressive, Black women are angry, and the only way we can rise to the top is through the sport and entertainment industries. But where else can we go to find ourselves? Be encouraged to keep going when all odds seem to be against us?