In the third installment of our Race and Crime series Teeah Blake introduces the issues around disproportionate stop and search practices in the UK.
Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice. Recognise these names? Perhaps you would recognise their faces. They are just a few of the unarmed Black men who have been killed by police in the USA in recent years, and with the help of camera phones and Facebook live, we have been able to see these shootings as and when they happen. The media coverage of these events has been extensive and received by many, leading to the re-ignition of the Black Lives Matter Campaign (#BLM) with protests all over the USA, as well as here in the UK.
Courtesy of Imgur
This most violent type of racial discrimination is rarely seen in the UK. However, there is evidence of a persistent and damaging form of discrimination against ethnic minorities by police officers in the form of disproportionate stop and search.
Image courtesy Chris White (www.flickr.com/photos/76345608@N00)
Although most of us are aware that the police carry out stop and searches, few of us will have first-hand experience of the process. This means we’re basing our understanding of stop and search on television, newspapers and other pieces of media, which don’t always give the full picture. Luckily, the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre has a great selection of resources, making it easy to learn more about the nature of stop and searches on minority ethnic groups.
In Harper’s well-acclaimed To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom was treated as a second-class citizen and received an unfair trial after being accused of raping a white woman. Despite significant evidence proving his innocence, he was convicted, based largely on his skin colour. Although it is an overstatement to say that Tom is the fictional equivalent of the average, working-class African American defendant, it is undeniable that some institutionalised racism and disparities in sentencing do exist in real life.
In this post Dr Claire Fox, our Academic Director here at the Resource Centre and Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University’s School of Law, introduces a recent student engagement project and the Race and Crime blog post series.
Courtesy of Tandana Archive
The Resource Centre has a wealth of resources that are regularly accessed by members of the public, community groups and professionals, as well as staff and students from across the University of Manchester and beyond. However, we recently identified a bit of gap in our user groups – that of undergraduate students from some sections of our own university. Our collections are highly relevant to undergraduate study across a wide range of humanities disciplines, but facilitating students to come down from campus to our location in Manchester Central Library is an ongoing challenge. Continue reading →
Julie met Frank Pleszak at Polish Heritage Day back in May, and was fascinated to hear about the hidden histories he has uncovered, whilst researching his father’s experiences as a Polish refugee in the Second World War. Here he talks about his family, his research and his ongoing relationship with his father’s land.
I was born in Manchester and have lived and worked here all my life. I’m proud to be a Mancunian. I love it when people ask me where I’m from and I can say Manchester.
But my surname clearly isn’t local. My mum was from Salford but my dad, who died in 1994, was Polish. He never spoke much about his early life, I know he’d fought in Italy at the famous battle of Monte Cassino but it wasn’t until after his death that I began to think about why he was here in Manchester, why he’d been in Italy, and why he hadn’t gone back home to Poland after the war. I had no idea of the monumental series of events, together with World War Two, that had created me a Mancunian.
At the house my dad lived in until his arrest in 1939
Have you caught the dramatisation of Assata Shakur’s autobiography on Radio 4 this week? In a coincidence of timing the book has also made it to the top of Jo Manby’s review pile!
Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur. First published in the UK by Zed Books Ltd, London (1988). This edition Lawrence Hill Books (an imprint of Chicago Review Press, Incorporated): Chicago, Illinois, 2014
Assata Shakur is the FBI’s most wanted woman. Since 1979 has lived in Cuba as a fugitive after being granted asylum there following her escape from prison. She is also a founding member of the Black Liberation Army and godmother of Tupac Shakur. This autobiography tells the story of the circumstances that brought her to her present day situation.
Our freelance archivist Heather Roberts has been working her magic on our large, and until now slightly unwieldy, Manchester Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities collection. Here she reflects on the process and reveals some of the thinking behind her work:
Arranging the Manchester BME Communities collection was an interesting adventure in flexing the rules. As well as deciding what to keep and what not to keep, organising the remaining material was a bit tricky.
“The names for the project have specific meaning in Bengali. We used Kotha & Kantha to imply ‘stitches and lines’, referring to embroidery and writing.”
The embroidery from our Kotha and Kantha project is coming to the end of it’s exhibition tour around Manchester, and is currently on display in Manchester Metropolitan University’s All Saints Library. Re-blogged from MMU Special Collections blog, here is Jo’s summary of the project:
Currently on display in our ground floor Spotlight Gallery is a small exhibition of traditional Bangladeshi embroidery. It was produced last year by a group of ten women who participatedin the project Kotha & Kantha: Bangladeshi Women’s Memoir held at Manchester Central Library and run by the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Education Trust and Centre (AIUC). Project Administrator Jo Manby explains more about the project and what it set out to achieve.
“The Archives+ project, like the folktale project, promotes the idea that everyone’s story matters, and that stories of the city are for everyone.”
A very thoughtful/thought-provoking piece on theracetoread blog, following a visit to the Resource Centre and Central Library last week from a group of summer school students studying ‘Race, Literature and the Archive’. Makes a lovely connection between our children’s book projects and our wider role as part of the Archives+ partnership.
Last week I took my MA students to Manchester. Officially, they are on a course I designed called Race, Literature and the Archive—but students don’t come on Summer Abroad Courses just for extra library time (shock horror). Many of them were particularly interested in Manchester because of the recent terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena during the Ariana Grande concert in which 22 (mostly young) people were killed. We had discussed the diversity in Manchester prior to coming to England, and they wanted to know how the city was handling the attack. I have, of course, been to Manchester several times, and knew exactly how Manchester would be handling it—but I was pleased to see signs all over the city advertising the Manchester International Festival (currently in progress). They said, simply, What is the City but the People?
This sign was everywhere in the city–and sometimes it even mentioned the…
I’ve previously raised a cheer for those individuals who do all the donkey work so the likes of you and me can put our feet up reading books by people about other people – writers of biographies and secondary sources. Well, the other day I was struck by a monumental question: what on earth motivates them?