The Mussons of Bermuda, Barbados and Croydon

Posted on September 25th, by Samuel Ali in History. 3 comments

Croydon’s links to colonised Bermuda and the West Indies

In January 2001, two portrait paintings sold together at auction – one of Samuel Paynter Musson and the other, of ‘Maid De-ah’, who had been “…the faithful and loving nurse of the Musson family in Barbados and England”. She had lived with the Mussons for several decades in Upper Norwood, prior to her death in 1914. Unfortunately, no … Read More »

Event review: Secrets of the 1817 Slave Registers Uncovered – a talk by Paul Crooks

Posted on October 17th, by Ola Kolade in History. 2 comments

Black History Month comes to Croydon via an enlightening talk by historian Paul Crooks

October is a unique month in our yearly calendar, fêted by our attempts to lay off the booze in exchange for raising awareness and funds to battle the ‘big C’. For some of us, we get to rekindle our inner child by playing dress up and our high-street retailers get a small boost … Read More »

The tireless work of Croydon Community Against Trafficking – and how you can help

Posted on August 10th, by Saima Raza in Politics & Society. No Comments

Modern slavery is still a terrible, pernicious presence – even in Croydon and surrounding areas

Slavery. It’s a compelling word, undoubtedly eliciting a response and conjuring images of a particularly malevolent chapter in human history. The term ‘history’ is misleading in this case; people mistakenly believe slavery is confined to the annals of history. It is not. It has adroitly followed us into the 21st century. Modern … Read More »

How a meeting on a tree stump near Croydon led to the abolition of slavery in Britain

Posted on September 12th, by Jonny Rose in History. 1 Comment

Jonny Rose reveals the connections between Croydon and one of the nation’s greatest philanthropists

Many thanks to Sean Creighton for highlighting Croydon’s shameful involvement in the transatlantic slave trade in these very (virtual) pages. Readers interested in Croydon’s dark history can find more on the topic at the Croydon Citizen here, here, and here.

Which neatly brings me to some of my favourite groups … Read More »

How far have we come? Slavery, civil rights and contemporary racism

Posted on May 19th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

Sean Creighton explains the linked Croydon Radical History events in Croydon Heritage Festival

Back in 1971 the reggae group The Greyhound had a hit with ‘Black & White’. The song by David I Arkin, who wrote the lyrics, and Earl Robinson, who created the music, was inspired by the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial segregation of public schools, an important milestone … Read More »

Keep on singing along to Pete Seeger

Posted on February 3rd, by Sean Creighton in History. 1 Comment

Sean Creighton reflects on the life of legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger’s death on January 27th is a great loss. I call him Pete because he has been part of my musical soundscape since childhood back in the 1950s. He was one of the leading folk singers and developers of the genre and I have used aspects of his life in work … Read More »

12 Years A Slave – the context

Posted on January 22nd, by Sean Creighton in History. 2 comments

Sean Creighton peels back the Hollywood treatment of this year’s highly acclaimed film revealing Croydon’s own links to the slave trade

12 Years A Slave is an uncompromising film which shows the inherent cruelty that was fostered by slavery. It sheds light on the daily humiliations that kept slaves compliant, though they were able to find ways to express their loathing, defiance and humanity, and the … Read More »