Sunday, 18 November 2018

Black seafarers in WW1. Event 24 Jan 2019



Black seafarers of the First World War. © Royal Museums Greenwich.



Here's an event (free)  that  may appeal to readers of this blog. It's happening on 24 January 2019 at the National Archives, Kew, London, UK. I've added a preface: some of the questions people ask me, as a specialist:

 FAQ


 WOMEN

WERE THERE ANY BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC WOMEN SAILING IN WW1? 
No, not as employees of shipping lines. 
WHY NOT? 
Because it appears that stewardesses, nurses, laundresses, typists, kiosk attendants and matrons in this war were always white. It may have been possible for a mixed race laundress to slip through, as she was not in a passenger-facing job.
But Asian women were on board as passenger-workers. Ayahs sailed from India as some expat military wives returned to the UK in wartime. That is, Asian nannies worked on ships but as direct employees of the family who had already contracted them before the trip.   There were six in 1915, but none in any other month of the war. By contrast, 21 arrived in the UK in 1919. (Source: UK passenger arrivals 1878-1960.)

LGBTQI

WERE THERE ANY BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC LGBTQI SEAFARERS SAILING IN WW1? 
Undoubtedly, as well as men who had contingent sex with other men. But nobody's yet found any records, to my knowledge.

ME

AM I SPEAKING? 
No. 
IF I WAS WHAT WOULD SAY?
That I'm just discovering how African and Chinese men were hired to replace women in ship's laundry teams, from summer 1915 onwards. That is, lowly work usually done by white women was taken up to some extent by lowly black men. 

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Apart from the pictures, which I pasted in for your interest, this is a straight lift from the site: http://www.gatewaysfww.org.uk/events/bame-seafarers-2019. You can book your ticket at that site via eventbrite. 

PROGRAMME

11.00: Registration with teas, coffees and resources display.

11.50: Iqbal Husain (The National Archives) welcome and housekeeping.

12.00: Professor Brad Beaven (University of Portsmouth) Port Towns and Urban Cultures and Gateways to the First World War.

12.30: Dr Antony Firth (Fjordr) Black and Asian Seafarers on England’s east coast in the First World War.

12.45: Anne Dodwell (HLF) Funding programmes now that the FWW: Then and Now grant is closed.

Rozina Visram on lascars
13:00: What’s On: Rozina Visram, author of Asians in Britain, and Dr Florian Stadler will speak about the Indian ‘lascar’ sailors. 


Dr Santanu Das will share a Bengali lascar recording from the Humboldt Sound Archive.

 The author, Steve Martin, will talk about the contribution of sailors from Africa, the Caribbean and Britain’s Black communities.
SI Martin 

Members of the Outreach Team at The National Archives will present some of the findings from their recent research on black seafarers. The talk will be accompanied by an original document display.

14:00: Lunch


Sonia Grant


14.45: Sonia Grant. African and Arab Merchant Seamen Interned in Germany during the Great War.

15:05: Asif Shakoor interviewed by Georgie Wemyss (UEL). Unearthing Invisible Seafaring Histories of Empire.
Asif Shakoor





Seafarers from many backgrounds at the Sailors' Rest in Tiger Bay, Cardiff: https://www.tigerbay.org.uk/image-collection

15:25: Gaynor Legall. Tiger Bay and the First World War.

15:45: John O'Brien (British Library) An overview of the resources at the British Library and online, with a specific focus on the India Office Records.

16.05: Panel (Q&A) and Closing remarks.

16.30: End

http://www.gatewaysfww.org.uk

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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