The ‘Black Poor’ was the name given in the late 18th century to poor residents of London who were of Black ancestry. The Black Poor had diverse origins. Historians estimate that the black population of London was between 5,000 and 10,000 in the late eighteenth century. While Great Britain was reaping profits from its involvement in the slave trade, a black community grew in London during this time. Concerns were raised about black people living in London as early as 1596, when Queen Elizabeth I complained about ‘Blackamoores’ cluttering up the streets of the kingdom, and issued a Royal Proclamation ordering the removal of “those kind of people”. There is no evidence that the Queen’s orders were carried out and the black community continued to flourish around Mile End and Paddington.

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Message for the Treaty Day Anniversary of the Maroons at Trelawny Town by Melbourne Garber

Chief Michael Grizzle, Mayor Glendon Harris, Madam Minister Kadija Seisay, Members of the Trelawny Town Community, Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you greetings from your brothers and sisters of the Krio Descendants Union Global family in the United States, Canada, England and especially from the parent body in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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‘Going back to my roots – one man’s story’ by Iyamide Thomas

In the Ghanaian language of Twi  there is a word ‘Sankofa’ which loosely translated means ‘ go back and get it’ and one Sankofa symbol is a swan like bird with its head turned backwards. In the African Diaspora, Sankofa has come to symbolise the need for an individual to reflect on their past to build a successful future or the importance of an individual to learn from their past or history. In other words knowing your ‘roots’ and your past may help you with your future. This is what Stephen Mitchell had in mind when in December 2015 he visited his ancestral home Sierra Leone, West Africa for the first time on a journey to trace his Krio roots. Stephen’s maternal grandad David Alginon Thorpe was a Krio and the nephew of the well known activist I.T.A Wallace Johnson.  Click the link below to listen to my interview of Stephen’s fascinating story: