Founded in 1971 the Black Liberation Front had significant impact on the Black British political landscape and played a key role in the black community in London and elsewhere. It developed links with liberation struggles in Africa and throughout the African diaspora, and regularly organised the annual Africa Liberation Day celebrations in co-operation with other organisations in Britain. By establishing supplementary schools, community bookshops, affordable housing for black families and support for black prisoners, the movement focused on developing Pan-African consciousness, consolidating black political identity and challenging the impact of racism in Britain.
The project was developed to raise awareness of the history of black political activism in the UK by focusing on the historical contribution of the BLF. By creating learning resources and engaging with young people, the project has and will continue to enable audiences to learn about this neglected and under-recorded aspect of Black British history.
The project focused on key themes within the history of the BLF such as community engagement (prison visits, Ujima Housing Association), the role of women within the BLF, black press (Grassroots newspaper and bookshop), anti-racism campaigns, young people and black political culture.
Outcomes of the project have included the production of a documentary film featuring nine former members of the BLF and their sister group, the Fasimbas. A further outcome is the evolution of our website with online resources, and an exhibition, which will travel to our partner schools and youth groups in the UK.
It is of particular importance that the testimonies of BLF members are recorded, as this project is the first time several members of the BLF have been interviewed within the same project. This also provides an excellent opportunity to bring together young people and BLF members, creating a way to make this history accessible to a broader group of young people.