Trayvon Martin’s family meets Doreen Lawrence


The parents of murdered American teenager Trayvon Martin met with the mother of Stephen Lawrence, Doreen in London over the weekend. In an emotionally charged meeting, the two families consoled one another and demanding that both sides of the Atlantic, the police abandon the racist practice of racial profiling.

Doreen Lawrence had said as soon as she had heard about what happened to Trayvon, she wanted to ‘meet the family and share the pain’ that only a parent who has lost a loved in this way can:

Rochdale sex gang jailed


Nuance is everything. It can mean the difference between right and wrong. It can certainly mean the difference between bringing a much-needed focus on a particular aspect of a community and shockingly demonising that whole community.

Gerry German: A Social Justice Giant has passed away


Last week, social justice giant Gerry German sadly passed away.

Gerry was a good and valued friend of Operation Black Vote and his presence in the social justice arena will sorely be missed.

In 2001, he helped 29 pupils overturn exclusions at appeals panels. German was the Director of the Communities Empowerment Network which he started in the year 2000 to provide an advocacy service for the parents of pupils excluded from schools.

Samuel Sharpe: Emancipation hero


We must be content to die for the benefit of the rest. I, for one, am ready to die, in order that the rest may be free…. I depend for salvation upon the Redeemer, who shed his blood upon Calvary for sinners.

Samuel Sharpe


Until a few days ago I had only vaguely heard of the Jamaican, Sam Sharpe. I guess in the pantheon of Emancipation heroes we readily know of Toussaint L'ouverture, Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass.

BMH UK relaunches online Journal: The Solution magazine


The organisation, Black Mental Health (BMH) UK has relaunched its online magazine entitled “The Solution”. To help with the relaunch, Home Office Minister for Crime and Security, James Brokenshire MPs has written an encouraging forward and an endorsement of BMH UK's activities, particularly those around the impact of the DNA database on mental health services users and black Britain.

House of Lords reform: 'Times up, Me Lords'


The Coalition Government have set out in Today's Queen's Speech historic legislation to reform the House of Lords. This piece of legislation could be as controversial as the voting reform was last year which saw the Liberal Democrats hopelessly out maneuvered by their Coalition Conservative partners. This time, though, the Lib Dems will be better prepared for a political dog-fight about reforming the nation's political infrastructure.

Is it time to ditch the colour Black for our true heritage, African?


Introduction by Simon Woolley

Yvonne Thompson: Marathon Woman



Dear Operation Black Vote readers:

80's soul band Frankie Beverly & MAZE sang my marathon experience step by step, breath by breath perfectly in their hit record "Joy and pain... sunshine and rain"...others might say agony and ecstasy, no pain, no gain, tears of joy and tears of pain, and so on.

Bright, sunny and no going back...the big day came. Was I ready for it? OMG - no way, but as most adventurers, entrepreneurs, and people who generally live their life on the edge would...I felt the fear and did it anyway!

Congratulations to Boris Johnson: Promises now must be kept


In what was an acrimonious fight to head the governance of London, Boris Johnson once again defeated his Labour adversary Ken Livingstone. For his part, Livingstone announced his retirement from front line politics.

There are many who have said that the only bright element to come out of these elections was the Independent candidate Siobhan Benita. For a long time she ran neck and neck with two other big party machines –Liberal Democrats and the Greens- eventually coming 5th.

High Court told BME people are being stopped-and-search disproportionately


In a landmark legal case, the High Court has been told that police stop-and-search powers are being used disproportionately against black people in London without any adequate explanation. The accusation was made by Ann Juliette Roberts who has launched the landmark legal challenge.

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