The 3Rs: An Evening with Darcus Howe


Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came.
(James Baldwin, 1985)

James Baldwin's words possess a truth for Black British citizens in a context where history is all too-often an experience of redaction, disregard or scant information. To forge lines of continuity to the past that can thrive and survive under such conditions requires tenacity and temerity - and an indefatigable commitment to sing, to shout, and to testify to the value of one's heritage.

The Renegade Raconteurs Series will celebrate key figures of modern British history, people whose activism, and determination illustrates just how much our society as a whole benefits from the mesh of cultures, ethnicities and experiences that constitute contemporary Britain. In organising the event D-Day to mark Diane Abbott's 25 years as an MP at Goldsmiths, University of London last year, it became apparent to me from talking to many audience members that the thirst to particpate, listen to, reflect and debate so many ideas and issues in a celebratory but informative way, was a thirst shared right across the generational spectrum. The opportunity to remember, and importantly, the chance to show appreciation and also, to learn about Black British history from those who have contributed so much to it, was a fundamental part of the day's success.

Triggered by a young man's mispronunciation of an eminent person's name, I thought, this young man cannot be blamed for not knowing what he has probably not been taught. For where can one learn wholesale, in any school in the country, the scope of what black people in Britain have achieved in detail, and to understand just what it means? Renegade Raconteurs aims to play a modest part in the act of redressing this.

The series begins with Darcus Howe, the pioneering political activist, broadcaster and writer who exemplifies a vivid lesson in the 3Rs as: Radical, Renegade, Raconteur. In the presence of family, friends, supporters, young people and Goldsmiths students and staff, Darcus will reflect upon his life and times in its many forms. In particular, Goldsmiths' position in the heart of New Cross, recalls poignantly, the work Darcus spearheaded with others in the wake of the tragedy of the Fire, the clarion call to value the lives of Britain's black citizens - a movement from which there has been no turning back.

Expect an evening of anecdotes, opinions, music, and audience contributions, as we celebrate and honour a remarkable, longstanding, and unique voice in Black British history.


STRICTLY FIRST COME FIRST SERVED and only named attendees will receive further details.

RSVP As soon as possible to Organiser: Dr. Deirdre Osborne

This event is supported by: the Departments of Theatre and Performance, Media and Communications, and the Research Unit in Governance and Democracy

Friday 11th October 2013

Goldsmiths, University of London, SE14 6NW

ARRIVE at 6.50pm. DARCUS HOWE on stage 7pm