Memorial to Charles Wotten will be unveiled in Liverpool
A Bermudian sailor who was killed in the 1919 Liverpool Race Riots is to be honoured with a permanent memorial in Britain.
The Liverpool Black History Research Group will be unveiling the memorial to Charles Wotten at Anfield Cemetery in Liverpool tomorrow.
Lisa Howie, National Museum of Bermuda’s director of learning and engagement, recently discovered she is a direct descendant of Mr Wotten.
Kristy Warren, a Bermudian scholar who resides in England and is working with the University of Leicester, School of History, Politics and International Relations, is expected to attend the unveiling.
Mr Wotten, a 27-year-old Black man from Sandys, was brutally murdered on the Queen’s Dock in Liverpool in the midst of a riot. The fracas started after a group of Scandinavians attacked a West Indian man because he refused to give them a cigarette.
The Liverpool Black History Research Group has now raised funds in collaboration with the Liverpool Enslaved Memorial Project to provide the lasting memorial to the sailor.
A spokesman for the group said: “An adult education centre founded in 1974 was given his name and became a hub for Liverpool’s Black community inspiring a generation of young activists in the fight for equality.
“The grave marker is the first in a series of memorials that will be placed in the coming years highlighting the presence and important contributions Black people have made to Liverpool’s long history, courtesy of the Liverpool Black History Research Group, and the Liverpool Enslaved Memorial Project.
“Liverpool Black History Research Group was established some five years ago. The group sits outside academia and is a collective of community-led researchers based in Liverpool, led by Laurence Westgaph, a local activist and slavery historian.”
The group is open to anyone wishing to share research, resources and skills.
Its aim is to raise awareness of the city’s long Black presence and the role the slave economy played in its period of major growth.
It has initiated several projects challenging a city council, two universities and a major bank to reveal their slavery connections.
More details about ongoing projects are available on the website www.lbhrg.com.
• For more information, contact Laurence Westgaph via e-mail at email@example.com or in writing to Liverpool Black History Research Group, Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, 4 Princes Rd, Liverpool L8 1TH. The National Museum of Bermuda team wrote a blog post about Charles Wotten and his Bermuda connections last year