Black History Month Event : Join The Citizenship, ‘race’ and belonging (CRaB) research network on Monday 31st October for several talks.

The Citizenship, ‘race’ and belonging (CRaB) research network cordially invite you to join us on Monday, 31st October (refreshments from 5:30, talk at 6pm) in DS 2.14 for the following talk:


Black Preachers in Georgian Portsmouth


Portsmouth is not the first place that springs to mind when we imagine the eighteenth-century black British presence. But, as ‘the world’s greatest naval port’, it served as one of the main entry points for African and African-American sailors travelling to Britain. When they arrived among the dirt, noise and drunkenness of the industrialising port city, some of these individuals took it upon themselves to save the souls of Portsmouth’s ‘poor sinners’.


What did these pioneering figures make of Pompey, and how were they treated by the locals when they arrived? What exactly did they preach here? And how did they carve out a life for themselves during an age of slavery? In celebration of black history month, this paper explores the experiences of three key black preachers in Georgian Portsmouth.


*Ryan Hanley is Salvesen Junior Fellow in History at New College Oxford. He is the author of several articles on black intellectuals in eighteenth-century Britain, and is co-editor, with Katie Donington and Jessica Moody, of Britain’s History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery (Liverpool UP, 2016). Ryan is currently working on a monograph on black writing in Britain between 1770 and 1830.

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