In 1919, race riots in Liverpool culminated in the racist murder of Bermudian seaman, Charles Wotten, chased from a boarding house, thrown into the dock and pelted with stones until he drowned. This tragic event took place against a backdrop of racial attacks against Liverpool’s black community and those from other countries, who came to work, or were demobilised in Liverpool after they had fought for Britain in World War I.
A list of the names of some of those caught up in the riots, and a series of letters where they argue their case and plead for support, was rediscovered by a community historian and brought to Writing on the Wall. They form the basis of this book, which through reports from the time of the 1919 riots and most importantly the voices of the men themselves caught up in the troubles, explores the growth and development of Liverpool’s black community.
“You can’t overstate the significance of this book based on the brilliant work of the Great War to Race Riots project – It’s a must-read for anyone wanting to understand both the troubles we’ve been through, and our strength and resilience.”
– Levi Tafari