The Bernie Grant Archives
The late Bernie Grant MP led a remarkable life. Over 35 years, he was at the forefront of a furious dialogue about race in British society as a trades unionist and civil rights activist, as the first ever Black Leader of a local authority in Europe, as an outspoken Black Member of Parliament, and as an international campaigner.
A record of these crucial years is contained within Bernie’s papers, in books and magazines, memorabilia, correspondence, audio and video material and hundreds of photographs of meetings and demonstrations. Together they tell not only his story, but of the struggles of an entire generation of black and minority ethnic citizens who arrived in Britain in the post war period.
In partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund and Middlesex University the Bernie Grant Trust appointed a professional archivist to preserve, catalogue and make accessible, a permanent collection to be held at Middlesex University and on the web.
Bernie was especially aware that the achievements and experiences of Black communities had too often been “written out” of history. It is fitting therefore that his own life and times are properly recorded, and the collection provides a rich and unique resource for future generations who seek to understand a key period in the making of the multi-racial Britain.