50 Years of Activism: The Brixton Black Women’s Group’s Enduring Legacy

harsha sharma News 25 October 2023 2 Mins Read
Brixton Black Women's Group: A lookback at UK’s activism history

The Brixton Black Women’s Group (BBWG), founded by Beverley Bryan and her determined friends, emerged as a response to the marginalization of women. In the British Black Panther movement and the pressing need to address the issues faced by women of color across the UK (Source: The Guardian).

In the 1970s, as Britain was reeling from the trial of the Mangrove Nine and the shocking revelation of virginity tests imposed on women from Indian and Pakistani backgrounds by immigration officials, BBWG stepped into the spotlight. It was a time when the 1980s Brixton riots bore witness to the deep-seated inequalities and injustices faced by Black communities. 

This turmoil and the level of violence against women pushed BBWG into action. As Amina Mama, an early member of BBWG, recollects, “Women pushing pushchairs [were] being dragged into the back of vans.” The urgency for an organization that could tackle these issues head-on was evident.

For those like Gail Lewis, who joined the group, BBWG became a place where they could redefine themselves. Lewis highlights the group’s transformative power, stating, “We arrived in Brixton Black Women’s Group hungry for something, but it was also a place where we could come to know ourselves differently.” Mama shares this sentiment, emphasizing the relief of finding like-minded individuals and the profound sense of solidarity that comes with it.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of BBWG’s formation, their writings have been compiled and published as a book titled “Speak Out!” The book is a compilation of content from the group’s newsletter, also aptly named “Speak Out!” This newsletter served as a conduit for connecting with women who may have shared similar experiences. Its pages featured reports on the group’s work, political explanations, and reviews of plays, films, and novels.

The BBWG and “Speak Out!” represent more than just a movement; they symbolize the enduring spirit of activism and resilience against systemic injustices. This book provides a powerful voice for women of color, shining a light on their experiences and challenges, and it stands as a testament to the impact that a group of determined women can have on society. 

More Resources:

Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

View All Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *