Segments in this Video

British Black Power (02:34)


The British Black Power movement is said to have begun in 1970 with a protest against police harassing a restaurant. Black communities were tired of constant harassment from police and the racist views of British society.

Racism in Britain (05:13)

In the 1960s, black and Asian people faced daily discrimination and were often refused services. In 1948, Britain invited people from commonwealth countries to immigrate and help rebuild after World War II.

Anxiety about the Future (02:48)

Institutional racism in the British education system hindered black children from achieving at school. Many worried about the apartheid system in South Africa and found hope in James Baldwin's work.

Race and Politics (04:25)

Immigration became an issue in the 1964 general election, with a conservative candidate winning the majority. Many young black people became politically informed. Black people continued to face discrimination at the hands of police.

American Resistance Ideas (03:13)

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X visited Britain and talked about nonviolent and violent ways to fight back. Roy Sawh popularized Malcolm X's ideas at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.

Universal Colored People's Association (05:33)

Sawh and Obi Egbuna created the group to fight for equality in housing, employment, and policing. It started the Black Power Movement in Britain. Stokely Carmichael visited London in 1967 and increased awareness about Black Power.

Policing Black Power (04:35)

A special police division was created to monitor groups. Racial Adjustment Action Society leader Michael X was arrested under the Race Relations Act. Lawyer Darcus Howe got involved in the movement and was outspoken about racist policing.

Conservatives and Immigration (05:31)

Following King's assassination in 1968, the Conservative Party put political focus on immigration. Leader Enoch Powell equated black and Asian communities to an invading force. More Black Power groups formed throughout Britain.

British Black Panther Movement (05:16)

Altheia Jones-LeCointe started the first group in Britain; impassioned speeches recruited more people into the movement. The group stood up and declared that they were equal for the first time.

Race and British Police (08:02)

Black communities were inspired as the Black Power Movement was reflected in music, athletics, and literature. It caused anger about police oppression to grow. Both sides felt they were at war with the other.

Black Eagles (03:17)

Michael X, who was viewed as the Black Power leader by the media, started the new group that had a commune and a newspaper. Howe handled most of the politics, but Michael X's criminal past tainted the group.

The Mangrove (05:10)

The restaurant and club owned by Frank Crichlow in Notting Hill, a prominently Caribbean neighborhood, became a center for Black Power activism. Police deemed it a high-crime area and the club was raided numerous times. The fear of police made customers stop coming.

Mangrove Protest (04:41)

The Black Panthers agreed to help the restaurant stage a peaceful protest. Demonstrators left the restaurant with the intention of marching past police stations. Fighting erupted outside the Notting Hill Police Station, where police vastly outnumbered protestors.

Mangrove Nine (05:52)

The Conservative Party pushed for a new immigration law and, along with the media, overblew the scale of the Mangrove protest. Nine members of the Black Power leadership were arrested and faced five years in prison. Howe and Jones-LeCointe used the publicity of the trail to their advantage.

Mangrove Nine Victory (02:41)

The nine leadership members found not guilty; it was the first acknowledgement of racism in policing. The verdict gave confidence to the Black Power movement and more groups, magazines, and organization followed.

Crackdown on Black Power (08:42)

Police harassment continued against The Mangrove and Black Power groups. The leader of the Black Liberation Front and members of Fasimbas were arrested on trumped up charges. Michael X's criminal activity was linked to the movement, despite being out of it for years.

Spaghetti House Siege (06:16)

The open-door policy and lack of official membership lists hurt the Black Power movement, when crimes like the siege were connected to it. The three men who held hostages in the restaurant were causal members of the Black Liberation Front. It was a turning point in the movement.

Notting Hill Carnival (04:42)

The police were exempt from a Race Relations Act that outlawed discrimination. At the 1976 carnival there was A huge police presence at the 1976 carnival let to a riot.

Credits: Resistance in a Hostile Environment: Black Power (00:36)

Credits: Resistance in a Hostile Environment: Black Power

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Resistance in a Hostile Environment: Black Power

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $199.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $299.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



Charting the period between 1961 and 1971, this is a searing account of how members of the British Black Power movement challenged police oppression and political prejudice. At the heart of the documentary is a series of astonishing interviews with past activists, many of whom are speaking for the first time about what it was really like to be involved in the British Black Power movement, bringing to life one of the key cultural revolutions in the history of the nation.

Length: 90 minutes

Item#: BVL276570

ISBN: 978-1-63722-902-6

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

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