Black Radical Hero: William Cuffay

For Black History Month this October our Black Radicals Season will celebrate the lives of some of our 100 Radical Heroes, the men and women who believed in ideas worth fighting for.  They dared to challenge convention and believed in the spirit of fairness, co-operation and people power.  They were pioneers who changed history and made life better for ordinary working people. This series of blog posts will highlight their achievements.  We also invite you to nominate your own Black Radical Hero to add to our list.  Tweet us @PHMMcr using the hashtag #blackradicalhero.

Caitlin LaPorte continues with William Cuffay: chartist, tailor and freedom fighter!

Charter2William Cuffay, the son of a former slave, was an advocate for workers rights and known for his contributions to the chartist movement. Cuffay worked as a tailor in London until 1834 when he went on strike along with others to campaign for better pay and working conditions. The workers fought for an eight to ten hour work day and to be paid six shillings and five pence a day. After the strike ended Cuffay was blacklisted from working in the industry. Soon after, he helped to form the Metropolitan Tailors’ Charter Association and went on to be a national executive of the National Charter Association in 1842. While taking part in the Chartist Movement, Cuffay campaigned for political reform that included the right to vote for every man twenty-one years of age as well as no property qualifications for members of parliament.

After being betrayed by a government spy in 1848, Cuffay was arrested for planning arson in a conspiracy to hold an uprising against the government. He was exiled to Tasmania, where he would spend the rest of his life, despite being pardoned three years after his sentence. Cuffay spent his remaining years working as a tailor and staying involved in radical politics while working to improve trade union issues.

Since his death, William Cuffay has had his courtroom speech exhibited at the Museum of London, as well as being the subject of many radio programmes and documentaries. Cuffay’s legacy remains today to inspire and promote the rights of workers. People’s History Museum contains a collection of posters, photographs, and other memorabilia surrounding the various causes Cuffay supported, such as the Chartist Movement, and manhood suffrage.

Black Radicals Events

15 October 2015, Living History - Slavery & Suffrage @ People's History MuseumThurs 15 October
Living History performance: Slavery & Suffrage – William Cuffay’s Story
This Black History Month discover more about the life of Radical Hero William Cuffay.  This performance explores the horrors of the slave trade and how it fuelled the Industrial Revolution.  Meet William Cuffay, son of a freed slave, who became a Chartist leader and campaigned for the right to vote.
Family Friendly activity, suitable for over 9s to adults
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation.  Suggested donation £3
1.15pm – 2.00pm

15 October 2015, Radical Hero - An audience with Viv Anderson @ People's History MuseumThurs 15 October
Radical Hero – An audience with Viv Anderson
The Football Association invite you to celebrate Black History Month with Radical Hero Viv Anderson.  Viv Anderson was the first black footballer to play for England and features on our list of 100 Radical Heroes.
Suitable for adults and young people
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation.  Suggested donation £5
7.00pm – 9.00pm

29 October 2015, Living History - No Bed of Roses @ People's History MuseumThurs 29 October
Living History performance: No Bed of Roses – From the Caribbean to Manchester
Meet Gabrielle and help with her life-changing decision to move from the Caribbean to Manchester in the 1950s.  To celebrate Black History Month.
Family Friendly activity, suitable for over 7s to adults
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation.  Suggested donation £3
1.15pm – 2.00pm

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s