The Liverpool Guild has revealed the four names shortlisted to rename the Gladstone Halls, following student campaigns to remove associations to William Gladstone. Gladstone was known for his controversial views surrounding abolitionism and family ties to the slave trade, as well as his prominence in British politics in the 1800s. The proposed new names have been nominated to reflect the University’s and the city’s dedication to embody the rights and legacy of all races, genders and ethnicities. See below for who is on the shortlist and how you can get involved in the campaigning and voting.
- John Archer was born in Liverpool in 1863 to a Barbadian father
- After getting involved in politics in the early 1900s, Archer was nominated and elected as Mayor of Battersea in 1913, making him the first black man ever to be elected as a Mayor
- Archer’s victory speech: “My election tonight means a new era. You have made history tonight. For the first time in the history of the English nation a man of colour has been elected as mayor of an English borough.”
- Archer remained in politics until his death in 1932, having made many changes and created various legacies throughout his life, including the African Progress Union.
- Emma Clark was born in 1876 in Bootle as one of 14 children
- As a black family, Merseyside was a hostile place for them, especially in the late 1800s
- Alongside her work as a confectioner’s apprentice, Clark fell in love with playing football, usually using the cobbled streets of Bootle has her playing field
- Her talent in the sport grew immensely, and at the age of 20, in 1895, she made her debut for the British Ladies Team
- This made her the first black woman to play football professionally, and she continued in the sport until 1903, despite the racist and sexist views at the time
- Clark is viewed as a very influential figure in the fight for equality in sport
- Dorothy Kuya was born in Liverpool in 1932 and was known for her activism and campaigns for racial equality
- Kuya is known for various roles, including being the city’s first community relations officer
- She was influential in the creation of Liverpool’s Slavery Museum, as well as instituting the annual Slavery Remembrance Day, before her death in 2013
- The Director of National Museums Liverpool referred to her as “Liverpool’s greatest fighter against racism and racial intolerance.”
- Anthony Walker was born in Huyton, Merseyside in 1987 and was of Jamaican heritage
- At the age of 18, he was murdered in an unprovoked and racially motivated attack
- In 2006, a year after his death, the Anthony Walker Foundation was created by his parents
- The foundation “works to tackle racism, hate crime and discrimination by providing educational opportunities, victim support services and by promoting equity and inclusion for all.”
“If you are interested in campaigning for one or more of the shortlisted names, please get in touch with Lucy Pilling, firstname.lastname@example.org by 17:00 on Monday 12th April. You will be linked up with other students who have expressed interest and will be provided with staff guidance and support to form a campaign team.” (Liverpool Guild)
Campaigning for any of these names is worthwhile, as all of the four figures represent values of equality and courage to overcome any difficulties that life throws our way, be it racial, gender or social issues. By starting campaigns, students are able to voice their views and share the stories of these incredible people.
Voting will take place online from 9:00am on Monday 19th – 2:00pm Friday 23rd April alongside the Student Officer Elections 2021. For more information, visit the Guild page on the vote.
Feature Image Credit: Liverpool Guild Twitter