Members of Liverpool’s diverse communities came together to unveil a plaque in commemoration of Charles Wotten, a 24-year-old seafarer who was murdered by an angry white mob during the race riots of 1919. The plaque was the idea of Historian and Broadcaster David Olusoga who travelled to various parts of the world with plagues in memory of individuals and communities that played a significant role within British History. The unveiling of the plaques was featured in the BBC Series Black & British in which David Olusoga contends that historical events that have been left out of the dominant narrative or have been labelled ‘Black History’, are an important part of British History and an understanding of them is crucial to an understanding of the world today. The Great War to Race Riots archive was also featured in the programme which aired in November 2016.

This plaque was not the first commemoration to Charles Wotten in Liverpool. In 1974 members of the Liverpool 8 black community established a learning centre in his name but since its closer in in 1990’s Charles Wooten and the 1991 race have largely disappeared form the collective memory of the city. The TV series and its accompanying book Black & British and the Great War to Riots Archive will hopefully go so way to raising awareness of this period which has valuable lessons for today. 

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