Bristol bus boycott – fifty years on, what has changed?

Issue date: 11 October 2013


This is the question that UWE's Dr Madge Dresser, Associate Professor in History, and a distinguished panel of guests, will be discussing at an event to be held at the MShed on Wednesday 16 October, 18:00-19:30.The discussion will be opened by Paul Stephenson OBE, who will welcome the audience and those taking part to the venue. The panel, which also includes former Lord Mayor of Bristol, Peter Abraham, and Labour councillor Hibaq Jama, who is Bristol's first Somali elected member, will be hoping to spark a city-wide conversation on the subject of racial equality and immigration.

The discussion, chaired by Roger Griffiths, Director of Ujima Radio, will pose questions such as: 'What does the increasing diversity of Bristol's population mean for us all today?' and 'Do equal opportunities exist for Black and Minority Ethnic people?', as well as considering the impact of migrants on the city as whole.

The Bristol Bus Boycott took place in April 1963, as a direct result of the Bristol Omnibus Company's, the dominant service provider in Bristol and the surrounding area at the time, refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews. Led by youth worker Paul Stephenson and the West Indian Development Council, the boycott of the company's buses by thousands of Bristolians lasted for four months until the company reviewed its policy.

The boycott drew the attention of the nation and is considered by some to have been influential in the passing of the Race Relations Act of 1965, which made racial discrimination unlawful in public places, and the Race Relations Act of 1968, which extended the provisions to employment and housing.

For more information, or to book a place at the discussion, please contact Scarlet Blackmore, or visit the MShed events page.

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