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GRANT, Bernie (1944-2000)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0372 BG
Held at: Bishopsgate Institute
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Full title: GRANT, Bernie (1944-2000)
Date(s): [1950]- 2002 (predominant 1980-2000)
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 70 boxes and oversize items
Name of creator(s): Grant | Bernard Alexander Montgomery | 1944-2000 | politician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born Georgetown, Guyana, February 1944, educated at St Joseph's RC, Sacred Heart and Ituni Government Schools, and at St Stanislaus College; analyst in the Demerara Bauxite Company, Guyana; moved to Britain in 1963; employed as a railway clerk, then enrolled at Tottenham Technical College, 1965-67, studied Mining Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, 1967-1969; international telephonist, including work for the Union of Post Office Workers, 1969-1978; full time Area Officer for NUPE, responsible for its local authority and health workers, 1978-1981; helped establish the Black Trades Unionists Solidarity Movement (BTUSM), and worked for it, 1981-1984; joined the Tottenham Labour Party, 1973; elected a councillor, 1978; Leader of Haringey Council, London, 1985, and in this position achieved national recognition during the disturbances on Broadwater Farm Estate in 1985; elected to Parliament in 1987 as one of the first Black MP's in modern times; founded the Parliamentary Black Caucus, and took up a leading role in establishing contacts with black people and politicians throughout the world; accompanied the Reverend Jesse Jackson to South Africa, greeting Nelson Mandela on the day of his release in 1990; Chairman of the All Party Group on Race and Community, and of the British Caribbean Group; member of the Select Committee on International Development, 1997, and the Home Secretary's Race Relations Forum, 1998; founded the Standing Conference on Racism in Europe in 1990; established the Africa Reparations Movement in Britain; founded the Global Trade Centre, 1995; died, 2000.


Scope and content/abstract:

Original papers and publications relating to Bernie Grant's personal life and his public role as a Member of Parliament including the papers of organisations with which he was involved such as the African Reparations Movement, [1963-2000]. The collection comprises correspondence notably relating to the Gulf War, 1990-1991, black businesses, ministerial and general correspondence; personal papers, including tributes and condolences, biographical files and legal papers; speeches; files on a range of subjects including on international affairs such as colonialism, racial incident dossiers, Haringey Council business, trade union papers, press files, on campaigns such as the Broadwater Farm riots, the 'Tottenham Three' and the case of Joy Gardner, Parliamentary and Labour Party affairs and constituency case files; published reference material; ephemera, notably campaign fliers and invitations; artefacts and clothing including African robes such as the ones worn to the State Opening of Parliament, campaign placards, posters and awards/plaques; photographs; audio and video recordings of interviews and speeches, television and radio appearances.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mostly English, some French and German.

System of arrangement:

The collection has been organically arranged into 12 encompassing record groupings as follows: Bernie Grant - Personal records ; African Reparations Movement (ARM) records ; Standing Conference on Racial Equality in Europe (SCORE) records ; African University Project (AUP) records (also known as 'Black University Project') ; Black International Construction Organisation (BICO) records ; Black Trade Unionists Solidarity Movement (BTUSM) records ; Caribbean Links records ; Parliamentary Black Caucus (PBC) records ; Bernie Grant Memorial Trust - Memorial Committee records ; Global Trade Centre (GTC) records ; Bernie Grant Centre (BGC) records ; Organization of Africans in Europe (OAE) records Working from general to specific, each of the above categories are further subdivided into record series (and occasionally record subseries) and then files. The material has been arranged into record series reflecting either the form of the record (eg everyday objects, papers, photographs, audio-visual material such as video tapes of television interviews) or the activities to which they relate (eg International affairs, Joy Gardner Campaign, Racial Incidents/'Cases of Injustice' Dossiers etc).

Conditions governing access:

While most records are openly available for public viewing, some records may be closed in accordance with the requirements of data protection legislation. Access to closed files may be granted under certain conditions upon making application to the Bernie Grant Trust.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright and intellectual property rights are predominantly held by the Bernie Grant Trust. Copyright on material wholly produced from the collection will remain with the Trust, except where copyright already exists with the original author/publisher. Reproduction of material remains at the discretion of the University Archivist and Sharon Grant c/o the Bernie Grant Trust.

Finding aids:

A catalogue listing of the collection is available in hardcopy format at Bishopsgate Library as well as online through the Bernie Grant Archive website at, the National Archives A2A (Access to Archives) online database [] and the Bishopsgate Library OPAC ( The Bernie Grant Archive website also contains: online visual exhibitions and showcases, biography/chronology, testimonies, interactive memory box and general archive information.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The collection was deposited at Middlesex University Archives by Sharon Grant on behalf of the Bernie Grant Trust in April 2003. The papers were lodged as part of an official loan agreement between the Bernie Grant Trust and Middlesex University. While at Middlesex, the collection was catalogued to file level.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was transferred to Bishopsgate Library by Sharon Grant and the Bernie Grant Trust on 14 June 2010.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Other items relating to Bernie Grant [eg regarding his local Labour Party activities] are currently held by Haringey Archives and Museums Service.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Papers arranged and described by Project Archivist, Joanne Anthony. Entry modified by Stefan Dickers, 14 August 2010.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; CASBAH thesauri terms.

Date(s) of descriptions:
14 August 2010

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