Don't Blame the Blacks was written by George Powe in 1958, at a time of race riots in Nottingham, and Notting Hill in London. At the time there were 2,000-3,000 Caribbean immigrants in Nottingham, but this pamphlet was targeted at the white community locally and nationally, aiming to persuade them that immigration was not the root problem of social and economic ills in the UK. Rather, it was due to untenable conditions in the immigrants’ countries of origin, and was in fact of benefit to the UK.
The pamphlet accused the ‘ruling classes’ of spreading misinformation to divide the workforce and maintain their control. This was an important anti-racism pamphlet which also noted the then prevalent anti-Semitism.
About the Author
George Powe was the first Black local councillor in Britain. A former member of the RAF, he spent his life combating racism, running organisations for his local Black community and as an activist in the Labour movement. Born in Jamaica, of mixed heritage, his first language was Chinese. In Nottingham he fought the ‘colour bar’, including persuading major local employer, Raleigh Cycles, to employ Black workers, threatening a boycott of their output throughout the Caribbean unless they gave in! Panya Banjoko is a multi-award-winning poet, founder of Nottingham Black Archive, co-ordinates a Black Writers Network and is a patron of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.