Black British Womanhood, Politics and Organising

Stella Dadzie is a published writer and feminist historian, best known for The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain that won the 1985 Martin Luther King Award for Literature and was re-published by Verso in 2018 as a Feminist Classic. Her latest book, A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery & Resistance, was published by Verso in October 2020 to much acclaim.

She is a founder member of OWAAD (Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent), a national umbrella group for Black women that emerged in the late 1970s as part of the British Civil Rights movement and was recently described as one of the “grandmothers“ of Black Feminism in the UK. Her personal archive in Brixton‘s Black Cultural Archives is one of the most visited by researchers and scholars.

Her career as a writer, artist and education activist spans over 40 years. She has written numerous publications and resources to promote equality and good practice, including resources to decolonise and diversify the UK national curriculum in schools and colleges.

She is well known within the UK for her contribution to tackling youth racism and working with racist perpetrators and is a key contributor to developing anti-racist strategies with schools, colleges and youth services. She has run workshops and spoken at conferences in Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Norway, South Africa, the USA, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia, and was a guest Lecturer at Harvard University in 2018.

She appeared in And still I Rise, Ngozi Onwurah‘s 1992 documentary exploring the social and historical origins of stereotypes of African women, and was a guest of Germaine Greer on her BBC2 discussion programme, The Last Word in 1994. She was also a Commissioner on the Mayor of London‘s African and Asian Heritage Commission, which aimed to promote more diversity across London‘s heritage sector, including its many museums from 2003-2004. Currently, she is working to support the National Maritime Museum’s commitment to highlighting untold narratives.

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