Black Seaman's Plaque (1)
Grove Street / Falkner Square

Picture by Carly Neill
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The relationship between Toxteth and Liverpool's black population is complex. Anti-black rioting broke out in both 1919 and 1948 when the black seamen were scapegoated as the cause of white unemployment. Liverpool blacks had fought in both World Wars and suffered without recognition and now faced a cruel rejection. Belchem & Donald MacRaild and elsewhere in the same collection Jon Murden posit differing theories about Toxteth as the focus of black Liverpool. Whatever theory is preferred, there is a continuing sense of black pride in Toxteth, especially amongst Toxteth elders. Perhaps this is why this unique plaque, marking the contribution of Black Merchant Seamen in the Second World War is sited here in Falkner Square and not with the other Merchant Seamen plaques at The Pier Head. Some may believe its considered sentiment and its quiet setting more fitting than the rather careless distribution of less distinguished plaques to other merchant seamen at The Pier Head.

Liverpool 800, Culture, Character & History edited by John Belchem

Alan Maycock 2007

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