british black power

7

Captain Flint observing from the quarterdeck

Best things about Progress Wrestling (in no particular order)

- Jim Smallman being an incredible hype man and having the ability to just have a chat for two hours.
- BRITISH STRONG STYLE.
- TK Cooper being an absolute creeper.
- Travis Banks, specifically. Just everything about Travis Banks.
- The crowd and how supportive they are of new talents. And of really any talents. Except Sebastian.
- The intensity of the booing for Zack Gibson. I mean… damn.
- KEEP IT 100 IS FIRE. <3
- The Glen Joseph reaction meter.
- The names of these damn shows.

10

my “Caitlin watches Galvanize” Instagram story

Photo credit: Liz Obi with Olive Morris ©Neil Kenlock, 1973

Within the [Black Panther] Movement itself I was most inspired by Olive Morris. I’d never met anyone like her before and haven’t met anyone like her since. She was fearless, bold, and outspoken, and during the Movement days we became good friends.

The first time Olive made a real impression on me was during my early days in the Movement. It was on a demonstration of residents from the Ferndale Road flats. Beverley Bryan and Olive had been working with the tenants concerning housing conditions - there had been a lot of fires in the flats caused by the use of paraffin heaters and the tenants were demanding that the Council install some form of heating. A demonstration of about 30 tenants made up mainly of women and children, together with members of the Movement set off one weekday morning from the flats in Ferndale Road* to the Housing Office on Brixton Hill. It was the first demonstration I’d been on.

When we reached the Housing Office the tenants demanded to see the Head of Housing to discuss the issue and were told by the housing office staff that this would not be possible and we were to leave the premises or they would call the police. The tenants were unsure about what to do next until Olive spoke to the women and told them that yes we would leave the premises but that they should leave the children behind saying that if the Council would not meet wit them then the Council had better look after their children because it was not safe to take them back home. The women were naturally nervous about this course of action as they feared the Council would take their children into care but after further persuasion from Olive they agreed to do so and all the adults left the building leaving the children in care of the Housing Office staff. We were not outside the office for more than ten minutes before the head of the housing office agreed to come and meet with the demonstrators and the outcome was that the issue of heating provision would be looked into as a priority.

So yes Olive was definitely an inspiration.


“The British Black Panthers and Black Power Movement: an oral history and photography project” Organised Youth, 2013

*Beverley Bryan mentions in her interview in the book that two students in her school who lived on Ferndale Court were burnt and killed in a fire. This led to a campaign with housing and Lambeth Council and Ken Livingstone was the councillor responsible for housing there.