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/ 19 December 2022

Racial Justice Priority Group Attends Parliamentary Book Launch

Members of the Diocese of London’s Racial Justice Priority Group (RJPG) have visited Parliament for the launch of ‘Shades of Black,’ a new book aimed at stimulating public awareness of colour consciousness, within the Church and wider society. Written by Dr Clifford Hill, Nigel Pocock and Pastor Alton Bell, Shades of Black calls for recognition of the origins of colour consciousness in colonial slavery and its legacy today. It talks about the importance of raising national awareness of racism in society and discusses measures to eliminate prejudice and discrimination.

The Parliamentary Breakfast was hosted by Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, who spoke of the important contribution the book will make. It has been endorsed by church leaders and includes a foreword from Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, who highlights the importance of repentance and acknowledgement of the work still to be done to root out racism in all corners of society.

The Revd Dr Clifford Hill, main author of the book, said in his video message at the Parliamentary Reception: 

“Through this book we traced the origins of colour consciousness from its earliest days in the colonial history of Britain through to its fallout in the everyday lives of people in the Caribbean and the migrant communities in Britain amongst whom I’ve been working since the days of the Windrush generation in the 1950s.

“As committed Christians, the three authors see the basic principles of the Christian Gospel as providing answers to the enigmatic issues that have confronted our forebears since the 1950s and we look forward to the future with both hope and expectation.”

The Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Dr Joanne Grenfell, commented:

“As members of the Diocese’s Racial Justice Priority Group we were proud to be here together at such an important event. Written by three Christians, Shades of Black is rightly calling upon the Church to exercise leadership in creating social change. It is a message that resonates strongly with us as a group, and we see it as central to our mission within the Diocese, fighting against racial prejudice and discrimination.”

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