October is Black History Month, and the Jack Leslie Campaign were kept busy delivering presentations about Jack’s story- at schools, for businesses and fan groups. Jack’s story got a lot of coverage, and also featured in an exhibition -see below!
We loved presenting the Jack Leslie story as part of an assembly, in person or remotely. This year we were particularly proud that our partnership work with the Argyle Community Trust meant greater outreach into Plymouth schools. Read more here: https://argylecommunitytrust.co.uk/black-history-month-it-started-with-jack/. And check out this summary on YouTube !
We present at corporate level, as a discussion platform for companies or organisations who are interested in engaging with black history. Last year that included e.g. presentations with the CPS, the General Dental Council and Kingsley Napley solicitors. Our presentations are interactive, challenging but fun. This year amongst others we were delighted to do a presentation for the Environment Agency, and a virtual event with Norfolk libraries amongst others.
This year we were delighted and proud to feature and participate in an exhibition in Newham- including an amazing dedicated Jack Leslie event, which featured the campaign team, Jack’s family, and sculptor Andy Edwards -read more here: https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/jack-leslie-in-newham-exhibition-and-talk/
We were featured on Argyle TV, and referenced on Coronation St, (see the Corrie clip shared by our friends at Football Black Pioneers here)
Jack’s story and our campaign were featured in a West Ham United match programme, and starred in this feature on West Ham TV: https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2021/october/25-october/jack-leslie-east-londoner-who-should-have-been-englands-first
Jack’s story was even featured on Antiques Road Trip! Watch on catch up -it’s about 9 mins 20 secs in https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0010bxx
Jack Leslie even had a tube- station named after him -in a version of London’s Tube map that was powerfully recreated to honour hundreds of people who helped shape black history in Britain (map produced by Transport for London in partnership with Black Cultural Archives) -see here: https://metro.co.uk/2021/10/12/londons-tube-map-recreated-to-honour-black-people-who-shaped-britain-15409241/
We believe that Jack’s story, and black history generally, should not be shoe-horned into one month, and we are happy to continue with events (live attendance or virtual) throughout the year.
Racism in sport and football continues, as we saw earlier this year with players being booed for taking the knee, racist abuse of England’s black footballers after the Euros, and ongoing issues with abuse on-line.
We therefore like to contrast the historical example of Jack Leslie’s exclusion from the England team on the basis of the colour of his skin, with contemporary issues, using Jack’s story to engage with audiences. History is nothing if we cannot learn from it, and Black History Month is an opportunity to engage with issues and stories otherwise ignored.
To contact us to book a presentation or event, contact Greg or Matt: https://jackleslie.co.uk/faqs/
1 We also learned more about Jack Leslie’s personal history, from his grand-daughters. Read ‘Memories of Grandad Jack” here: https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/memories-of-granddad-jack/
2 We also attended an Argyle Legends event at Home Park, and were delighted to get the backing of one of Argyle’s play-off final winners: Paul Williams! Updated supporter list here https://jackleslie.co.uk/supporters/