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Jack Leslie Campaign: Black History month 2021

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!

Campaign co-founders meet Jack’s relatives at exhibition- see below for detail

For Schools 

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 !

For businesses/Companies

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.

Exhibition

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/

Coverage

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/

Conclusion

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/

Notes

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/

Paul Williams with campaign co-founder Greg Foxsmith

Newsletter – April 2020

If you subscribe to the newsletter you’ll be kept up to date with progress with a regular, but not too frequent, bulletin. Here’s April’s…

Hello and Thank You!

We just wanted to show our gratitude for getting on board early and let you know what we’re doing here at The Jack Leslie Campaign. Here’s the key stuff…

  • It’s a very difficult time, so we totally understand if you can’t donate right now. But if you can, it will really help us reach our target and get Jack’s statue built…TO DONATE CLICK HERE.
  • We’ll need to raise at least £100,000. Yes, it’s a big number but we know it is possible as many other statue campaigns show and are confident that with your help we can do it. 
  • Our campaign will be officially launched on Crowdfunder at an appropriate time when football returns.
  • Please do VISIT THE WEBSITE for updated information on the campaign, the team, key supporters and donation information. 

What have we been up to?

  • Spoken to Jack’s three granddaughters Lyn, Lesley and Gillian who are brilliant and totally behind the effort. They paint a wonderful picture of their granddad who was not only a fantastic footballer but a wonderful man. It has inspired us further to ensure that a fitting memorial is created. 
  • Secured key support from individuals and organisations.
  • Won a place on Crowdfunder’s Big Impact Programme, which will give us help and support to reach our target. 
  • Met (prior to the lockdown!) and spoken to several politicians who will assist in making this happen.

How else can you help?

  • We already have an impressive list of high profile supporters but are keen to attract more – do you know anyone that we might approach for potential support? Please put us in touch!
  • We are keen to expand our network and committee. We need people with time and energy, particularly with skills in marketing, promotion, fundraising, social media campaigns, football, diversity or anti-racism campaign. Interested in helping out? Please let us know!

And, finally… 

This weekend members of Jack’s family were due to visit Home Park as VIP guests in the new boardroom. We were planning to attend and launch our plan to raise funds for a statue. Obviously we are all gutted this is not happening now but are proud of Argyle’s efforts to support the community and the NHS during this crisis.

We hope this visit will happen in the autumn and will be our springboard to launch our official Crowdfunder campaign. 

We really appreciate your time and support. Please donate if you can and spread the word – ask your friends and family to sign up and join us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Thank you.

The Jack Leslie Campaign Team