Roy Hackett: the civil rights hero who stood in front of a bus – and changed Britain for ever | The Guardian

When he arrived in the UK in 1952, he faced vicious racism – and decided to fight back. In the first of a new series, he tells the story of the Bristol boycottOne day in early 1963, Roy Hackett was walking in Broadmead, Bristol, when he saw a man crying. The man was outside the Bristol Omnibus Company. He told Hackett he was weeping because the company had told him he could not get an interview for a job there solely because he was black. Almost 60 years later, and despite all he has seen in his 92 years, it still sticks in Hackett’s throat – “not because he was a Jamaican, or foreign, but because he was black. It is degrading.”Hackett marched straight into the bus company to demand answers. He was, he says, “born an activist” and saw it as his duty to challenge racism whenever he saw it. Once in front of the manager, he made it clear he was not asking for black people to be treated equally – he was demanding it. The indignation and strength of his will ring in his voice as he remembers telling the boss: “If he can’t drive it, then the bus won’t be moving, will it?” Continue reading…

When he arrived in the UK in 1952, he faced vicious racism – and decided to fight back. In the first of a new series, he tells the story of the Bristol boycott

One day in early 1963, Roy Hackett was walking in Broadmead, Bristol, when he saw a man crying. The man was outside the Bristol Omnibus Company. He told Hackett he was weeping because the company had told him he could not get an interview for a job there solely because he was black. Almost 60 years later, and despite all he has seen in his 92 years, it still sticks in Hackett’s throat – “not because he was a Jamaican, or foreign, but because he was black. It is degrading.”

Hackett marched straight into the bus company to demand answers. He was, he says, “born an activist” and saw it as his duty to challenge racism whenever he saw it. Once in front of the manager, he made it clear he was not asking for black people to be treated equally – he was demanding it. The indignation and strength of his will ring in his voice as he remembers telling the boss: “If he can’t drive it, then the bus won’t be moving, will it?”

Continue reading…


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