A history of Community Led Anti-racism in Thamesmead


Do you know of, or were you involved in any efforts to heal local racial divisions in Thamesmead in the early 1990s? If so we’d like to hear from you.

Artist Holly Graham is working with  TACO! and the Thamesmead Community Archive, to research anti-racist community led action work in Thamesmead in the early 1990s.   This period saw a rise in racial tensions within the area but there is currently minimal documentation reflecting these rifts and the important community led responses to counteract them.  

In 1991 a racist gang of young white men murdered a young black boy Rolan Adams. He was 15. This event took place within a climate of fear and tension provoked by the BNP. The murder received little media attention at the time. However there was a community led responce throughout this period that included a 1500 strong 6 mile walking march on the BNP’s offices in Welling, Bexley. 

In this project Holly hopes to address this gap in story-telling; speaking with local residents to collect information and material about how the racism and division within Thamesmead at this time was responded to by members of the local community. Through a series of interviews and collection of materials, she hopes to document the anti-racist social action taken by local people and groups.

The project aims to make this work visible so that It can viewed and understood in a wider historical context of activism and the tumultuous history of race relations throughout the UK more broadly. 

The project will also aim to outline practices of community organising that might be drawn upon today by others as the country continues to grapple with racial inequality in the present.

Can you help us to tell this important part of Thamesmead’s story?

If you would like to talk to Holly, contribute to the project or find out more information please contact Mat Jenner –

We are aware of the potential sensitive nature of this history and materials relating to it.  All enquires and correspondence will be treated confidentially.  Any contributions made to the project can remain anonymous if desired.

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