On Friday 1 July 2011, the Merseyside Black History Month Group (MBHMG) kicked off a series of events to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Toxteth Riots with the opening of Toxteth 1981 at the International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock. Toxteth 1981 is a historical photographic exhibition of images of the riots, some being shown publicly for the first time in 30 years.
The exhibition closes on 1st July 2012. It is a collaboration between Merseyside Black History Month Group, Writing on the Wall and National Museums Liverpool.
Dr Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum, said: “The poignant images in our latest exhibition Toxteth 1981 go on display some 30 years after the violent clashes on the streets of Toxteth, a socially and economically disadvantaged area of Liverpool, made headlines around the world.
“It has been a thought provoking and informative collaboration with members of the Liverpool Black community which has made this exhibition possible as well as offering a personal community perspective of these events."
Femi Sowande, Chair of MBHMG said “This project is extremely important so that all of us from the wider community understand what happened and that we take cognizance of the events of 1981, learn from it and go forward to a future we can all be proud of. 30 years on we still have a lot to do and MBHMG will play its part in galvanizing people in building this future we can all be proud of. I hope everyone that visit the exhibition will take time to reflect and commit themselves to doing their bit.”
Sonia Bassey-Williams, the Toxteth Riots – 30 Years On Project Manager, said: “The 1981 Toxteth Riots was a significant moment in the history of Liverpool, a time that brought national press to the city, highlighting the oppression of local people and the environment they were living in, whilst also creating a platform to open dialogue with national government about how best to support the Toxteth community in relation to issues like unemployment, housing and use of the 'sus' laws in the community.
“This collaborative project has enabled the collection of a vast amount of information relating to events of that time and, in addition to the exhibition, the commemorative DVD present untold stories from local people who were working or living in Toxteth in 1981 or taking part in the Riots".
The Toxteth Riots – 30 years on project also includes a commemorative film DVD which present informative interviews with people from the Toxteth community who were involved in, or affected by, the riots. They provide a unique inside perspective, some of which have not been seen or heard before. The specially commissioned film DVD is dedicated to the memory of David Moore, the only person who was killed in the Toxteth riots.
For more information and images of the Toxteh Riots 1981 visit www.toxtethriots.com