Black History Month: How Paul Stephenson changed the law

Embed from Getty Images

There was a heartening article in The Guardian yesterday with the headline “Paul Stephenson: the hero who refused to leave a pub – and helped desegregate Britain“.

Paul Stephenson is a black Briton who in 1964 refused to leave a pub in Bristol after he was told by the landlord “We don’t want you black people in here – you are a nuisance.” He was arrested and spent several hours in a police cell. He was cleared and awarded damages in the subsequent court case, which was widely reported in the press.

The repercussions from his act of defiance must have surprised even him, when Harold Wilson sent him a telegram to say that he would change the law. In 1965 the first Race Relations Act, which banned discrimination in public places, was enacted.

Paul Stephenson had previously led a boycott of Bristol buses because they refused to employ black or Asian people. He continued throughout his life to challenge racism in all its forms, working as a community relations officer around the country.

In 2008 he was made a Freeman of the City of Bristol in recognition of his lifetime’s work.

Read the full article to learn more about his life as a civil rights campaigner and the impact he had on people’s lives.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

One Comment

  • David Garlick 4th Oct '20 - 10:08am

    So many things he taught us. A brave man who would not take no for an answer when others might have crumbled in the face of such discrimination.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

    No recent comment found.