Dispatches from Penzance – BBC Radio Cornwall

16th November 2020 in Council News, Penzance

Cllr Nicole Broadhurst, Mayor of Penzance, joined BBC Radio Cornwall’s Tiffany Truscott last Thursday evening for a special interview on the new publication Dispatches from Penzance.

Cllr Broadhurst was interviewed alongside Dr Garry Tregidga, co-Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies, to discuss Dispatches from Penzance: J.A. Rogers and the Place of Cornish  ‘Race Relations’ in African American Historiography by Dr Madeleine Midgley.

You can listen to the full interview on the BBC Sounds website and app by searching for Evenings on BBC Radio Cornwall (you can listen from 36 minutes in).

Humphry Davy Centenary, Penzance June 8 1929 (for May 29) ‘Addressing the assembly’. Image from the private collection of the late Mr Cyril Orchard, Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh – Gwas Pensans.

The book looks at issues of Cornish ‘Race Relations’ in relation to African American Historiography and charts a visit in 1925 of the black American journalist/war correspondent, historian, novelist and civil rights campaigner Joel Augustus Rogers to Penzance.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the fascinating story about this civil rights campaigner, and his notes on what it was like to be in Penzance in the 1920s, has been published as part of Black History Month.

“Given the fact that it’s been such an important subject in the news this year globally, we thought it was only right that we should look at the ways in which Cornwall itself connects to that global story”

Dr Garry Tregidga – Institute of Cornish Studies

J.A. Rogers was well received in Penzance at the time and proved to be a key moment in the development of a lot of his ideas. He became a significant figure both in the USA and internationally, with his story now being rediscovered this year as the Black Lives Matter movement gained pace.

J.A. Rogers (1880-1966)

Cllr Broadhurst was asked to write the Foreword to the book – when asked how she went about deciding what to include she said: “I came [to Penzance] fifteen years ago and what happened to me, my personal experience resonates so well with his which shows the acceptance and friendliness of the people here.”

In 2019, Cllr Broadhurst became the first black Mayor in Cornwall. She was delighted to be asked to write the Foreword and thoroughly recommends the book.

“It’s a really good read! People might think it is a textbook but it really isn’t, it is actually just a beautifully written history of Rogers’ own words used with what has been written by Dr Madeleine Midgley.”

Cllr Broadhurst

To purchase a copy (£5 plus postage) of Dispatches from Penzance: J.A. Rogers and the Place of Cornish ‘Race Relations’ in African American Historiography please email [email protected] or [email protected] at the Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus.

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