This Black Social History is design for the education of all races about Black People Contribution to world history over the past centuries, even though its well hidden from the masses so that our children dont even know the relationship between Black People and the wealth of their history in terms of what we have contributed to make this world a better place for all.
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Monday, 20 October 2014
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : BRITAIN FIRST POLICE OFFICER WAS IN THEE 19th CENTURY WHEN IN 1837 JOHN KENT WAS APPOINTED AS A CONSTABLE IN CARLISLE CITY POLICE : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK HEROES "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Britain's 19th-century black police officer
Norwell Roberts, pictured in 1968, was apparently not Britain's first black police officer. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty
Hugh Muir claims that Britain's first black police officer was in 1967 (A force for change?, G2, 30 January). But 130 years before then, a black man, John Kent, was appointed in August 1837 as constable to the Carlisle city police force, having already served as an appointee to the magistrates in Maryport. My colleague Susan Dench's research shows that Kent probably arrived as a seaman at Whitehaven, where he was given his freedom. It seems likely he was enslaved from a west African port, but proved his ability as a seaman, making several trips across the Atlantic. It is conjectured he was given his surname after his ship, the Kent, which is recorded as a slave ship.
So unusual was the sight of any non-white person in Cumberland at that time that it is believed the cry of "Black Kent's coming!" was often used to frighten mischievous children into better behaviour. Kent continued to work in Carlisle after retiring from decades in the force, and when aged 88 was recorded as an attendant at the London & North Western Company's waiting room (third class) at Citadel station.
None of this dents the thrust of Muir's article. But it shows the road to diversity has been far longer than he imagined. Robin Smith Chairman, Historical Association, Cumbria branch