the twentieth century

the twentieth century

Hull Fair (1902)

15h ago
SOURCE  

Description

The BFI DVD 'Electric Edwardians: The Films of Mitchell and Kenyon' is available to buy at http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_107.html Two black boxers challenge fair-goers to a bout in the ring. This film is part of the Mitchell and Kenyon collection - an amazing visual record of everyday life in Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century. The text on the opening frame reads '2 Rounds Nobody Barred'. Hull fairground is made all the more interesting when the camera pans round to show five men - two of whom are black - challenging all comers to a bout in the boxing ring. The two men stand as equals with their white colleagues, dressed in braces, caps and thick jumpers. The film is silent, but given the liveliness of the crowd it's easy to speculate on the banter being exchanged between the crowd and the black boxers. Their existence almost fifty years before the main wave of commonwealth immigration is evidence that black people have been part of everyday British society for longer than official history books have chosen to acknowledge. (Karen Alexander) All titles on the BFI Films channel are preserved in the vast collections of the BFI National Archive. To find out more about the Archive visit http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections