Battersea’s First Black Mayor: John Archer

New! John Archer profile at the Black Atlantic Resource. This profile details the life and political career of John Archer one of Britain’s earliest black mayors.

John Richard Archer (1863-1932) born and raised in Liverpool, was elected Mayor of Battersea in 1913. A self-styled ‘race man’ John was elected as a representative to the first Pan-African Conference at Westminster in July 1900. Also a life-long socialist, John travelled at least three times around the world in his youth, living for a while in the West Indies and North America.

When John was nominated for Progressive candidate for Mayor in Battersea in November, 1913. the black vote was very small indeed. The newspapers made something of a fuss, as the first Catholic mayor T. P. Brogan, had been John Archer’s mentor prior to his election. When John was elected on 10 November, the Black American activist, W. E. B. Dubois, wrote in his journal, the Crisis, that he “…fears no man, and brooks no insult because of the race to which he is proud to belong.”

This profile has been contributed to the Black Atlantic Resource by historian Dr. Ray Costello from his publication Liverpool Black Pioneers to find out more about this publication click here.

Read more about John Archer… and leave your comments here.


3 responses to “Battersea’s First Black Mayor: John Archer


    The 1985 Handsworth Riots, UK- Pogus Caesar – BBC1 TV . Inside Out.

    Broadcast 25 Oct 2010.

    Black History UK: In 1985 racial tension and community discontentment escalated into the historical Handsworth riots that rocked Birmingham, England between 9th – 11th September 1985.

    Birmingham film maker and photographer Pogus Caesar knows Handsworth well. He found himself in the centre of the riots and spent two days capturing a series of startling images. Caesar kept them hidden for 20 years. Why? And how does he see Handsworth now?.

    The stark black and white photographs featured in the film provide a rare, valuable and historical record of the raw emotion, heartbreak and violence that unfolded during those dark and fateful days in September 1985.

  2. Well done with this. Pogus Caesar recently gave a talk at London’s O2, an excellent speaker who put his experience of the 85 disturbances in context!

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