Remembering Roy Hackett MBE

Roy Hackett MBE, was a shining beacon of light who had the determination and conviction to selflessly battle and overcome adversity and racism. He did this in a time when the Bristol Omnibus Company issued a colour bar on employing black and Asian drivers and conductors, and immigrants from the Caribbean were subjected to signs in shops, pubs and housing windows that read, “no coloureds or West Indians.”

 

Born and raised in Jamaica, Roy arrived in the UK to face a society and culture that was hostile and often violent, something that was vastly different from his own. His lived experiences inspired him to campaign for change, equality, inclusion, and unity for all regardless of their backgrounds.

We all have Roy and his associate campaigners and activists to thank for paving the way for theRace Relations Acts of 1965 and 1968, inspiring and uplifting future generations and making Bristol a better place to live and work.

We may not all be able to relate to what Roy and countless other people from the Windrush and subsequent eras experienced in Bristol in the 1960’s but what we can learn from Roy's life is that, it is better to be a upstander rather than a bystander, an ally as opposed to an opponent, if you want to affect real and sustainable change that will ultimately benefit everyone.

I encourage you to read about Roy and his friends’ stories and reflect on the arduous work, dedication and sacrifices they all committed to, to change attitudes, behaviours, and the overall culture of the city.

Throughout his campaigning and activism, Roy set an example of standing up for what is right no matter the challenges he faced, he should be an inspiration to us all.