You are here:

CLACS Caribbean Studies Seminar Series actively promotes intellectual engagement and knowledge exchange by providing scholars - including postgraduate students and early career researchers - with the opportunity to present their interdisciplinary, comparative and integrated research on the Caribbean.

“Wi Likkle, But Wi Tallawah”: Northampton Town Blacktivism and Matta Fancanta Black Caribbean Youth, 1970-85

Speaker: Tré Ventour-Griffiths (Kingston University)

This talk ‘Wi Likkle But Wi Tallawah’ – small but sturdy – positions Northampton(shire) as a point of Black consciousness in the town and in the rural, centring the experiences of Black Caribbean youth by birth and descent. First coined in the 1970s, the term Matta Fancanta means “come guard yourself against self-destruction”. Known locally as MFM or Movement, Matta Fancanta defined a generation including through roots reggae, sports teams and professional development. The story of MFM is important as it inspired youth movements in other areas including Leicester, Derby, Manchester and London. This is one story of a wider post-war history of Caribbean Northamptonshire - a history based on 100+ oral history testimonies and limited secondary sources, including local news media, collated as part of a PhD project entitled ‘Northampton(shire) is the Place for Me: Creative Responses to Provincial England's Caribbean Diaspora, 1948-1985’. This body of research will produce a piece of creative nonfiction about Caribbean communities in my home county, Northamptonshire, where my great-grandparents first arrived in Northampton Town (specifically) in 1962 from the parish of St John, Grenada. Focusing on the experiences of the young people whose parents settled in Northampton from Grenada, Saint Kitts and Jamaica, this talk will highlight the solidarity networks, communal spaces and organised resistance young Black people in Northampton(shire) built in their fight against the discrimination they faced from employers, the police and society at large.

Tré Ventour-Griffiths is an autistic creative, public historian, sociologist, and cultural critic who speaks and writes on subjects broadly contained within Black British history, neurodiversity, intersectionality, cultural criticism, and insurgent politics. His Creative Writing PhD research is about UK Northants Caribbean communities 1948-85. His other work has included topics such as regency whiteness and Jane Austen, as well as the Honours System in British politics. Last year, he was featured in the poetry anthology Part of the Story That Started Before Me: Poems About Black British History (Penguin Random House, 2023) and an essay collection COVID-19 and Racism: Counter-Stories of Colliding Pandemics (Policy Press, 2023). Currently, Tré has work pending review including on allegories of neurodivergence in Marvel's X-Men and Black Panther- and regency whiteness in Netflix's Bridgerton. He has also written on Peaky Blinders, Downton Abbey, British horror, and more, while also contributing to his local community. 

Seminar Programme
Autumn term
10 October 2023
7 November 2023  
5 December 2023            
Spring term

20 February 2024
19 March 2024
9 April 2024

Eve Hayes de Kalaf (IHR)

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, which will be held online via Zoom at 16:00 GMT. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button at the top of the page to register.

Please consider supporting CLACS's mission to train the next generation of scholars in Latin American and Caribbean Studies: