he Black & White Picture Place

The Picture Gallery: Photographs of Liverpool

The end of the Somali Club, Upper Parliament Street: 10th March 1983

"The trade is wide open. Wide open, I tell you gentlemen. The colonies grow more populous by the year, by the month. The more land that is planted, the more they will want negroes. It is a case of first come, first served. And who is best placed to take it on? London is away there on the wrong side, with the Thames up her arse. Bristol's costs are twice ours here. I tell you, if God picked this town up in the palm of his hand and studied where best to set her down for the Africa trade, he would put her exactly back where she is, exactly where she stands at present... Three separate profits- one in Africa, one in Jamaica, one back here. And each one better than the last..."

Barry Unsworth: 'Sacred Hunger' (Booker prize winner 1992)

"Memorable are the cutting words of George Frederick Cooke, tragedian, born 17th April, 1756, died 26th September, 1812. At the Liverpool Theatre one night, as was usual on many occasions with him, he staggered onto the stage drunk; when the audience perceived this, they loudly hissed and hooted him. Cooke steadying himself, shouted most vociferously, "I have not come here to be insulted by a set of wretches, of which every brick in your infernal town is cemented with an African's blood".
I have not ever heard that Cooke was answered; perhaps it was such a home thrust, and felt so keenly, it came like a peel of thunder or a flash of lightning on the spectators, they very likely thought the best way to meet such vehement language was with silence. It may be he spoke the truth. What would we not have given for it to be false and he a liar? I think I have read somewhere that Iynch law was not in fashion or he might have been Iynched; had such treatment been given him, it would not have proved he was wrong".

From 'Liverpool and Slavery' (1884) by "a genuine Dicky Sam"

Gallery Introduction | Liverpool Gallery | B&W Picture Place | Site Front Door | Contact us | Next Picture