9 July 2020
The SHSK Society was delighted to welcome St Helen’s alumna, Dr Catherine Armstrong, to give an online talk. Dr Armstrong is an historian of colonial North America and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries and is expert in the history of slavery.
Old Girls from around the world attended the event. Dr Armstrong gave a fascinating talk about ‘Police brutality, statues and blackface: a long cultural history of the fight for racial justice’. She presented a powerful, and at times chilling, historical perspective of some of the individuals, symbols, events and atrocities that have perpetuated inequality and racism in the US – and their pervasiveness in present day America.
Dr Armstrong took a wide range of questions, covering topics including the following: whether statues should be removed, or left in place with factual information; how the US can tackle racism through legislation at a local and national level; what the UK can do the rethink and address its own role in slavery; the extent to which membership of white supremacist groups is still a problem, particularly within US law enforcement and local politics; and the impact of Barack Obama’s Presidency.
“That was brilliant thank you! Just spot on with what we all need to learn more about and be talking about right now…my first old girls event and I loved it!”
“Thank you, Dr Armstrong and the SHSK Society…excellent, thought-provoking and helpful…”
“Thank you! Very informative and food for thought…”
“Thank you so much for organising this talk with Dr Catherine Armstrong. It was incredibly informative and so generous of her to share her time and knowledge.”
“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed last week’s talk by Dr Armstrong. It was interesting and very thought provoking. Many thanks to Dr Armstrong and the SHSK Society for organising such a topical event.”