Windrush Day Memorial Lecture - Social Justice: Religion, Morality and Reparation

Thursday 22 June, 18.00 - 19.30 

Pitt Rivers Museum Lecture Theatre. Entry via Robinson Close, off South Parks Road.

Book your free place here.

Prof Robert Beckford

The Windrush Day Memorial Lecture 2023 will be delivered by Prof. Robert Beckford of Channel 4 'Empire Pays Back' (2005) fame. This year he will present his opinion on the need to pay reparations to the survivors of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Robert Beckford is an activist scholar with a distinguished social justice research and campaigning career. He has written eight monographs exploring the entanglements of religion, culture and politics in the post-diaspora Black British experience. His most recent book, ' Decolonising Gospel Music Through Praxis: Handsworth Revolutions' (Bloomsbury 2023), appropriates Rastafari's decolonial musicality to transform gospel music production in Britain. Robert currently serves in three professorial roles. He is a professor of Climate and Social Justice at the University of Winchester, a professor of Black Theology at the Queen's Ecumenical Foundation and a professor of theology at Vu University in Amsterdam.

Robert publishes across various media, including books, television and radio programmes. He is a BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker, having made over 25 films for the BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery USA. For Robert, Black music production is also medium for exploring the cultural politics of Black religion. He has written and produced contemporary Black music, including a decolonial gospel album, 'The Jamaican Bible Remix' (5 AM Records 2017).

Robert is also engaged in reparations. He made the first reparations film, 'Empire Pays Back' (Channel 4, 2005) and more recently completed a two-part series on the Church of England-run slave plantation in Barbados, 'The Church's Slave Plantation' (BBC World Service 2022). His first independent film 'After the Flood: Christianity, Slavery and Reconciliation' (2022) contours the theological underpinnings for restorative justice between White and Black Christians. Robert also serves on three reparations projects and is an honorary member of the CARICOM Reparations Commission.