Henry Sylvester Williams green plaque in London

Henry Sylvester Williams
Anti-slavery and
civil rights campaigner
black councillor
in Westminster
elected 1906 for Church Street Ward

Henry Sylvester Williams (15 February 1869 – 26 March 1911) was a Trinidadian lawyer, councillor and writer, most noted for his involvement in the Pan-African Movement. As a young man he went to North America to further his education, and subsequently to Britain, where in 1897 he formed an "African Association" to challenge paternalism, racism and imperialism; the association aimed to "promote and protect the interests of all subjects claiming African descent, wholly or in part, in British colonies and other place, especially Africa, by circulating accurate information on all subjects affecting their rights and privileges as subjects of the British Empire, by direct appeals to the Imperial and local Governments." In 1900 Williams organised the First Pan-African Conference, held at Westminster Hall in London. In 1903 he went to practise as a barrister in South Africa, becoming the first black man to be called to the bar in the Cape Colony.

Source: dbpedia

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