The Story of John Archer

The First Black Mayor of London - Black History Month 2021

Exhibition and Short Play

John Archer

The Story of John Archer is an exhibition and a short play follow by a Q&A session. John Archer was the first black Mayor of London. He was was born in 1863 and became Mayor of Battersea in 1913.

The STory of John Archer - Youtube video

Black History Month

The First Black Mayor of London - Out cuts from the short play "The Story of John Archer" Opening Black History Month at the Battersea Arts Centre on the 1st of October 2021.

About the Story of John Archer


“… fears no man, and brooks no insult because of the race to which he is proud belong .”

African American civil rights activist WEB Du Bois, remarking on John Archer winning the election to become Mayor of Battersea in 1913.

Written to celebrate London ’s first Black mayor, The Story of John Archer hopes that it honours the life and legacy of one of Britain’s Black Heroes. A lifelong champion of those neglected and mistreated by society, John Archer ’s worldview and sense of so cial justice was shaped from a very young age , given that he grew up in the shadow of Liverpool’s Brownlow Hill workhouse. Such an early re ckoning with inequality and disenfranchisement left a permanent mark, leading John to dedicate his life to fighting for justice , and h is political career seeing him take on racism (both at home and abroad) , the demonisation of the poor, and bigotry in the criminal justice system. With values rooted in Pan – Africanism, and a loyal friend and confidante to such notable fi gure s as Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Jane Roberts, Ida B Wells and WEB DuBois, John Archer never stopped striving for self – determination across the African Diaspora. While John once had to remind the British press that he was born “in a little obscure villag e in England probably never herd of until now – the city of Liverpool,” h is legacy can still be seen in the very foundations of today’s Battersea, and we are incredibly proud that we are able to stand on his shoulders. 

Jennifer Farmer –  September 2021 

Youtube video

The Story of John Archer Reviews

What the audience said about "The Story of John Archer" at the Battersea Arts Centre, which opened the Black History Month Event on the 1st of October 2021 - The first black Mayor of London

The Creative Team - The Story of John Archer

The First Black Mayor of London

The creative team the story of john archer

Authors – Joyce Fraser & Jennifer Farmer
Director – Dr Anni Domingo
Actors – Patrick McKenzie, Vivienne Rochester
Opera Singer – Melody Compton
Sound Design & Stage Manager – Katherine Vamva

The John Archer Team

Jennifer Farmer
Kennifer Farmer Writer

Jennifer Farmer Writer for the Story of John Archer Performance Working across theatre, opera….

Anni Domingo
Dr Anni Domingo

Anni Domingo, Actress, Director, Lecturer, Writer. Anni’s first screenplay Blessed Assurance …

Partick McKenzie
Patrick McKenzie Actor

Patrick McKenzie Patrick is an experienced actor and voice artist of over 18 years . Onstage his ….

Vivienne Rochester
Vivienne Rochester​ actor

Vivienne Rochester . Actor, Teacher , Director, and Trinity Drama Schools Examiner. I have acted for the….

Melody Compton
Melody Compton opera singer

Melody Compton Is a Guyanese, Carriacouan London based classically trained singer. She graduated from

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