The Story of John Archer

The First Black Mayor of London - Black History Month

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.

A Children's Exhibition

The Story of John Archer – Mayor for a Day

“The Story of John Archer – Mayor for a Day: A Children’s Exhibition” which involved several workshops for school children held at Wandsworth Libraries as part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival WAF23 during June 2023. The children created artwork, wrote documents and recorded speeches.


Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe - WAF'23 Going Places, during Windrush 75 celebrations. This year Black Heroes Foundation put on a series of Library workshops for local school children. The children were the true creatives producing their interpretations of their learning about John Archer London’s first Black Mayor of Battersea in 1913. Expressed through drawing, writing news articles, writing and delivering mayoral inaugural speeches.

Wandsworth Schools Exhibition - Youtube video

Mayor for a Day

We would like to thank York Gardens, Tooting and Balham Libraries for hosting the workshops, and the children from Harris Academy Battersea, Alderbrook Primary and Franciscan Primary schools for the wonderful work that they produced for the exhibition.

the Story of John Archer - Wandsworth Schools

An Exhibition of Children’s School Work

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 

SOUL FOOD CAFE - Youtube video

The Story of John Archer Reviews

Part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe - WAF23 during Windrush 75 celebrations. Black Heroes Foundation raised the bar to another level at The Black Heroes Soul Food Café. Celebrating the Story of John Archer during Windrush 75 celebrations.  Bringing the character of Archer to life in this scripted reading by actors Wil Johnson and Vivienne Rochester. There was an exhibition of the children’s schoolwork ‘A Mayor for the Day’. An evening of beautiful live jazz music, open mic, culture, reflection and conversation.  The vibe was just right!

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


We deliver special events at your premises or digitally as required. It can be an interactive event telling the stories of, and celebrating Black Heroes. This can be from the screening of one of our films, performance of a play, through to delivery of speeches and workshops. We help schools, universities,and corporate organisations to engage with diversity.

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The Foundation is dependent upon support from the community, businesses and government bodies. Please support this great cause in order to help fulfil Flip Fraser’s dream, and preserve his legacy created from the internationally acclaimed show “Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame”.

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