Samuel Jules Celestine Edwards is said to be the first black publisher in Britain. As a person who loves writing this was a very inspiring person to have stumbled across and below is he’s story.
In 1858, Edwards was born on the island of Dominica on 28th December, making him the youngest of nine children. During he’s teen years he formed radical opinions on politics and became a supporter of human rights.
In the 1870’s he moved to Britain, he became a Methodist, and you could say he began he’s carer. One of he’s highlights were he’s speeches, which did across the UK, particularly on ‘The Negro Race and Social Darwinism’ and ‘Liquor Traffic to West Africa’.
I have copied an extract from one of he’s speeches (I was glad to be able to find some evidence of he’s work).
Celestine Edwards, speech in Newcastle (3rd November, 1894)
My ancestors proudly trod the sands of the African continent; but from their home and friends were dragged into the slave mart and sold to the planters of the West Indies. The very thought that my race should have been so grievously wronged is almost more than I can bear. Of the condition of my people today I but tarry to say that by diligence, thought, and care they have given the lie to many a false prophet who, prior to their Emancipation, sought to convince the world that the black man was in all respects unfit for freedom. Their position today is one over which I proudly rejoice. To their future I look with confidence.
He is thought to be Britain’s first black editor, he’s work included aiding Walter Hawkins write his autobiography, From Slavery to Bishopric, published in 1891. He also published Lux (1892-1895), a Christian Newspaper and edited a monthly journal called Fraternity (1893-1897), both were early anti-racist papers.
He wanted to move on and become a doctor (defiantly an ambitious man) and studied at King’s College University in London, however he suffered poor health and returned to his family in Dominica in May 1894. He then died at his brother’s house in July of the same year.