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This article is an account of recent activity in the U.K. archives sector against white supremacy which is written by a number of people active in the work. Through our work, we are aware of previous initiatives in this area, but written sources about the history of this work are patchy at best. This account offers a description of recent activity so that it is "on record". We recognise that a historical account of previous efforts would be valuable, but that is not our objective here. This article offers a statement of the problem of white supremacy in the U.K.’s archives sector. It then provides an overview of the work of organisations such as the Black Cultural Archives (BCA), The National Archives (TNA), and the Archives and Records Association (ARA). This is background for more grassroots activities and networks, which are described in the article. The article discusses the events at the ARA 2019 conference, which was a flashpoint for resistance to white supremacy in the profession, before discussing a number of subsequent activities that sought to define a vision for the profession in which white supremacy and other violent power structures are abolished. The article concludes by offering some thoughts about the future of this work.


This work was originally published as: Chilcott, Alicia, Kirsty Fife, James Lowry, Jenny Moran, Arike Oke, Anna Sexton and Jass Thethi. "Against Whitewashing: The Recent History of Anti-Racist Action in the British Archives Sector." The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, vol. 5, no. 1, 2021. doi: 10.33137/ijidi.v5i1.34731

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