African-Caribbean people in Bristol

The presence of black people living in Bristol can be traced back over many centuries. Many came here in the 18th century because of the transatlantic slave trade . The city of Bristol was involved in this trade for over 100 years. Over 2,000 slave ships left Bristol and sailed to West Africa to trade for enslaved Africans, who were then taken across the Atlantic Ocean to the British-owned islands in the Caribbean. The enslaved Africans were put to work on the plantations. They produced goods that were then shipped back to Bristol. Slaves themselves were never brought to Bristol in large numbers. A few came to the city from the Caribbean as personal servants to their plantation-owning masters. Often a slave ship’s owner allowed the captain an enslaved African as a form of payment.

Approximately 16,000 people of African-Caribbean descent live in Bristol today (black and dual descent ). They mostly came to the city in recent years. In the late 1940s the British government invited people from the British colonies to come to this country to live and work. There was a shortage of workers after the war and labour was needed to help the economy. People came to Britain from India and Pakistan, and Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa. They also came from the islands of Jamaica, Barbados, St.Kitts, Nevis, Dominica & elsewhere in the Caribbean.