Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

On Trail of Democracy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

On Trail of Democracy

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY HENDERSON Reporter @Hendrover

HOW Newcastle helped blaze a trail on the road to democracy will be explored in a new guided walk.

Newcastle City Guides will mark the role of the city and the region in democratic struggles.

The walk will be led by five volunteer guides on Sunday at 2.30pm and will set off from the Kingsgate, at the arches to Newcastle University Quad.

Lead guide Martin John Talbot said: "This walk uncovers Newcastle's radical links and the part it played in Britain's road to democracy, and its impact on places such as the United States."

The event will focus on radicals and progressives with links to Tyneside, including Martin Luther King Jr, with boxer Muhammad Ali also meriting a mention.

Frederick slavery fight Brian Ward, Professor in American Studies at Northumbria University and author of Martin Luther King in Newcastle, said: "When Martin Luther King came to Newcastle in 1967, he became one of many eminent African Americans to visit the city, from Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells before him to Muhammad Ali and Harry Belafonte afterwards, not to mention Paul Robeson, Jimi Hendrix and the stars of Motown.

"The city has welcomed a succession of African American activists and artists. When you add the visits by important US reformers such as abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, writers such as Allan Ginsberg, and political leaders including Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Jimmy Carter, we can see the historic importance of these transatlantic connections.

"Tyneside's Road to democracy has always taken an international pathway."

Martin said: "Ali wasn't just popular with sports fans when he visited in 1977, he captured the imagination of the area and he was hugely complimentary about how welcoming we were to him and to everyone."

The walk will take in the Civic Centre, charting the city's link to the Norwegian fight against the Nazis during the Second World War. …

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