Following the recent Black Lives Matter campaign and the concern about statues and other commemorative artifacts which are no longer acceptable, the Leader gave consideration to similar artifacts in the District.
In particular this concerned the memorial plaque to James Summerson, known as ‘Uncle Mack’, a seaside entertainer in Broadstairs between the 1880s and 1940s. This plaque has given rise to offence and hurt because the entertainment celebrated by it involved a Black and White Minstrels troupe where white entertainers blacked up their faces and behaved with distorted African-American stereotypes.
The plaque was initially covered up as a temporary measure until a decision was made on a permanent solution. Once removed, consideration will be given to the future of the plaque and whether it can usefully be put on display in a museum setting which describes its historical context to act as a lesson for the future.
Decision Maker: Leader of the Council
Decision published: 30/06/2020
Effective from: 08/07/2020
The Leader has decided that the James Summerson (‘Uncle Mack’) memorial plaque should be permanently removed from its site in Broadstairs.
Lead officer: Tim Howes