As America celebrates its first African American President, recent research has uncovered the making of history in the UK with the election of the first black Mayor in Britain.
According to the research by the Norwich and Norfolk Racial Equality Council (NNREC), the Norfolk Record Office and historian Sean Creighton, Britain’s first black Mayor was Dr Allan Glais(y)er Minns, elected in 1904 in Thetford, Norfolk.
Until recently, John Archer, elected as Mayor in Battersea in 1913, was thought to be the first black man to hold this title. However the ‘American Negro Year Book 1914’ recorded that: ‘In 1904 Mr Allan Glais(y)er Minns, a col’d man from West Indies, was elected Mayor of borough of Thetford, Norfolk’.
Allan Glais(y)er Minns was the son of Jonn Minns of Inagua, Bahamas. He was born on 19 October 1858 and educated at Nassau Grammar School. He later studied at Guy’s Hospital and became the Medical Officer at Thetford Workhouse and Thetford Cottage Hospital.
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