It was reported to the police on Thursday that it has been covered with what appears to be a corrosive substance. The monument to Alfred Fagon is in St Pauls, Bristol and was erected in 1987 the first anniversary of his death. Fagon was the first black person to have a statue erected in Bristol in their honour. Police said it was being investigated as criminal damage. Avon and Somerset Police are liaising with Bristol City Council to establish ownership of the statue and to determine if any permanent damage has been suffered.
The vandalism followed the Black Lives Matter anti-racism protesters tearing down a statue of Slave Trader Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday. Since the Colston statue was toppled other statues around the UK of people linked to the slavery have been removed, or are protected by police in fear of being torn down.
Fagon’s sister-in-law, Judy Malone-Fagon, said it was “ignorant and idiotic”.
“It’s the only statue to a black person in Bristol, who would do something like that?” she said.
Fagon was born in Jamaica in 1937, he had nine brothers and two sisters. He came to UK at 18 to work on the railways before joining the army before moving to Bristol to work as a welder in the 1960s. “No Soldiers in St Pauls”, which was one of his very first plays explored the tense relationship between the police and the black community in 1970s Bristol.
As an actor his last role was in BBC’s Fighting Back, set in St Pauls. On 28 August 1986 outside his flat in Camberwell London he died suddenly from a heart attack, the police claimed not to recognise him and he had a pauper funeral.
The Alfred Fagon Award was named after him for playwrights of Caribbean or African descent, resident in the UK. This year award is open clink in the link.
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