Catherine Impey of Street, Somerset, and her radical anti-racist newspaper

by bibliodeviant

Quaker Strongrooms

Between 1888 and 1895, Catherine Impey (1847–1923) of Street, Somerset, wrote and published what is credited as being Britain’s first anti-racist periodical. Anti-Caste, as it was called, is one of the most remarkable serials in our collection: the Library holds the only complete set known to have survived in this country. It includes reports on visits to Britain by prominent African American campaigners such as Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglass, and anti-lynching campaigns in the southern states of America, as well as looking at issues of racism within the British Empire.

Catherine Impey edited the newsletter with her sister, Ellen, and mother, Mary Hannah Impey.  She sold it for the nominal sum of a halfpenny (to cover postage) to aid circulation, bearing the main production costs herself.

While Anti-Caste had only 300 subscribers (mainly within the Society of Friends) it had a circulation of 1900 copies each month…

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