In the News | Dickens and Black London
AFP reports that Britain is marking Charles Dickens' bicentenary. In Portsmouth, the city he was born on February 7, 1812, a street party will be held to mark the day. Other events will take place around the country.
According to AFP, Dickens' novels were informed by his own early experiences, from the happy boyhood he spent in Kent in southeast England, before his father was thrown into the debtors' prison--on the south bank of the River Thames in Southwark, now part of London-- to the childhood of poverty into which he was thrust.
On The Griot, Karl Bostic writes that the London of Charles Dickens was the center of what was the biggest empire in the world, and a city of 2 million people.
There was a diverse population of all backgrounds: a large Irish population, a significant Jewish population, and a very visible population of African origin.
In Bostic's report on Dickens' Black Londoner Inspiration he asks whether Charles Dickens drew his characters from real-life black Londoners.