They will lay the Bristol Bus Boycott organiser to rest on 16 September
Relatives of civil rights pioneer Roy Hackett are inviting the city to celebrate his life during a day of remembrance next month. The community activist, who helped organise the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott which paved the way for the Race Relations Act 1965, died on 3 August aged 93.
Mr Hackett was made an OBE for his lifelong fight against racism in 2009, an honour followed up with an MBE in 2020. His high-profile fans included Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who said the Bristol Bus Boycott “should be taught in every school”.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1928, Mr Hackett travelled to Britain in 1952 as part of the Windrush generation. He lived in Liverpool, London and Wolverhampton before settling in Bristol.
There, he found that the owners of boarding houses would not rent to him because of his colour, and he spent his first night sleeping in a doorway. In 1962 his wife Ena applied for a job as a bus conductor with the Bristol Omnibus Company and was refused, despite being qualified.
Inspired by Rosa Parks’ actions in America, Mr Hackett formed a pressure group with Owen Henry, Audley Evans and Prince Brown to fight the colour bar on Bristol’s buses. Supported by senior Labour party politicians, their action was successful when the bus firm announced an end to their ban on non-white employees.
The “born activist” continued his work as a community leader and mentor to Bristol youths, establishing the Commonwealth Coordinated Committee and the St Paul’s Carnival – one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.
His remembrance event will take place at Elim Church on Jamaica Street from 11am on Friday September 16, followed by burial at South Bristol Cemetery and a wake at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.
Anyone seeking further information about the day is asked to telephone Adams Funeral Directors on 07860555133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.