Papers of Jeffrey Green

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of Green's research papers, reference material and the papers of the Barbour-James family.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jeffrey Philip Green was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, on 9 October 1944. From 1946 his family lived in Kingsbury and Green attended Orange Hill Grammar School for Boys. He went on to study banking at National and Grindlays Bank (the National Bank of India) in the City of London. Green transferred to the bank's overseas staff and in 1965 was sent to Kampala, Uganda. He went on to work in Zimbabwe and Cape Town.

As a teenager Green had developed an interest in Black American jazz of the 1920s. Aware that many musicians of the jazz bands of the 1920s and 1930s had been produced by the Jenkins Orphanage of Charleston, South Carolina. He researched the story of one of the sons of orphanage founder Revd D J Jenkins, Edmund T. Jenkins (1894-1926) who had attended London's Royal Academy of Music for seven years in the early 1900s. Green went on to write on jazz performers, the migrant experience, and individuals such as the London doctor John Alcindor.

Green presented papers at a number of universities - Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford, and London. He wrote about black people and crime in London in the 1920s, the role of West Indians in the colonial service in West Africa, a group of six Congo pygmies who toured Britain in the 1900s, and assisted with the autobiography of Jamaican musician Leslie Thompson, a trumpet man in Louis Armstrong's orchestra.

In 1998 his book, "Black Edwardians" was published by Cass of London. He continues to research and to write, and has a 125,000 word study of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is awaiting publication. He has made contributions to The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and The Oxford Companion to Black British History. He now lives in East Grinstead.

Jeffrey Green became friends with Amy Barbour-James while conducting research on her father, John Barbour-James, for his book "Black Edwardians". When Amy died her will was null and void due to having no surviving relatives so Jeffrey acquired some of her personal papers.

John Barbour-James, author and civil servant, was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1867. He became postmaster at Victoria-Belfield in the 1890s, and transferred to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) Post Office in 1902. He returned to England settling in Acton with his wife and five children. They had three more children, one of which was Amy, but by 1919 five of the children, and their mother, were dead. In 1920 Barbour-James married Edith Goring, a teacher born in Barbados.

Barbour-James retired from the colonial postal service in 1917 and began working with the African Progress Union. He was the head of the 'Association of Coloured Peoples'. In 1938 he was vice-president of the League of Coloured Peoples having attended the founding Quaker meetings in 1931. Barbour-James died in Georgetown, Guyana, 1954.

Amy Barbour-James was born in London in 1906. She was involved in the 'League of Coloured Peoples' and worked as a Civil Servant on London from 1950. She died in 1988.

This administrative history was compiled with the help of Jeffrey Green, also citing the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Jeffrey Green's website, which contains further biographical information and numerous articles he has written is at: http://www.jeffreygreen.co.uk/

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are strongly urged to contact Black Cultural Archives in advance of their visit. Some of the material may be stored off-site and advance notice of at least a week is needed in order to retrieve this material.

The reading room is open for access to archive materials Wednesdays-Fridays, 10am-4pm. The reading room is also open late every second Thursday of the month, 1pm-7pm.

Please email the archivist to book an appointment archives@bcaheritage.org.uk

Personal Names