The Life  of Antiguan James Arthur Harley 1873 - 1943


              A three-week in-depth illustrative course

               starts Sunday 7th June - Sunday 21st June 2020 

4.00pm - 5.30pm




The photograph below was taken on the Upper Gallery of the Pitt Rivers Museum on the occasion of the first practical examination in Anthropology in 1908. The central figure is Henry Balfour (1863–1939), the Museum’s first curator, pictured with the first three students to study anthropology at Oxford. Both the seated Barbara Freire-Marreco (later Aitken; 1879–1967) and boomerang-holding Francis Knowles (1886–1953) went on to carry out anthropological and archaeological work in association with the Museum. The fourth figure is James Arthur Harley. In an Edwardian era when black people were viewed as inferior and a sub-species, underpinned by the Diploma course syllabus. James Arthur Harley defined these stereotypes when he became the first black man to achieve the Diploma of Anthropology in 1909.


 James Arthur Harley dreamed big, leaving his island home of Antigua in the 1890s to navigate the double complexities of oppressive racism in America and England to achieve an esteemed education, become a history maker and fulfil his childhood vocation of becoming a priest.




























The course covers

Post-Emancipation Antigua

Caribbean migration to America

Black scholars at Ivy league intuitions c. 1900s

Washington black elite

The Church of England in the Edwardian era

The Great War


Costs £63.00 includes a booking fee


The course is delivered online via Zoom by Pamela Roberts 

The Zoom link and password will be sent on receipt of payment.





















The early life of James Arthur Harley

part 1 & 2

A West Indian in New York 

The political awakening of James Arthur Harley