SPiRiT of Philip Morgan - Philip's life and legacy - THACMHO - Power Writers - Tabono - Sankofa Bird - Black London - Photographs - Galaxy FM - Jayasree Kalathil's tribute - Roy Hayde: Breakdown - Harry Cumberbatch - Sidney Millin - Maastricht - Pageant - Birmingham Health through History photographs - Philip's talk and seminar discussion - F.E.E.L. - Windsor with Fabian - Emotional journeys - The Happy Man who Refused Love and Help - International Survivor History - Family - from brothers Rupert and Philip - from Philip via cousin Shawn Martin - Sam Shakes - Messages - Surviving together- Asylum - Flaming spirit - Last words - Contacts

The SPiRiT of Philip Morgan website is based on the event on 5.5.2018:

Philip Morgan SPiRiT 1965 - 2017

An event open to all, organised by some of Philip Morgan's friends and supported by his family and the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives. Come and join us in remembering a brother, friend, mentor and community activist.

Learn of his work with mental health survivor groups and in particular the Health Through History Initiative which was designed to heal African and Caribbean people experiencing mental health challenges in the borough of Tower Hamlets

Be part of the Power Writers experience - an exhibition of five African writers who had connections with the area in the 18th century. This will be displayed during the month of May at the Archives. Listen to tributes and contribute to an afternoon of fun, education and reflection. This event is free, no booking required, browse the stalls and the displays. The first fifty people arriving will be given a copy of the 2nd edition (2005) of the Power Writers book published by Hansib Publications.

Provisonal Programme

12 noon: Registration and viewing of stalls and exhibitions. Sign in with your name and contact address, collect a book, get yourself something to drink and nibble, make friends and have a look at what is on display.

12.30: Welcome. First from our generous hosts, the Tower Hamlets Archives, and then from members of the planning group (family and friends, THACHMO and other survivor historians) who will introduce themselves and explain the background to the event.

We hope to have what is called a "libation" in memory of those who have "passed on" (our ancestors) if someone can be found to do this.

Moving on from collective remembrance to remembering Philip, members of his family will tell you the Philip Morgan story,

We will then have a period of silent reflection on the spirit of the occasion, returning to the past to pick up what we have lost and travelling forward with it into the future. (Sankofa)

Harry Cumberbatch will then re-launch the Power Writers exhibition with a Power-Point Presentation explaining how preparing the exhibition and book helped counter stigma and racism and restore identity and self-respect, and outlining the lives and contributions of the five writers.

In introducing the Tower Hamlets Libraries and Archives African and Caribbean Community collection, the local archivists will explain how all their relevant archives are being brought together as one collection on the African and Caribbean Community experience.

Sharing memories of Philip and reflections on his SPiRiT, a spirit which he shared and includes all of us.

We will begin by explaining the images that have been so important in preparing this event: the image of the SPiRiT that Philip shared with us, a tribute by Andrew Roberts (outlined below) - the image of the Sankofa Bird symbolising (as Philip told us) that "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today." - the image of the paddle (Tabono) symbolising strength, confidence and perseverance in our emotional journeys, qualities reflected in the lives of our power writers - images that we have asked Philip's THACMHO colleague Sidney Millin to explain - the image of the Flaming Spirit by Sam Shakes that illustrates the back cover of the latest Asylum magazine. Sam explains that the flame is the infinite spirit, our life source. It burns in the midst of the blackness of grief and depression.

This will be followed by tributes and poetry from different people.

3pm: Brief closing remarks and communal singing of the Redemption Song by Bob Marley:

Old pirates, yes, they rob I,
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit

But my 'and was made strong
By the 'and of the Almighty
We forward in this generation

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but our self can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill de book

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but our self can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill de book

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever had
Redemption songs
All I ever had
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
These songs of freedom
Songs of freedom

Followed by refreshments and music and viewing of stalls and exhibitions. We have an hour to socialise (3pm-4pm) and then we need to clear up so that our hosts from Tower Hamlets Archives can go home at 5pm.

The A11 on this map is Mile End Road. Buses 25 and 205 run along this road. Stepney Green is the nearest tube. The library and archives is on the east side of Bancroft Road, before you reach Alderney Road.

Philip Lee Morgan was born in the London Borough of Lambeth on 13.1.1965. After an insecure childhood in foster homes and institutions he became homeless. With counselling and social work help he was rehoused and became a pioneer of "health through history", which explores recovering yourself through knowing who you are and who you relate to.

Philip's life is explored in the photographs and memorials on this page.

Philip died on 6.5.2017 and at his funeral in south London his friends and relatives resolved that his spirit would live on in celebration of his life and ideals, of relating to one another as one family, and of finding health in who we are. Philip was known, and liked to be known as SPiRiT, the poetic import of this name becomes clearer as we explore his own work and that of those who knew him

There is no escaping the pain of grief. Philip's friend Sam Shakes has explored the depths of emotions in her writing and her art. After Philip's death she formed a poetry group for bereaved people at St Joseph's hospital in Hackney. Her painting "Flaming Spirit" depicts the candle-light of life burning in the well of grief and depression and refusing to be put out.

In 1999 Philip Morgan joined Tower Hamlets African and Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMHO) and made a valuable contribution to its development especially through the Health through History initiative sub committee, established in 2001. He wrote about London's Black African History and Today in 2004.
Philip excelled at the dramatic representation of
THACMHO's symbols of perseverance from past to present (Tabono) and health through history (Sankofa).

"Our symbol, Tabono, is from the Akan people of Ghana. It represents strength, confidence and perseverance. The quality not only gives us direction but is also reflected in our Power Writers, whose contribution must not be forgotten".

"If one doesn't know where they come from, how can they know where they are at the present time, and how can they know where they are going in the future" (Philip Morgan)

Sankofa is a composite African word from san - to return; ko - to go; fa - to fetch, to seek and take, meaning "Go back and get it". The Sankofa bird is an associated symbol. There is an African saying: Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi (It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten).

The Sankofa Bird - Health Through History - THACMHO

This is the (anonymous) introduction to the second edition of Power Writers

There is an African concept called Sankofa. This concept is represented by a bird walking forward whilst looking backward. The success of the Tower Hamlets African Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMHO) has been its ability to move forward while remembering to do the very thing that sustained us through difficult times in this country.

Here we are honouring five African writers who we call our Power Writers. They are amongst the founders of Black literature in the English-speaking world. Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), Ukawsaw Gronniosaw (1710-1772), John Marrant (1755-1791), Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797), Quobna Ottobah Cugoano (1757-1801)

All lived in London during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. This was a period of great social change: the French Revolution (1787-1799), the American War of Independence (1775 - 1783) and in England there was an Abolition Movement supporting the struggle of enslaved Africans fighting for their freedom. During this period there was a Black presence throughout the British Isles, including Liverpool, Bristol and London. It was estimated that the Black London population was between 10,000-20,000, mainly men made up of domestic servants, sailors and Black Loyalists (Africans who were guaranteed their freedom as British soldiers during the American Revolution). In London there were Black settlements in Marylebone, Covent Garden and the East End specifically Mile End and Ratcliffe. It was here in London that the first breakthrough in the abolition of slavery came in 1772. This was known as the Somerset Case. The judge, Lord Mansfield. declared that a Boston slave-owner could not force James Somerset, an African, on board a ship bound for the West Indies. The Africans who crowded in the court gallery immediately celebrated. The judge estimated there were 14,000 slaves in England. After his verdict they could not be recaptured if they took their freedom. This news spread like wildfire throughout the British Empire. Our Power Writers came to London's East End for different reasons: Phillis Wheatley to get her book published, Ukawsaw Gronniosaw and John Marrant to find friends and join a religious community, and Equiano and Cugoano were active abolitionists who were involved with the Sierra Leone settlement. These writers give an important account of the issues facing African people at this time,

Following the success of the first edition, our booklet has been circulated nationally and internationally, It has been mentioned in the Houses of Parliament and taken up by some Tower Hamlets' schools - where children did the walk themselves during Black History Month 2004. The success and popularity of the walk has been officially recognised by Tower Hamlets Council who wish to incorporate it within their cultural walks programme. Furthermore libraries. community groups and a variety of other organisations in the UK and overseas have placed orders for our first edition.

All this shows how bringing this information to light gives us a means to rediscover areas of our history which have been hidden for far too long, Out of this comes a powerful tool which facilitates personal and community development through awareness of history, This is an important part of the healing process from the trauma of our past. THACMHO has identified that a strong vibrant and caring community is the best form of treatment that we can get. This publication is aimed at restoring lessons from our history so that our community can face the future with greater confidence, supporting individual self-esteem and enjoying a clearer understanding of the issues which face us today,

London's Black African History and Today (2004) by Philip Morgan

From Power Writers and the Struggle Against Slavery - Celebrating five African writers who came to the East End of London in the 18th century - Phillis Wheatley, Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, John Marrant, Olaudah Equiano , Quobna Ottobah Cugoano.

London's black history is one littered with tales of displacement and tragic misadventure. The evil horrors of the past have clearly left what may appear to be an indelible mark on the people and infrastructure of Britain today. Even though slavery has long been abolished, many of the prejudices of yesterday still remain intact in an advanced form of what is now called "institutional racism".

The success of Britain as a world power has to be mainly credited to colonialism and slavery, African peoples have made immeasurable contributions to the social and economic infrastructure of Britain for literally thousands of years through language, culture, science and religion to name but a few. The enslavement of Africans undeniably benefited capitalist development in Europe and the Americas far more than many are willing to admit. Millions of Africans were enslaved from the sixteenth century right up to the middle of the twentieth century, The vast majority lived and worked in terribly appalling conditions and had to put up with the most extreme forms of oppression as a centrally essential part of their everyday existence.

In spite of these dark and gruesome facts concerning Black History, it is evident that the spirit and resilience of African peoples remained strong. When they had the chance they diverted and amused themselves with various forms of companionship and entertainment. A few took pen to paper and recorded their experiences so that people of the future might begin to understand the appallingly flagrant depth of atrocities that existed then. Even so, it is worth noting that virtually all records of slavery written by slavers and the like reflected the evils practised therein. There are several distinct differences between Black writers of the past and those of the present. Without doubt writers of the past were concerned with their bondage and their more recent cultural ancestry, Whereas, many writers of the present are more concerned with other social issues relevant to their modernity, such as; crime, music, sex and violence. Other than that, perhaps the main issues of economic, racial and social oppression can ally themselves to the bedrock of the institutional racism which has remained consistent from the past to the present. This effectively means that despite the vast range of differences and the virtual vacuum between the writers of the past and present, there are interesting similarities linking them together: those being the influence of their life experiences in relation to race, its diasporas and the sub-cultures that have developed as a result.

Changes in White British attitudes towards Black people have been far more forced than voluntary which may have further institutionalised racism to a greater extent than it previously had been - this most especially when we consider the fact that the foundations of the British economy were centred on colonialism and slavery. Adding to this, Abolition served a crucial economic purpose. A lot of money was saved through the non provision of clothing, food, shelter and other everyday social benefits etc. Knowing this, slavers (or ex-slavers) and their associates were able to make even more vast amounts of money through rent, taxes, welfare and the supply of provisions. Furthermore, monies paid by the British government as compensation for Abolition was retained by the slavers with little if any being redistributed to the slaves themselves. Capitalism was further safeguarded by government censuses and official 'race categorisations'. None of which existed before the 'Black' or 'Negro' came to their so-called knowledge. This knowledge, rationalised through a subjective understanding of science and reason justified and formalised many of the divisions that have arisen within our world society over the past five hundred years. The engagement of Black professionals within government and business institutions has failed to stem the practice of social indifference and rough justice. Sadly many of us (or them) are seen to be integrated into a system that is inherently corrupt.

The world at present is wrought with a multitude of internal conflicts where earth culture and human identity seem to play little or no real part. Our everyday concept of knowledge is based on material factors and life is merely used to reinforce that false sense of reality. The rise of globalisation has brought about the destruction of numerous natural indigenous cultures and introduced new ones based on material ethics. It becomes clear that real self-consciousness can only be achieved through a better understanding of human and environmental realities. This simple yet honest approach to the way we perceive the world and each other will lead to an infinitely more accurate understanding of knowledge and life that can assist in the selective re-introduction of natural cultures and values more reflective of the human condition. This focus on a more natural human development in all elements of society will lead to self-realisation giving people a truer sense of identity and a greater purpose for living their lives .

These are the main issues worth considering in relation to the past, present and future of African peoples and their descendants:

I. Redemption may well be past its sell-by date as the wages of sin have well and truly been paid in full.

2. Reparations could not possibly begin to atone for one life let alone the countless millions that suffered and died for wretched worldly gains.

3. Repatriation can hardly be appealing for many descendants of Africa whose original native homeland continues to be gang-raped of its resources and kept with no soul.

Sadly there are many other issues needing to be addressed. An inheritance of the material and metaphysical follies of the world should not be an option in any way. The three points raised need not be so pessimistically cynical, however. The truth will always out and is always stranger than fiction.

PHILIP MORGAN was born in London in 1965 and has demonstrated his interests and concerns for the socially disadvantaged by working with several organisations and charities as a volunteer, Having pledged a lifelong commitment to genuine good causes, he is a positive advocate of good all round health focusing on physical, personal and spiritual health aspects in particular, His work with THACMHO has gone from strength to strength as the Power Writers book, in part, will testify.

Young Philip Morgan

For many years, Philip Morgan was a community radio disc jockey working for Galaxy FM in Peckham.

Galaxy FM, also known as GalaxyAfiwa says its mission is "to de-brainwash the black community". It combines soca and reggae music with black empowerment.

Galaxy uses the Southern African proverb "I am because we are and because we are I am" which relates the individual to his or her associations and culture.

"A Fi We Country" is the title of a reggae song commissioned in 1975 by the Jamaican Tourist Board from singer Max Romeo. It includes the lines "I know we've travelled far from those slave markets in Zanzibar, this land is our own sweat and blood, so let's live up, not shoot it up." The song title transliterated from patois means "For Our Country,"

Afiwe is a Yoruba (western Nigeria) verb for liken, as when we liken something to something else. It has been related to the way some west African languages are built like networks of comparisons, and also to the use of visual images with analogical (afiwya) force to engage the viewer in an idea. The Galaxy FM logo is an example of this. A Yoruba proverb says "If it is not present to the eyes, it does not weigh on the mind".

Jayasree Kalathil moved to the United Kingdom from India about 2003. This picture, part of a campaign, was taken in January 2016.

This is Jayasree's tribute to Philip Morgan:

Philip Morgan, one of our beloved brothers in the black and minority ethnic mental health user/survivor movement, has passed away. Philip had been with the Tower Hamlets African Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMO) for over 15 years as a volunteer coordinator. He also worked extensively with Social Action for Health, Mellow, Catch-a-fiya and other networks as trainer, campaigner, mentor, community worker. Philip was larger than life, with a great sense of humour and a veritable performer in public forums. My most abiding memory of him is at the launch of Catch-a-fiya [on 19.1.2007], where his MC-ing style brought a joy to the occasion while never side-lining the political and historical significance of a bunch of mad and minoritised people launching their network in the heart of London, in the Mayor's office.

As a writer, Philip contributed to several books, including 'Power Writers and the Struggle against Slavery', 'Lifting Barriers: African and Caribbean People Tell Stories of Struggle, Strength and Achieving Mental Health' and 'African History at the Tower of London'.

Philip was a historian of our cultures and struggles, especially of the Black history of East London.

I guess most people who knew him would have heard him explain eloquently the concept of 'Sankofa' - one imagination of which is of a bird with its feet forward while head turned back, symbolising how the critical examination and investigation of the past serves as a guide to the future.

He wrote in 'Power Writers': "...real self-consciousness can only be achieved through a better understanding of human and environmental realities. This simple yet honest approach to the way we perceive the world and each other will lead to an infinitely more accurate understanding of knowledge and life that can assist in the selective re-introduction of natural cultures and values more reflective of the human condition."

Philip was one of the people who welcomed me into the movement when I moved here 14 years ago. I have not had many occasions to meet with him in the last couple of years. I will miss the warm hugs and the half-joking, half-serious question regarding my on-again-off-again attempt to write the history of the black survivor movement: "Have you finished it yet? Where is my copy?" I guess I better get on with it.

Philip 'Spirit' Morgan, 1965-2017. Rest in peace, my brother. Jayasree Kalathil

Roy Hayde is a member of THACMHO. Breakdown is one of the poems he performed at the Reminiscence Conference of West Indian Seamen on 28.2.2004 which reflected his experiences shortly after becoming unwell.


Weekends come and weekends go.
Different kinda life to the one I used to know.
Since all the madness things have changed,
I really don't know if they will ever be the same,
Used to be active used to have fun.
Used to sit around and bun, bun, bun.
I don't smoke no more cause it intoxicate the brain something that could quite literally send me insane,
Friends stick around glad that they care.
Don't know what I would do if they were not there.
On medication one tablet a night,
put on so much weight it cause quite a fright.
Deep in my thoughts have to keep strong
sometimes I wonder where it all went wrong,
Was it stress like the doctor said or was it a depressed state deep in my head.
I guess some things you'll never ever know
It's just so funny how life can go.
Prada, stone island clothes I used to wear,
when I was on benefit they seem pretty dear
renegade eninem sending me crazy
why did I become so bloody lazy.
Was it the meds that got me in this state
or was it pure and simple that I put on this weight.
People say rocker pull yourself together
but sometimes I fill like I'm rougher than leather.
Going insane, insane is a crazy thing whole heap of problems it can bring
Thank God for family thank God for friends
All the things that help you mend.
Stopping my mind from a Uri Geller bend.
Time on my hands to work out the end.

Philip Morgan and Harry Cumberbatch 9.11.2006 at a reception held for THACMHO by the Tower of London Education department and (next) Sidney Millin with them at the same event

Daniel, Joanne, Yoshi, Maude and Philip Morgan at the Maastricht rail station in the Netherlands, where they attended the First World Hearing Voices Congress on 17.9.2009 and 18.9.2009

Philip Morgan performs Ukawsaw Gronniosaw in "A Pageant of Survivor History: Mental patients in poetry, story and song from the 18th to 21st century" at Kingsley Hall on Friday 19.3.2010


Birmingham University

Philip Morgan, ....,, , Daniel Johnson, Fabian Tompsett, Sam Shakes, Ian Ray Todd, David Kessel and Nelsy with the bus that took them to Birmingham University on Wednesday 14.7.2010 to talk about Health through history. Amongst the others who went on this historic journey were Joe Kelly, Nathalie Fonnesu and Dina Ibrahim.

"my name is Nelsy. I was born in Colombia"

Daniel Johnson

Philip Morgan used visual images with analogical (afiwya) force to engage the viewer in an idea

Dina Ibrahim was born under the African sun and she is buried in the Sudan, under the orange sun over the river Nile, which she loved

Sam Shakes and Fabian Tompsett provide a different angle on survivors history at the Birmingham seminar

Philip Morgan chats to Ian Ray Todd and Joe Kelly studies his papers from the Birmingham seminar aboard the Tower Hamlets Community Transport bus.

Daniel Johnson and Nathalie Fonnesu on the bus going home from Birmingham to Tower Hamlets.

Daniel is a stalwart of Tower Hamlets African and Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMHO) and Nathalie is a founder member of F.E.E.L. - Friends of East End Loonies . Both are members of the Survivors History Group

David Kessel has been buying curry from Mr Mo in the Shalamar Kebab House in Whitechapel for the past 25 years. David is another of the founders of F.E.E.L. - the Friends of East End Loonies , which meets in nearby Fieldgate Street.

F.E.E.L. (Friends of The East End Loonies)
By Kieran Bradley (2015)

I'm a Friend of the East End Loonies
You can take my word for that
I was told that I was mental
As in the loony bin I sat

I'm a Friend of the East End Loonies
I'm more batty than a bat
Due to the rising hate crime
Kindly keep that under your hat

I'm a Friend of the East End Loonies
We've always been treated bad
Nothing ever changes for the better
It's no wonder that we're mad

I'm a Friend of the East End Loonies
And that is no word of a lie
I'm a Friend of the East End Loonies
Will be one till the day I die

At the Friends of the East End Loonies
There is a welcome on the mat
I'm a Friend of the East End Loonies
Quis Separabit? and all that

Quis Separabit? means Who will separate us?


The seminar discussed the relevance of health through history to the African diaspora and to the mental health survivors movement. Philip spoke on Tower Hamlets Afro-Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMHO) 199* and others spoke on Survivors Speak Out 1986-2000 and Self Harm Activism 1986-2004.

Philip Morgan:

- Sankofa Bird - can look behind - a symbol. You have to look behind before you can move forward.

The Sankofa bird is flying forward while looking backward with an egg in its mouth. The egg symbolizes the future. "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today."

Highly relevant to African diaspora - their history is not just about slavery.

THACMHO going for 14 years - issues: medication: Afro Caribbean people get higher doses, longer courses and less or no access to talking therapies - this especially a problem in the past.

Health Through History project - book celebrating 5 African writers who came to London (Tower Hamlets) in the 18th century - e.g Phillis Wheatley (US house slave wrote a book of poems and given permission to go to London to get it published). The project started in response to local council publication that on 1000 years of history that didn't mention African / Caribbean people before 1960s

THACMO has produced a number of other publications. One of these concerns West Indian seaman. Philip's own father was a seaman. Another is about Africans and the Tower of London.

The organisation runs on £24,000 a year.


Louise Pembroke said that society's attitudes are reflected in psychiatry.

Ian Ray Todd said that psychiatry is a euro-centred science

Philip said that he thought it was more than just a matter of culture. The term he uses is "mindful ignorance". White people carry a great deal of guilt for what white society has done to black people in the past.

Andrew Roberts - talking about Survivors Speak Out (SSO) - 'a 'network' not a 'campaign' - begun by Peter Campbell

1985 - a new idea - 'survivors' - the term has struck a chord

1989 -Self Harm - Perspectives from Personal Experience by Louise Pembroke - personal accounts, not easy reading. Louise now hoping to get it made available to download free. Book demonstrates people's difficulty in getting support / being listened to.

Andrew's questions - What is the significance of the network's title?

What is the importance of survivors getting together?

What keeps things going? - NB Peter Campbell kept a newsletter going for years and it helped keep people linked up

What is the significance of doing it ourselves / speaking out?...


Discussion of terms -

David Kessel spoke about the arguments about the name "Survivors Speak Out" at Minstead Lodge. He and others wanted the organisation to be a "union" that representative of mental patients and organising us collectively in a struggle for our rights.

Andrew made point that 'mental patient' term was a political statement in the 1970s. Professionals would want to call them psychiatric patients. It was like the 'mad pride' label - taking the pejorative term to yourselves.

Louise Pembroke agrees not everyone likes the term 'survivor' and believes its about what people themselves are comfortable with and that linguistic 'fascists' - should not dictate what is appropriate.

Someone asked about the relation between Survivors Speak Out and critical psychiatry (on the one side) and movements in the black community on the other.

Louise Pembroke said that Survivors Speak Out really struggled to build bridges between black and white survivors and she wished they had achieved more.

Philip spoke about the positions of black and white survivors often being different. Black survivors are over-represented amongst those in poverty and poor conditions and the struggle with everyday living often leaves no time or energy for movement activities.

Andrew commented that the involvement in practical, material issues, may have been the reason that Mental Patients Unions appeared to have been more multi-cultural than Survivors Speak Out. Unlike Survivors Speak Out, MPUs were as much inside hospitals as outside. The first chair of Hackney Hospital Mental Patients Union was white, the second chair was afro caribbean. The involvement in housing and similar practical issues may also have made a difference.

Someone spoke about the ambiguity of terms. Should she define herself as able or disabled?

Someone else spoke of the importance of defining ourselves and not adopting other people's definitions.

There was a detailed discussion of self-harm and the work of self-harm activists to humanise approaches to self harm.

Mark Cresswell said that the two roots of activism were the feminist and survivor movement.

Why is it necessary? - 1979 research: Accident and Emergency staff despise and punish self-harmers - and this still happens - e.g. suturing without anaesthetic (trying to discourage repeat admissions? - no attempt to understand what drives the person's actions)

Philip Morgan says the system needs to be changed from the foundation not the roof.

Louise Pembroke says people are chipping away at the mountain but it will take a very long time. She advices new recruits to plan for their children and grandchildren. Do not expect change in your lifetime, but lay the foundations for change in the next.

Someone said "We are all people at the end of the day" - And it was the end of the day.

Philip Morgan and Fabian Tompsett at the Windsor conference of the Consortium for Therapeutic Communities in November 2010

Emotional journeys - December 2011

Sometimes the way we are treated makes us feel bad about ourselves. This was the message of books by Erving Goffman with titles like Asylums (1961) and Stigma (1963). These showed how the positive images that people have about themselves can be turned into negative ones.

Can we turn these negative images into positive ones? Some of us come to terms with our history by writing it down, including the pain of breakdowns and failures. Sometimes these accounts can be discussed with others in a safe environment and sharing our experiences may enable us to help one another.

Sadie Gower and Philip Morgan are members of the Survivors History Group.

As far back as the group has traced, people who suffer mental distress have individually and collectively worked with negative images and shared experiences with others in ways that are positive.

In this article, Sadie and Philip explore the benefits and dangers of such emotional journeys.

Philip seeks health through history

When Philip spoke at a Survivors History Group seminar at Birmingham University in July 2010 he displayed the theme of his talk on his T-shirt

The Sankofa bird turns to recover the past in order to fly forward. One of her meanings is that we should be willing to learn from our mistakes.

In the Akan language of Ghana, "sanko" means "go back" and "fa" means take. The Sankofa bird flies forward while looking backward with an egg in its mouth. Philip explained that the egg symbolizes the future.

"We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today."

Philip works and studies history in Tower Hamlets African and Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMHO). Its projects include "The Health Through History Initiative".

Its two symbols are Tabono representing strength, confidence and perseverance, and the Sankofa bird. Tabono (the paddles) suggests paddling a canoe upstream. It symbolises strength and endurance in our emotional journeys.

In 1996, THACMHO was started as a place to talk by psychiatric patients of African descent who found that they got more medication, but less talking therapy, than other people being processed by the system. Early conversations focused on the low self-esteem communicated by the idea that their history was the history of slavery. The group set about researching what their history actually was.

For "Black History Month" in 2001 they organised a history walk through Tower Hamlets, visiting sites associated with five African writers from the end of the 18th century. These included Phillis Wheatley, a house slave from the United States who wrote a book of poems and was given permission to go to London to get it published. After further research, they wrote and published Power Writers and the Struggle Against Slavery - Celebrating five African writers who came to the East End of London in the 18th century (2005).

In 2004 THACMHO organised a reminiscence conference on the history of West Indian Seamen who sailed regularly during the 1950s and 1960s on the Harrison Shipping Lines to the West India Docks. This too led to the publication of a book. They have also researched and published a book about Africa and the Tower of London.

In the Celebration of Survivor History (Time Together Summer 2010, pages 24-25) Philip played the part of Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African prince considered foolish or insane, who came to London and married an East End silk-weaver.

Sadie finds mixed emotions in history

Sadie has always wanted to know about her family's history. Recently she learnt to use the internet and began to explore online records. She tells us how this led to mixed emotions in her family. Family history is popular nowadays and Sadie found a survey (Anne-Marie Kramer Sociology volume 45, number 3, June 2011, pages 379-395) that shows how we relate family history to ourself, to feelings of belonging, and to who we think we are. Sometimes we hate it, sometimes we love it. Sadie's story shows how history can get very emotional.

I looked up my paternal grandmother's family because of a family myth that we are distant cousins of people who, amongst other things, helped to found the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals after the first world war. My sister and I remembered mother talking about them, and my sister saw a programme on television about them. I have a newspaper cutting which my mother cut out when the lady died in 1947, preserved carefully in tissue, and handed on to me.

I traced the lady's history, and that of her father, and after making notes, I looked further back, and found the generation before the father. I then had problems because I started to think!

This family must have been quite wealthy and important in their day. The grandfather was a lawyer and scribe in his town, and he, his wife and the children they lost as babies, were all buried in a huge stone vault in the parish church. By contrast, my great-grandmother could not write her name and marked official documents with a cross. I doubted if any of my close family ancestors, living at the same time as these rich people, were much more literate. Surely a lawyer would have read and written fluently, and have access to money, to study law and make a living writing documents for the people who could not write themselves.

Both families, poor and rich, lived in Kent, but in different parts. As their circumstances were so different, I began to doubt that they were related. As I thought about where the idea that we were related might have come from, I invented a new family myth: My mother and father played together as children, and started going out together as young teenagers. My mother told me how much they enjoyed "the pictures" (cinema films), which were the excitement of the 1920s. I imagined them seeing those old Pathe newsreels, and seeing people on them with a similar family name. I then imagined them arriving home for tea, and saying to Dad's mother "Are you any relationship to.......?" Grandma, I thought, might have found it amusing that the lifestyle they were so taken with could be in any way related to her family, and said with a wry smile. "Oh of course, they are my distant cousins"

There the idea stuck; the teenagers grew up, got married and had children, and faithfully told us that we were distantly related to these important people. Well, they had been through World War II in the interim.

When I excitedly told my sister what I had discovered, she seemed rather upset by what I said. I think this was because we both have close connections to our pets, and she liked to believe that had been passed down through the generations. Losing this family story was a real loss for her.

My family history research fascinates me, and gives me a sense of identity. but I will be more sensitive to other family members feelings about the material in future. They may have different feelings about the family story, and be attached to it in different ways. I could be treading on someone's dreams, even part of their sense of identity.

The Happy Man who Refused Love and Help by Sam Shakes is a fairy tale for all ages that tells how the benevolent Leon cannot accept Teresa's love and murders her. Are you capable of murder? it asks. Time to listen to what is going on in your head?

Sam wrote the story in 2011, before leaving England to travel in India. It is a story that reflects symbolically her own emotional journeys.

Philip Morgan reviewed the draft of Sam's short story on 2.1.2013, when he said:

This "short fairy tale for adults" is somewhat of an interesting read. I don't know if I like it, because it reflects many elements of the world that will never and should never be right. Furthermore, I have no belief in any aspect or element of the/this 'mutant world' that currently appears to exist. I actually found this fairy tale somewhat disturbing, but true to life perhaps for many out there?!! It is fairly short and succinct and it would seem like a winner kinda ting, so well done. Peace!

Sam published the story with a dedication to "Philip L. Morgan: One of the most influential teachers in my Life. I have benefited from you sharing your experiences, knowledge, and emotions. I continue to learn from our interactions, and appreciate you more than you 'know'".

Once Upon A Time there was a man named Leon who was always happy. You knew he was happy, because he told lots of jokes and made people laugh. When Leon wasn't making people laugh, he used to make them meals, because he thought it was important that people ate to keep well. One day Leon was feeling tired and wasn't able to tell as many jokes, or make meals. People wondered what was wrong and tried to find out. "What's wrong, Leon?" They asked. Leon said, "Nothing". Leon met lots of people who really liked his jokes and meals, and they were fond of him. He liked people being fond of him, and so he continued telling jokes, and making meals (even when he was tired). One day Leon got so tired, he became sick. There was no-one to help him. People had to make their own meals, and didn't have time to look after him. They became miserable, because Leon was not around to make them laugh. When Leon realised no-one was helping him, he wondered, "How can it be that I always want to make people happy and keep them well, and no-one wants to do the same for me?" When Leon got better, he started to tell jokes and make meals for people as he'd always done. People became happy again, and were glad for the meals. Leon carried on as normal, yet kept wondering, "How can it be that I always want to make people happy and keep them well, and no-one wants to do the same for me?" He was very disappointed, sad and angry. One day Leon met with a kind woman named Teresa whom he told of his problems and sadness. He had been so busy taking care of others that he'd forgotten to take care of himself. Teresa listened and wanted to love and help him, so he could look after himself, and he wanted the same. But Leon was scared that if he allowed Teresa to love and help him, she might not be able to, and he would feel disappointed, sad and angry, like he did before. So he didn't accept her love nor allow her to help (even though he wanted to). However, Teresa was keen to love and help this kind man, who was always trying to make people happy and keep them well. So she kept trying to love and help. But the more she tried - the more Leon tried to stop her. He began shouting and cursing her. She thought, "Oh, his problems must be making him so sad", and she tried to love and help him even more. Teresa's love and help were increasing Leon's wonder of disappointment and sadness. Her actions were making him more angry (even though he really wanted the love and help). Then one day Leon got so angry - he killed Teresa. He didn't want to, but he thought it was the only way he could stop her trying to love and help him. All the people he had made laugh and made meals for, were shocked. "What could Teresa have done to this happy, kind man to make him carry out such an act?" Teresa disappeared and became an angel. Leon was sent to prison and became a criminal. In prison Leon thought about his act of murder. He realised that it was his fear of love and anger that had driven him to desperation. He was sad he had missed a chance to be loved, and wished he'd never killed Teresa. "Poor Teresa - she was only trying to love me." When Leon was released from prison he vowed never to refuse love or help, again. He met with another kind woman and allowed her to love and help him, and Lived Happily Ever After.

International Survivor History - Solidarity in multicultural diversity - June 2014

Mad World


Philip Lee Morgan's birth certificate records that he was born 13.1.1965 in St Thomas's Hospital, Lambeth. His father was Sonny Morgan whose occupation is given as builder's labourer. His mother, Olive Morgan, formerly Campbell, of 21 Dagmar Road, Wood Green, N22 registered his birth on 21.1.1965. Registration district: Lambeth.

Philip and Rupert Morgan kissing their mom in hospital about 2013

An old sepia photograph of Rupert Morgan standing with his baby brother Philip in a baby basket. Taken about 1966, when Philip was a year old.

Philip leaves behind: four sisters (including Lori Ann Morgan and Serena), one brother (Rupert Morgan), nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, great grand newphews and a great grand niece. Aston Campbell, an uncle, read at his funeral. He is also survied by several cousins, including Janet Lettman, Shawn Martin and Wayne Martin, and Dionee Davis.

Philip Morgan and sister Lori Ann Morgan celebrate with drinks in Florida, USA.

Brothers Rupert Morgan and Philip Morgan with encouragement for everyone from Georgia, USA

Composite of two photographs taken in about 2013 at a convention centre in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA. "The event was advocating for improved health care in our communities and other issues. Philip and I stopped at a National Urban League (NUL) kiosk that was taking pictures and they invited us to pick one of the many signs available and be pictured with it. It is part of the NUL campaign to encourage people to be force for change and affirm an 'I am...' statement... 'I am someone and or something...'. The event encouraged us to participate in challenging and changing the status quo to improve health care, housing, child care jobs, voter rights etc in our communities. The pictures represent our pledges in that respect." (Rupert)

January 2014: Cousins and good friends Philip Morgan, Shawn Martin and Wayne Martin meet at the 50th birthday celebration of cousin Janet Lettman'

All in white, Sam Shakes takes time to care for elderly distraught bagman (Andrew Roberts) outside Philip Morgan's funeral on Thursday 15.6.2017

From cousin Shawn A. Martin - A message from Philip

Victor Barnet a close and mutual friend of both Philip and myself. He died suddenly six months prior to Philip and was buried end of January 2017 while Philip was attending his mother's funeral in the United States. As Philip was unable to attend he sent a voice text to be played at Victor's funeral service. I typed up the words and read a small part of it for Philip at his own funeral a few months on.

"We shouldn't grieve for the departed because they've gone to a better place where they no more suffering, taxes or getting up early, no more misery no more pain

We should show respect to one another not cheat nor lie Don't begrudge his freedom as we must be glad that he no longer has to go through the pain and strive of everyday life but at the same time we must continue to be honest and decent and personable with each other just as we come together as individuals to form this collective in memory and respect of him his family and his life and ting, we must be mindful of ourselves and look out for each other respectfully and honestly

We shouldn't lie to each other we shouldn't deceive each other and we shouldn't look to get things over one another - very important because all these things will come back and lick us down and we don't want to be licked down by nobody especially yourself or anybody else.

I give thanks for knowing Victor. I'm going to miss you my brother - miss you quite a bit still - miss you hearticaly. But me nah grief fi you and mi nah mourn fi you because mi know say yu inna betta place and mi know say you family and you friends will continue to think highly of you and respect and love you in the best way. I hope everyone has a nice day and everything goes well and peace and love to you ALL. Heartically love peace and unity."

[Translation of last paragraph]

I give thanks for knowing Victor. I'm going to miss you my brother - miss you quite a bit still - miss you hearticaly. But I wont grieve for you and I won't mourn for you because I know that you are in a better place and I you're your family and your friends will continue to think highly of you and respect and love you in the best way. I hope everyone has a nice day and everything goes well and peace and love to you ALL. Heartically love peace and unity."

Anonymous   He pushed the boundaries of mental health

No name   I never had the pleasure of meeting Philip but I am impressed with his work. Power Writers is an important publication and project. I wish him and his loved ones all the best, safe journey

Desreen Shakes   RIP Philip

Will Hall   I'll always remember Philip, such a dear sweet man. He touched me with his remarkable and unmistakeable spirit, his dedication to a strongly felt vision of liberation.

Gerald Osei - Kofi   I had the pleasure of spending inspirational and positive times with my good friend Philip ... Happy for the almighty to have granted me the pleasure of meeting/sharing wonderful times with you!!Bless

Anonymous   Brother Philip, the work is over on earth. You join the ancestors who have gone before you to become an ancestor. Continue to be the spirit you once were on earth. R I P rise in glory.Peace & Love U

Martina Berti   You were such a funny happy character Philip, and will be missed.

Sadari Shakes   RIP Dear Phillip

Anonymous   Nothing and Everything... The Almighty Creator knows.. You knew & I knew... You were my Worse, You were my Best. You were my Unconditional Love, my Best Friend... And, it hurts like 'Brand New Shoes.'

DOUGLAS mbuthia

Janet McMillan   Sad news. My thoughts are with Philip's family and friends at this sad time. X

P Vernon

Stephen Laudat   Sorry to hear of the passing of your brother. He was not perfect like the rest of us but he was loved by many. May he rest in peace.

Sister Zhanreenah   When I first came to THACMO, Phillip was the first one to offered me a cup of tea and made me feel welcome. I loved his passion and commitment to the group. He shared positiveness, happiness and joy.

Andrew Roberts   The Survivors History Group will remember Philip as the person who made the idea of health through history come alive for us. He has not just joined the ancestors - he has become our ancestor.

Icina Shakes   Such very very sad news and so sudden. Rest in Peace Philip you will be missed so much. xx

Raymond Smith   Phillip your humour, jokes and laughter when you enter a room will be missed and not forgotten.......Rest In Peace.

Angela Clarke   My deepest sympathies my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sinita Millin

Fabian Tompsett   We remembered Philip at the meeting of Friends of East End Loonies on Friday. We made a small collection for the funeral.

Pauline Facey   Thanks for the memories Phillip!

Sandra Griffiths   Goodbye dear Philip. I will miss our deep conversations and your funny observations and quips. You made such an impact on my understanding of humanity and spirituality. Love, Sandra

Carly Bond   Thanks for the jokes and your unique philosophy bredrin. Love and blessings for the next place xxxx

Elizabeth Bayliss   Philip was an inspiration to me. We talked and talked and I always learnt something new. God bless you, brother!

Grace Dunkley   Im a friend of Lori. Bless you

Anonymous   From a well wisher.

Nat F   Well done for all your work Philip. You'll be remembered

Rupert Morgan   Love to brother Phil

Fabian Tompsett   Hi Shawn,I had the privilege of knowing Philip for many years, prinicpally through THACMHO, but also as a friend and neighbour on the Isle of Dogs.

Gordon Joly   Very sorry to hear of the loss of a very kind and gentle man.

Shawn Martin   Phil you were a true gent. RIEP my cuz.

The Spirit of surviving together

by Andrew Roberts.

The spirit of Philip Morgan is not just about Philip, it is about all of us. Spirit is for sharing. It is our spirit.

In words from the latest Asylum magazine: there are many "creative identities in the spirit of Philip Morgan". As I speak, please think about your identity and how valuable you are.

I am what used to be called a mental patient and is now called a survivor or service user. I belong to the Survivors History Group, which goes back to the past to find out who we are, to appreciate the present, and to fly forward.

I can only say that like that because of Philip who communicated to me his philosophy and that of the Tower Hamlets African and Caribbean Mental Health Organisation (THACMHO).

I am also helped in saying it by others such as Sidney Millin and Sam Shakes who will share with us the symbols of the spirit that they helped create.

When I first met Philip, on 30.10.2009, he gave me a copy of Power Writers and the Struggle Against Slavery, in the front of which he wrote: "To the Survivor History Group. From one group of survivors to another as we are all family in more than one sense of the word".

Soon afterwards, Philip and other THACMHO members joined the Survivors History Group and both groups have worked together since then.

By what they say, power writers change our perception of who we are. Their power is the power of words.

Modern science suggests that the whole human family has developed out of Africa. The cause of recovering African culture to which Philip devoted much of his energy is something in which we can all share.

Our spirit can expresses itself in many creative forms, story telling, poetry, painting, taking photographs, smiling and embracing one another, singing, dancing, grieving, comforting one another, sharing a meal, looking after our families, exploring our histories, collecting memories, being a disc jockey, performing a play, living and sharing.

In Power Writers, Philip wrote about "self-realisation giving people a truer sense of identity and a greater purpose for living their lives"

Philip has been described by his friend Steve Laudat as a "motivational speaker". He was a power presenter of the relevance of "London's Black African History and Today". Survivors from all over England who saw and heard him perform Ukawsaw Gronniosaw in the Pageant of Survivor History at Kingsley Hall on Friday 19.3.2010 will have some idea of the qualities that earned him the name "Spirit".

In his "last words", Philip wrote:

"Cast not thy fate to the wind, nor anything else. For ye are not the wind nor fate and neither are ye to be casted"

As Philip and his brother Rupert have also said, we are "a force moving forward" - "a force boundless".

Spirit does not cease to blow when you do not see it.

Asylum is a quarterly mental health magazine for democratic discussion. The March 2018 edition includes a review of Ravaged Wonderful Earth, A Collection for David Kessel and an article on "Creative Identities in the Spirit of Philip Morgan" which discusses, amongst other things, the THACMHO logo above. The back cover features a painting called Flaming Spirit by Sam Shakes

The flame is the infinite spirit, our life source. It burns in the midst of the blackness of depression. A wall of black, red and white bricks encircles the depression, equally incarcerating and shielding: Imprisoning the 'depression' and protecting me from the unsafe out-side world of people, the environment and the status quo. The bricked wall is built on fear. Its black bricks of depression are mixed with red bricks of anger arising from being depressed and anger at other people's insensitivity, and white bricks of suffering. Outside the wall a field of red denotes the encompassing danger. But in the middle the flaming spirit burns and will not be put out.

I would curse it - "Why am I made to keep going? It is punishment making me stay." I tried many attempts to silence the flaming spirit. I tried with drink, but I drank myself sober. with eats, but was never satisfied ... with sleep, but became restless. I contemplated how I could kill it, how many tablets would it take, how much brandy?

But the flaming spirit still shone - somewhere in the distance, somewhere that felt far from me. In the dense darkness of depression, of hopelessness, in misery and in despair, with thoughts of giving-up - of suicide -, the flaming spirit refused to move-on. "Not yet" it continually whispered, subtly, but with great strength. I listened to the flaming spirit - I listened to the master and core of our existence and managed clinical depression. (March 2008)

Last words of Philip L. Morgan 'Spirit' on his Facebook page 29.4.2017

If home is where the heart is, then perhaps in an ideal real wor(l)d home ought to be all, any and every place where there is a heart.

Thy heart is within/out thyself and does not exist without thee.

Cast not thy fate to the wind, nor anything else. For ye are not the wind nor fate and neither are ye to be casted.

Thy heart and thy home ye create as ye desire and will in the non-true non- entirety of the wor(l)d.

Meaning ye are before, within/out and beyond the wor(l)d/s that may seem to confine thee.


Survivors History Group: Contact Andrew Roberts

Philip Morgan was a member of the Survivors History Group, whose logo is a fish swimming freely, the snake of knowledge, and the beating heart of the world. For the Survivors History Group: visit the website or contact Andrew Roberts