Some Common Bond
from Making Connections published by Birmingham Libraries
"I've learned that my people are not the only ones oppressed... I have sung my songs all over the world and everywhere found some common bond... whether people weave, build, pick cotton or dig in the mine, they understand each other in the common language of work, suffering and protest."
Birmingham's status as an international city is already well-known. Its international trading links stretching far back into the eighteenth century and beyond.
The firm of Matthew Boulton and James Watt is perhaps one of the best known, establishing Birmingham as one of the key sites of the Industrial Revolution. As the city exported goods and expertise, so its influence was felt far and wide, in the way people of all countries lived and worked.
This influence was not restricted to physical goods and products. Birmingham has also long been home to both individuals and groups eager to influence the conditions people live in, and as they believed, to change them for the better.
From the anti-slavery campaigns of Joseph Sturge in the nineteenth century through to the founding of the Indian Workers Association in the 1930s, and the city's active Anti-Apartheid movement in the 1980s, Birmingham has always been involved in world-wide social and political movements.