Bristol: Enslavement to Equality – Peaches Golding and her Family’s Journey to Justice

When

1810 onwards

Where

USA to Bristol

Lois Patricia Hauser, known as ‘Peaches’ Golding, was born on 13th December 1953 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her immediate family was one of a small group of middle-class Black families in the American South. Though better educated and better off than most African American families, they were still subject to segregation and racial discrimination. And the reason for their relative advantage itself had its roots in injustice and slavery.

How did a little Black girl born under racist ‘Jim Crow’ laws as a descendant of an enslaved woman, come to be appointed the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol and personal representative of the monarch? Here is her remarkable story.

Image of a handwritten document listing names and prices of slaves.



A document listing Theophilus’s slaves in 1858. Bethania is now valued at $850. She learned to read and write which helped her descendants become better off than most African Americans.
Black and white photograph showing a group of around 20 black and white male farmers posing for the camera with horses and some farm machinery.
The ‘Hauser boys’, a crew of farm labourers, c.1900. The white foremen and Black labourers may have been related. After the abolition of slavery, many former slaves remained trapped on the plantations paying rent through crops in a cycle of debt bondage. 
Black and white photograph showing a Black man and woman stood facing the camera.
Golding’s’ grandmother Callie Victoria Hauser (1899-1983), one of Bethania’s grandchildren, and her husband Daniel Montgomery (1892- 1965). Both were born into a South dominated by Jim Crow laws and lived to see the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. They fought successfully to get secondary education for Black people in their community.
Three quarter length portrait of a Black G.I. proudly posing for the camera in military uniform with a photography studio backdrop.
Golding’s father Charlie Brady Hauser serving as a G.I. in France c 1945. He and his twelve siblings all had degrees from Black universities and Charlie later became a Professor of Education and a representative in the North Carolina General Assembly. 
Photograph of Rosa Parks and Charles Golding, and two unnamed individuals in the background, smiling for the camera.
Charlie with Rosa Parks, c.1970s, at an event honouring them both as pioneers in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1947 Charlie successfully sued a bus company after being threatened with lynching for refusing to sit at the back. This was eight years before Rosa’s action in Montgomery that, in turn, inspired the bus boycott in Bristol.

My father was not so much a civil rights activist as one who knew his self-worth and the law… he successfully challenged Greyhound Bus when they broke the law by demanding that he sat at the back of the bus… He was awarded damages of $2,000 [and] used the money to buy a car so that he would never have to ride the buses again.

Peaches Golding
A season’s greetings card features a photograph showing Father Christmas surrounded by five female university students, including Golding.
A greetings card from 1975 showing Golding at the University of North Carolina where she gained her Biology degree and was one of the very few Black students.  
A photograph showing Golding posing with an elephant.
Golding worked as a teacher in Nigeria where she met her husband, the Bristol-born zoologist Bob Golding. 
A photograph showing Golding and her husband smiling and holding her OBE medal.
Golding with her husband at Windsor Castle after receiving her OBE in 2009 for services to minority ethnic people. The couple moved to Bristol in 1983 where Golding established a business and worked for a range of causes focused on youth opportunity, race equality, mental health and education. 
A photograph showing Golding and the Prince of Wales in conversation.
In 2010 Golding became the first Black female High Sheriff before being appointed in 2017 as Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, the first Black woman to hold this post. Shown here with the Prince of Wales, she is the personal representative of the monarch in the city. She has served on a range of organisations’ boards including the Ethnic Minority Business Forum and the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

One of the roles of Lord-Lieutenants is to try to bring the country and regions together…. it is an enormous privilege to represent the Queen, and to reflect the spirit, diversity and enterprise of the people of Bristol back to the royal family.

Peaches Golding

All images are by kind permission of Peaches Golding.

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