Of all the deserving people in black history to base our statue on, why have we chosen Charlie Hutchison for Oxford's first ever statue built to memorialise a black person?
Below are the reasons we believe that Charlie Hutchison is the most appropriate person for a statue
Somebody who was either black or a mixed race person
Oxford city is filled with countless statues of influential individuals from British history, the construction and display of which is a staple of our city's culture. However, despite having a presence in Oxford for hundreds of years, none of our statues commemorates the achievements of a black person. Our proposed project for a statue dedicated to a black individual is what makes our statue so unique. It is not often that a city as ancient as Oxford gets 'first times' like this.
Somebody who was denied their place in history
When looking for black individuals to commemorate, we preferred to look for somebody whose achievements have lacked widespread recognition. This gives our project more meaning, as it brings to light a side to history that otherwise would have been missed. For this reason we avoided historical figures such as Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela, as their achievements are already widely recognised and celebrated. Charlie Hutchison on the other hand is an invisible figure in history, only being discovered by historians in the past decade.
Somebody who was born in Oxfordshire
To give our proposed statue a much greater contribution to Oxford's local culture, we looked for a black person whose achievements have not been widely recognised, and was born in Oxfordshire.
By choosing a person who was born either inside or close to the city, it increases the meaningfulness of our project.
Somebody who risked their life to save people's lives
Statues of military figures are some of the most common monuments in Oxford. It make sure that our statue adds something new to Oxford's local culture, we chose to look for somebody whose actions saved lives, rather than focusing on how skilled they were at taking them. Charlie Hutchison saved countless lives as an ambulance driver during the Spanish Civil War.