18 October 2018

The Great African Blondin

Carlos Trower (1850-1889) escaped slavery in America to become known as ‘The African Blondin’, one of the world’s greatest ever high-rope walkers.

In the 1870s, Carlos Trower lived at 7 Christmas Steps, Bristol and he performed for thousands at Colston Hall in 1888, walking forwards and backwards, blindfolded and in shackles on a rope 50 feet high and reaching 120 feet from the organ to the President’s gallery.

His daring performances supported the emancipation of slaves and championed many charities helping those in need throughout his career. He died from a painful illness in 1889.

Reading from his forthcoming book High-Rope: A Poem of the African Blondin, Dr. Paul Green unveils the little-known story of this African-American hero as he balanced the narrow way towards a better world.

Speaker: Dr Paul Green is a circus historian, performer, and honorary research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton

This is a UWE Regional History Centre talk.