‘Righteous Anger’—new book celebrates Sir Michael and Ann Dummett’s anti-racist activism

New College, Oxford has published a book, bringing to life the anti-racist activism of former Fellow, Sir Michael Dummett, and his wife Ann a decade after their deaths. 

Dummett was one of the greatest British philosophers of the 20th century. But he and his wife Ann also dedicated their lives to the battle against racial injustice—a battle which, despite their pioneering work, still very much exists today. 

Righteous Anger, published by New College Library & Archives for the 10th anniversary of Michael’s death, documents this lifelong commitment to racial justice and equality—a commitment that led him to record the Montgomery, Alabama busing crisis as a first-hand witness, play a key role in the founding of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), and get arrested for resisting the police break-up of a picket around an Oxford hairdressing salon that refused to serve non-white customers. 

Along with a selection of archival and unpublished photographic material, the book includes some of Michael’s writings, new biographical sketches of Michael and Ann, the tributes of family and friends, and critical essays illuminating the historical background as well as some philosophical presuppositions of their work against racism. 



'It is one thing to be acknowledged during one’s lifetime for efforts in the fight against racism. It is another to be acknowledged at the time of one’s death. But for our parents to be remembered ten years later is a testament to their dedication and achievements. Their family are very grateful to New College for this book and to all those who have researched and contributed to the event and publication.

But this is not merely about the Dummetts, it’s about the evils of racism and if New College’s endeavours assist in the constant battle against it, then they will have contributed to the fight our parents were committed to.'

Suzie Dummett, daughter

Further activities commemorating Sir Michael Dummett

New College is also hosting a symposium about Sir Michael Dummett on 21st November, and has launched a new fellowship in his name, promoting diversity. 

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