With his election to the office of Mayor of Battersea in 1913, Richard Archer became the first mayor of African descent in the city of London. Archer was born in Liverpool and later moved to Battersea where he ran a photographic studio. His nomination for the position of mayor followed his several years on the borough council and didn’t come without controversy. He was the subject of racist taunts and insults, finally winning the election by only one vote. Archer became President of the African Progress Union in 1918, working for equality and black empowerment. The heritage plaque on his former home in Battersea reads “John Richard Archer, Mayor of Battersea who fought social and racial injustice lived here”.