BCA talk to explore gaps in black history

On Thursday 12 November, the Black Cultural Archives is hosting the second annual Len Garrison Memorial Lecture, titled Gaps in Black History, at the Institute of Historical Research in central London.

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The annual lecture series is dedicated to Black Cultural Archives co-founder Len Garrison, who was an educationalist, activist and advocate for children’s education and teaching of black history. For the inaugural lecture last year, the BCA hosted Baroness Floella Benjamin, who spoke about her childhood. This year’s lecture will explore some of the lesser known periods of Black British history.

To explore ‘Gaps in Black History’ the BCA has assembled a lineup of leading experts: historian, producer and presenter of the recent BBC documentary series Forgotten Slave Owners David Olusoga, historian and writer Marika Sherwood, and freelance journalist and historian Dr Miranda Kaufmann.

There is absolutely appalling ignorance about the presence of people of African origin in this country,” says Marika, “which goes back to the Roman period”. Marika will be speaking specifically about what is known about black people who were here from 1890 to 1910, which includes the first Pan-African Conference in 1900 organised by Henry Sylvester Williams.

“When you talk about black history, people just think about the civil rights movement, Mary Seacole, or Windrush,” adds Dr Kaufmann, “but it actually stretches back much much further than that.” From a needlemaker in Cheapside to a silkweaver in Southwark, Dr Kaufmann has been exploring the stories of black people living in Tudor Britain and will be speaking about her work at the event.

The talk will be followed by the opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Tickets are £10 and you can book them online. The event starts at 4.45pm on Thursday 12 November and takes place at the Institute of Historical Research close to Russell Square Tube station.