Vox pop | How do you engage people with Black British history? - Museums Association

Vox pop | How do you engage people with Black British history?

'The sense of urgency to seek understanding of our identities and to explore our roots is palpable'
Black history Museum X
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Edinam Edem-Jordjie
MA Student in anthropology and museum practice, Goldsmiths, University of London

“The reality of racism operates in a myriad of ways but seems especially potent through a lack of knowledge and understanding of Black British history. I think the key to getting people to engage with Black British history is to make it clear that Black Britons are a part of this country’s history, with contributions to British culture that predate the arrival of Windrush, European colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade.”

Sharon Tomlin
Independent African-Caribbean family historian and genealogist

“The Black British experience dates back to well before 1948. The sense of urgency to seek understanding of our identities and to explore our roots is palpable today. We need to address this at all levels of the system, through creating age-appropriate spaces that facilitate open and honest dialogue about people and the multiple identities that we are made up of. We need to engage people through organised community activities across all communities. Black British history is for everyone.”

Afua Imoh
Director of True Talk Africa, a community interest company based in Sheffield that educates people about the culture and history of countries in Africa

Black British history should not be approached as a separate topic deserving special attention once a year. It should be incorporated into whatever historical period is under discussion. Discussions of the Roman empire, for example, should mention that African soldiers were stationed at Hadrian’s Wall. This integration of the Black presence into everyday British history is key to demonstrating that the history of these isles has long been intertwined with that of Black people.”

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