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Can you help us to fill an important gap in our First World War archives?

23 September 2013 by Felicity

We need your help in filling an important gap in our archives. Here’s Karen O’Rourke, Curator of Social History at Museum of Liverpool, to explain:

“Museum of Liverpool has a fabulous exhibition about Liverpool people in the First World War, but when I was putting together the exhibition, I realised that we didn’t have any material about the local Black and Minority Ethnic community. It concerned me that we were effectively missing a chunk of the local population and when I was given the opportunity to suggest potential First World War projects that could feature in Museum of Liverpool, it was my first choice! Read more…

Book sale bargains

3 January 2013 by Karen

A brightly coloured teaset

A divine Clarice Cliff ‘tea for two’ set from Age of Jazz.

As January is synonymous with sales and spring cleaning we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of a clear out in our book warehouse. So if you fancy bagging yourself a bargain then check out the offers on our online shop.

It’s an eclectic selection and there are some great books, my personal favourites being ‘When Time Began to Rant and Rage…’ which is a fab book of Irish figurative work and totally worth a fiver, Age of Jazz: British Arts Deco Ceramics as I’m a sucker for a deco teaset, and British Watercolours and Drawings from the Lady Lever’s collection.

If you’ve still not got a John Moores catalogue then now is the time to buy one as they’re reduced to £7.50. And if you buy it from the Walker shop you get the John Moores China version for free. Read more…

Britain’s Black Community on the home front

19 November 2012 by Sam

Vikky Evans Hubbard from the International Slavery Museum has news of a talk this Thursday:


archive photo of a young Black evacuee holding a suitcase

An evacuee. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

During this month of remembrance, the International Slavery Museum are pleased to welcome author and historian Stephen Bourne, whose work documents the history of Black communities living in Britain.

Stephen’s book, ‘Mother Country – Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front, 1939-45’, unearths a ‘hidden history’ of Britain and the Second World War.

At the International Slavery Museum this Thursday 22 November at 1.30pm, Stephen will give an illustrated talk highlighting some of the forgotten Britons he features in the book, including the community leaders Dr Harold Moody and Learie Constantine, Esther Bruce, singer Adelaide Hall and bandleader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson. Read more…

Elroy Josephs, a tribute

9 October 2012 by Andrew

Performer Elroy Josephs

Tributes to be paid to the life and work of Liverpool based performer Elroy Josephs (1939-1997).

As part of our Black History Month 2012 programme, the International Slavery Museum presents a tribute to actor and dancer, Elroy Josephs in an evening of movement and memories that celebrates the work and artistic achievements of the Liverpool-based artist.

Elroy, who arrived in the UK from Jamaica in 1956 developed a ground breaking fusion of African-Caribbean and European dance styles that changed the way dancers and choreographers thought about movement. Central to this was his understanding of plantation slavery in the Caribbean and its colonial legacy. How he felt this history lived within him and informed his work and gave it the power and emotion he felt was essential for dance to have. Despite Elroy’s influence on British dance heritage, (he was the first Black dance tutor at a British University), his story is largely absent from the history of British Dance. Read more…

UK Black History Month: 25 years old and counting

5 October 2012 by Andrew

National Museums Liverpool's Black History Month 2012 poster

National Museums Liverpool’s Black History Month 2012 poster

Hello,

Welcome to Black History Month (BHM).  First of all you can find a list of the varied events we have planned by clicking here. Over the past few years BHM has had a number of detractors, mainly by those who point out that every month should be a BHM and that Black history should be embedded in all history taught as part of the curriculum.  I could not agree more, however, I still believe it is a very worthwhile event as it often the first time some people, of all ages, engage with Black history.  This might not be ideal but it is a fact.  We have similar experiences here at the Museum.  For many people we are an introduction not only to transatlantic slavery and contemporary forms of slavery but African achievement, African culture, African civilization and indeed African resistance.  All these subjects should be obligatory aspects of world and British history, but alas, we are not there quite yet, so in the meantime, let’s get behind BHM events nationwide.
Read more…

West African Donors to World Museum

19 April 2012 by Alison

Did you know that almost eighty Africans are known to have donated more than 500 objects to World Museum. Their donations helped to create one of the most important historical collections of African cultural artefacts in Britain.

A new display at World Museum shows photographic portraits of some of the West Africans who made donations to the museum between 1897 and 1916.

Most of them were taken by West African photographers. All the donors were friends or contacts of Arnold Ridyard, the steamship engineer who transported their gifts to Liverpool. Read more…

One game, one clear message needed

6 January 2012 by Richard

people watching football match at Leeds

Crowds prepare to watch the action at Elland Road, Leeds

In 2008 I wrote a blog about my experiences as a Leeds United fan and how Elland Road in the early 80s was a haven of racist abuse and bigotry, usually aimed at opposing Black and Asian players and fans.  I explained how I felt uncomfortable when hundreds of people chanted something racist but at the same time I refused to leave or walk away.  I had as much right as anyone to be there, I was a Black Yorkshireman and proud of it.
Read more…

Do you remember Olive Morris?

30 September 2011 by Sam

This year we’ve got our busiest ever programme for Black History Month, with lots of free events taking place across several venues. Here’s some information about the subject of one of the first talks, activist Olive Morris, from education manager Vikky Evans-Hubbard:


photo of a woman with a megaphone

Copyright Lambeth Archives

“Do you remember Olive Morris? was a community art project seeking to bring to wider public attention the history of Brixton-based activist Olive Morris (1952-1979).

In her short life, Olive Morris co-founded the Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent (OWAAD) and was part of the British Black Panther Movement. She campaigned for access to education, decent living conditions for Black communities and fought against state and police repression. Despite dying at a young age, she empowered the people who lived and worked around her.
 
At the project’s inception, there were no public records about Olive Morris, and no information about her was available on the internet.
 
This long term project was started in 2006 by Brixton-based artist Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre, when she encountered a photograph of Olive Morris taken by British Black Panthers’ photographer Neil Kenlock. The photo shows Olive Morris standing at a Black Panther Movement demonstration in Coldharbour Lane in 1969, and holding a placard reading: “BLACK SUFFERER FIGHT PIG POLICE BRUTALITY”. Research into this particular moment in local history led to a meeting with community activist Liz Obi, a friend and colleague of Olive Morris, who then become a key collaborator in the project.  
 
On Monday 3 October the International Slavery Museum is pleased to welcome Nadja Middleton, from the Remembering Olive Collective, who will tell us more about this inspirational young woman’s life and the project that has preserved her memory.
 
During October, Olive Morris will be added to the Black achievers wall in the Legacy gallery.
 
To reserve a place for this free event, please call 0151 478 4432.” Read more…

The power of images

2 August 2011 by Richard

woman looking at framed photographs

Visitor at the Living Apart exhibition

Hello

Well there have been plenty of things happening here at the museum since my last blog post. We have launched three very successful and eclectic exhibitions: Living Apart: photographs of apartheid by Ian Berry; ’42′ Women of Sierra Leone, a series of photographs of Sierra Leonean women, highlighting the alarming fact that life expectancy for them is only 42 and Toxteth 1981, a community exhibition developed in collaboration with the Merseyside Black History Month Group to mark the 30th anniversary in July 2011 of the 1981 riots in Toxteth, Liverpool. The latter involved members of the Liverpool Black community who lived in Toxteth during the disturbances loaning photographic material for the exhibition. The images gave them a voice which I believe is very important if museums are to be truly seen as a resource by the local community in particular. Read more…

Fela – The Black President

12 January 2011 by Lisa

FELA! is a new musical that is taking the world by storm! Here is our Education Manager, Vikky Evans-Hubbard, from the International Slavery Museum to tell us more about it…


While in London recently I was lucky enough to see the London Production of FELA! at the Royal National Theatre. The musical, produced by Jay-Z and Will and Jada Smith, tells the story of Afrobeat pioneer and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
 
Born into a middle class Nigerian family in 1938,  a cousin of writer Wole Soyinka, who was later to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, his mother was a well renowned political activist in the anti-colonial movement, and he was exposed to political ideas at an early age.
 
His belief that art should be political meant that inevitably his music carried strong messages. His influences included the Black Power Movement, discovered while in the United States, this led him to change his middle name to Anikulapo (meaning “he who carries death in his pouch”), stating that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name.
 
Fela’s music, ‘Afrobeat’ is a fusion of Yoruba rhythms, Highlife, Jazz, Funk, chanted vocals and call and response. It became hugely popular in Nigeria and across the continent in general. He sang in pidgin English, so that his music could be enjoyed and understood by individuals all over Africa where the local languages spoken are many and diverse.Music terminals with headphones in the slavery museumThe music desk in the Legacy gallery at the International Slavery Museum. Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.