The stories and social histories of Black people with African heritage will be shared in Our Histories Revealed, a fascinating exhibition at Hull History Centre next month, as part of the African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire project.
The project, which received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in May 2016, aims to create a record of the local stories, oral histories, art and music that have been collected from people across Hull and the East Riding, from extraordinary family histories to anecdotes remembered over the dining table.
It examines the presence and contribution of people of African descent from 1750 to 2007, the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, in the region.
Project lead Gifty Burrows said: “This has been a wonderful project so far. The opportunity to hear these often forgotten or unheard stories has been fascinating. From the incredible to the everyday, it shows the breadth of experiences that people have had in the area.
It’s also been encouraging to hear that taking part in the project has opened up discussions within families with people unearthing new information and sharing knowledge about things that happened in the past.”
The exhibition will feature images and art works, but will also offer people the opportunity to listen to some of the family stories that people have recorded for the project, listen to music, watch video footage and see artefacts and memorabilia in a multisensory representation of these forgotten histories.
The project continues into 2018, with the team welcoming further contributions from people in the region. Gifty said: “We’re still looking for more people to share their stories and experiences with us and would encourage people to get in touch. We want to create as thorough a record of the experience of people of African descent in this area as possible and the more contributions we have, the better that will be.”
People are also encouraged to bring photographs along to the exhibition or upload them to the project website (www.africansinyorkshireproject.com) to help build up a bigger picture of the history of Black people of African descent in the region.
Gifty continued: “Whether it’s a photograph of a work colleague or a class picture from your school days, we’d encourage you to bring it along to help us enrich the project. We don’t necessarily need lots of information about the people in the pictures, just a rough date and location could be enough.”
Those who would like to contribute to the project should visit the website or contact the team by email on email@example.com.
The free exhibition will open on Tuesday 26 September and be on display until Saturday 21 October and is supported by Hull City Council.