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Untold Stories: A Celebration of Black People in Kent

5 Oct 2018 - 2 Dec 2018

Untold Stories: A Celebration of Black People in Kent

Untold Stories: A Celebration of Black People in Kent

Showcasing in No.1 Smithery -

Untold Stories seeks to tell the story of African and Caribbean people across Kent and Medway in the 19th and 20th Century. Brought to you by the Medway African and Caribbean Association and Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, the exhibition will be sharing some of the fascinating stories of the life and contribution of Black people whom lived within the historic boundaries of Kent. Celebrating the incredible, but  relatively unknown, contributions to politics, armed forces, sports, religion, society and  the arts.

With a focus on the challenges faced by the community and the remarkable stories of those who sought to make change, discover stories of people such as William Cuffay (campaigner for political rights), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (a distinguished composer) and Sarah Forbes Bonnetta (Goddaughter of Queen Victoria).

There will also be a series of workshops and presentation, which you can attend and interact with the exhibition. Please click the workshop square below for all the details and how to book!

This exhibition has been made possible through funding from Heritage Lottery, as well as funding and support from the following sponsors: Medway Council, Kent County Council, The University of the Creative Arts, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Mid Kent College, The University of Kent, The Brook Theatre, Medway Council Black Workers forum, Gulbenkian Theatre

Great Victorians

 Victorian Britain became more aware and respectful for African and Caribbean culture and it was because of great achievements made by those in the community. Find out in the exhibition about two of the most celebrated and admired Black figures of their time – Aina Sarah Forbes Bonetta and Samuel Ajayi Crowther.

Music & Arts

Kent has witnessed many Black individuals contributing to the arts through literature, drama, music, circus and television. In the exhibition you will see the stories of of artists known around the world from the 19th Century to now such as The Fisk Jubilee Singers and Malorie Blackman.


There were and are exceptional people that have fought courageously to fight injustice and to make a difference to Black people’s lives in Britain. See the stories of some of them in the exhibition from the 18th Century to present day.

Sport & Military


Today Black British sportswomen and men have become prominent figures in British society – inspirations for younger generations as world record breakers, goal scorers, and Olympic champions. You will see the stories of some of these and how they are an inspiration.


Throughout the years, the multiple warfronts has provided means for potential careers for Black Britons. Hear the stories of some who have laid their lives on to the line throughout history.


Windrush and Health


People of the commonwealth were invited to Britain by the British government who were facing a labour shortage after the Second World War. Many of those who answered the call worked in the NHS, public transport and in factories. See some of the stories of those part of The Windrush generation.


During post-war Britain populations from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia were called upon to travel to the ‘motherland’ and help rebuild its public sector. As a result, African and Caribbean women in particular made up the foundation of the NHS, in roles such as nurses, midwives and domestic workers. Find out about some of the people that contributed to Health in Britain.




Throughout the exhibition there will be many chances for some interactive fun!

Don’t miss having a go at a game of dominoes or completing the crossword. Watch the latest documentary from the Medway African Caribbean Assocation and leave your reflections of what you’ve learnt on the Reflections wall.

Plus, why not have a go playing the newly released Windrush game!

About MACA

Medway African Caribbean Association (MACA)

MACA was established in 1984 with the aim of bringing together people from  the African and Caribbean community to network and support each other. Our work has grown over the years and we undertake work with local organisations across Kent and Medway, with statutory services including local councils, schools, Police, Fire, Heath, voluntary sector, to address the needs of people of African and Caribbean origin.  We are very excited to be leading this project, the first of its kind for the Dockyard and possibly for the region. This will provide a fantastic opportunity for the whole community to learn about Black history.

The Black History Live project has been supported by a number of partners:

Medway Council, Medway Council Arts team and Black Workers Forum, Kent County Council, The University of the Creative Arts, Mid Kent College, The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, The University of Kent, Medway Council Arts Team, Kent Police, Gulbenkian Theatre, Forget-Me-Not Vintage and Crafts


Over the run of this exhibition there will be free workshops and talks which will be available to book for free soon from the sections below!

Please note that you do not need an annual ticket to attend these but you will only be able to access the talk/workshop/exhibition in your visit.

The growth and influence of Black community organisations in Kent

Saturday 17th November

The growth and influence of Black community organisations in Kent – Talk

Saturday 17th November 2pm – 4pm

Facilitated by Carol Stewart: Chairperson Medway African and Caribbean Association

There has always been a presence of African and Caribbean people in Britain for hundreds of years. Within Kent the Black population has continued to grow in more recent times, the last census in 2011 stated an increase in the Black and minority population of over 5% from the 2001 census.

With this growth there has been an increase in the number of Black community organisations in Kent, This seminar will be discussing the reasons for them being established, the importance of such groups and provide a fascinating insight into some of the groups still in existence today.

Kent, Slavery, and Abolitionism + Private Viewing

Wednesday 21st November

Kent, Slavery, and Abolitionism + Private viewing

Wednesday 21st November 7pm – 8.30pm

Chaired by Dr Bridget Ng’andu

Panel and Speakers

– Prof. David Killingray (overview incl. fugitives)

– Dr. Ben Marsh (during & after slavery)

– Prof. David Turley (abolitionism in Kent)

The History and Contribution of Black Police in Kent

Saturday 1st December

An seminar that will take you on a journey on some of Kent’s Black Police officer. From the first Black Police officer, The UK’s first Black Chief Constable , as well as the work of the Kent and Minority Ethnic Police Association ( KMEPA).


Facilitated by Wendell Henry, MACA trustee and retired Police officer , Kent Police

Saturday 1st December

Time 2-4pm

What's On

What's on