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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Saturday 20th October
2pm – 4pm
Delivered by Ian John Lewis
Ian John-Lewis – the first black British boxing referee to officiate a heavyweight world title fight. Ian started his career in boxing as an amateur and continued to have success as a professional boxer. After retiring from boxing, Ian became the youngest a “star” class referee at 37, for the British Boxing Board of Control and was groomed by the World Boxing Council to referee some of the worlds best fights, including the oldest World Champion in history, Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins in Montreal.
Come and hear Ian share his fascinating story about his boxing career. One of our local resident heroes.
The Windrush Generation – Talk
Saturday 3rd November
2pm – 4pm
Delivered by Patrick Vernon
The Windrush Generation were invited as British subjects to help rebuild the country as part of the reconstruction and aftermath of World War II. Seventy years on from the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush, which has come to symbolise a generation of Caribbean migrants but the wider post war migration from different parts of the former British Empire to the United Kingdom. Many towns and cities up and down the country have benefitted from migration and that many aspects of British society today would be unrecognisable without the contributions which immigration and integration have made to our society over the generations: from the NHS to the monarchy, our language, literature, enterprise, public life, fashion, music, politics, science, our culture and food, even
The game encourages players to share their personal stories or use their imagination to invent stories sparked by picture cards and historical timelines provided in the game. These pictures and timelines illustrate key moments in history, highlighting the contributions of migrants to the development of multicultural Britain from 1900 to the present day.
The Front Room – Workshop
Saturday 10th November
12pm – 2pm and 2pm – 4pm
Delivered by Michael McMillan, Sponsored by Medway Council Arts Team
To stimulate discussion the session will begin with screening of the 60 min Tales from the Front Room (BBC4 Documentary 2007).
This will be followed by a 2 hour workshop will be led by writer and artist/curator Michael McMillan, and the aim will be for participants to bring in objects from their respective domestic interiors, especially their front room, living room, sitting room. They will be invited share oral histories about how and when their object was acquired, what it was used for and where, and what it meant to them in terms of identity, family and cultural histories, and emotional and spiritual affect.
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 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)
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