A history that includes everyone

Published: Monday 25th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

Comments (0)

Our Histories Revealed: African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire highlights the presence and contribution of people of African descent in the area.

We spoke with the inspiring Project Lead and Curator, Gifty Burrows, to find out more about this exciting and thought-provoking exhibition.

African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire is a Heritage Lottery funded project that explores the history of people of African descent in Hull and East Yorkshire from 1750 to 2007,” Gifty tells us.

“We chose this timeline because of the Wilberforce connection. We wanted to find out what was happening in terms of black presence in the area during the era of the influential MP. Meanwhile, 2007 marked the bicentenary of the Slave Trade Act.”

The exhibition, which will be displayed at Hull History Centre from tomorrow until Saturday 21 October, will include a wide range of images, artworks, film, music and audiovisual displays.

“Part of the reason I chose this topic was that there is not a lot of documentation this side of the country. Often, people think of this part of the UK as predominantly white, but I wanted to make the Wilberforce legacy a bit more tangible and meaningful,” Gifty explains.

“Too often, people see street names and the statue of Wilberforce in Hull but don’t quite understand what it all means. This project is to acknowledge the wider story and be educational.”

Gifty and her team of researchers have collected and collated a large number of documents, photographs and stories completely voluntarily.

“Lauren Darwin is our Project Researcher who has worked wonders to find some of our amazing stories,” she says. “Meanwhile, Carolyn Conroy is our Web Manager. Our project team is tiny but we work hard to share these stories.”

Gifty hopes that the exhibition will raise an awareness of people of African descent and their contribution and presence in the region.

“The stories that you will read and hear about are of ordinary people. You may find that you can relate a lot to the people in the exhibition,” she expands. “Too often, we develop ideas of communities we do not know. Africans in Hull deals with equality and diversity in a different way.”

Gifty has 16 years of teaching experience behind her and describes herself as an educationalist: “I’ve always worked with people who have needed some form of advocacy,” she recalls. “Fairness plays a huge part in my work and personal belief.”

The curation will be multi-sensory and interactive. You will be able to sit down with headphones and listen to the stories as they are told.

“I wanted to make it multi-sensory to make it accessible to as many people as possible,” Gift points out. There will also be an impressive projection on one of the walls in the History Centre.

“We have designed this project so that everyone can engage in it. It’s not just about Africans in Hull, we want to hear from all sides of the story. If anyone wants to help us with researching, looking through documents or just opening up a conversation, get in touch.”

Gifty encourages anyone who is interested in British social history to come along to the exhibit: “Often history is taught very narrowly. This is an opportunity for people to learn about a proper history that includes everyone.”

Our Histories Revealed: African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire will be on display at Hull History Centre from tomorrow and entry is free.

Enjoy more Hull and East Yorkshire news on HEY Today

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Published: Monday 25th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

Comments (0)

Local business search