The end of 2016 marks a fantastic 12 months for the Africans in Hull and East Yorkshire Project and gives us an opportunity to share a summary of our journey so far.
The concept for this project began in November 2015 because it was felt that the region would benefit from a deeper insight into an aspect of British history that had a local focus. It was also realised that historical narratives can often be selective in what is reported and that accounts could be better served by providing a wider lens on events to include a fuller picture. Certainly for this region the Wilberforce connection has always been an important one, hence the gaze was placed on the African story.
See below a slideshow of some of the amazing research the project has been able to uncover and present this year. Click on the photo to go to the relevant project page.
Our First Event: Feb 2016
The idea began to flourish and by February it was felt that the time was right to moot the proposal to a wider audience and to gauge interest. This resulted in a highly successful first event held at WISE which was attended by nearly thirty people. We had guest speakers Martin Spafford (a GCSE History curriculum writer) outlining the history of British Black presence from the Roman times to the present day; Audrey Dewjee examining how to research local
history http://www.africansinyorkshireproject.com/hidden-gems.html; Dr Nick Evans and Professor John Oldfield (Wilberforce Institute) giving practical guides on local research and Martin Taylor (Hull History Centre) providing an insight into resources for research. These talks were very well received.
HLF Funding and the Project Expands!
We then forged ahead with an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund which was met with success in May when we were granted £39,100 for the African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire project.
During the summer months the project rapidly expanded. A range of people joined our team as volunteer researchers, transcribers and Contemporary Voices. They enabled us to add more exciting content to our website. To date we have uncovered the previous silenced narratives of people of African descent in East Yorkshire with over 16 stories and 20 Contemporary Voices. There are also a further 28 stories which are waiting to be written and funding available for another 10 Contemporary Voices which will certainly keep us busy in 2017.
Below are the photographs of some of our wonderful Contemporary Voices. Click on any picture to go to our main oral histories page and listen to their stories.
Our Second Event: Nov 2016
As the project gathered further momentum, interest from the community and general public across the country increased. Members of the community contacted us about their family history and academics came forward with stories which we have been able to refocus and build upon.
In November we hosted our second event at the WISE. The project team gave presentations alongside guest speakers, Audrey Dewjee, Rona Dickinson and Nicholas Evans. Over 40 people attended the event and we received overwhelmingly positive comments about the work we are doing to bring African stories in the region to life. Read a report of the event HERE.
Our Amazing Contributors!
Throughout this year we have had the support and contributions from many, many people all of whom have been generous with their time, advice and funds http://www.africansinyorkshireproject.com/contributors.html . We continue to welcome this kind of support from anybody whatever their expertise, who want to make their mark on this project. We have had the attention of the media: ITV Calendar, Hull Daily Mail (Calvin Innes), Radio Humberside (Phil White, David Reeves, James Piekos, Andy Comfort and David Burns) and BBC Look North. This has all helped in getting the message out to the community: for everyone to have the opportunity to join in and make this an educational resource that allows the discovery of a rich strand of regional social history. This will be an important legacy for future generations.
Next Year? Hull City of Culture 2017: Get Involved with the Africans Project!
As Hull is the City of Culture for 2017, in the next twelve months we will continue to expand the project and bring the stories of people with African heritage in East Yorkshire to life. We will demonstrate that the social and cultural fabric of the region has been influenced by a diverse range of people who visited, worked or lived in Hull and East Yorkshire, many of whom were and are of African descent. To showcase our findings, we will be holding a four week exhibition at the Hull History Centre opening on 25 September 2017.
Thank you for your fantastic support this year! If you want to get involved with our exciting project in 2017 do not hesitate to contact us.
**Take a further look at the content of the African Stories In Hull & East Yorkshire by going to our new SEARCH page HERE!**
Today we are excited to announce the publication of the first two interviews for our Contemporary Voices oral histories project. Click on the link below to go to our Contemporary Voices page and listen to the stories of Abraham Adu and Chiedu Oraka.
Contemporary Voices are collections of oral histories made by people of African heritage who have or have previously had a connection with Hull and East Yorkshire before 2007. The stories that are collected will reflect aspects of their lives or their family's lives which relate to their African origins and to more recent experiences within this region.
The project is mainly funded by Untold Hull. Untold Hull is an oral history project that records the stories and experiences of people who live, have lived or have experienced the city of Hull in some way. The stories will appear as audio recordings or videos and can be listened to and watched on the Untold Hull website. They will become a permanent part of the digital collections of Hull History Centre and Hull Library Service forming a unique social history archive.
Untold Hull is part of Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd and is funded by the James Reckitt Library Trust.
Many thanks go to our interviewer Jerome Whittingham. Jerome is a photographer, interviewer, and digital media producer living in Hull. He specialises in supporting the voluntary sector, both locally in Hull and regionally.
The William Wilberforce Monument Fund is looking to hire a freelance researcher-interpreter to work on the African Stories in Hull & East Yorkshire Project The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Closing date: Friday 22nd July 2016
Dr Lauren Darwin