This portrait photograph below was taken at the studios of Sunley and Toogood, 10 Caroline Place, Hull. It highlights the small, yet often forgotten, Black population that had resided in Hull since the Tudor era. The clothing suggests that this was a poorer resident, but it is interesting that he was photographed so far from the dock area, where so many Black seafarers lived while ashore. At sea, most of Hull’s early Black population worked as seafarers rated as cooks or donkeymen (stokers) but being on shore provided them with an opportunity to purchase photographs to send to loved ones living locally or further afield. It is possible to date the photograph because the company only operated at the address for a short period of time. The image is from the collection of Dr Nicholas Evans at the University of Hull. Dr Evans added: “The photograph is the earliest of a member of Hull’s black community and we would love to know who this image is of.”
Please press the contact us button below if you have more information about this image.
As the Contemporary Voices part of our project is coming to an end and we are preparing for our first exhibition at the Hull History Centre in September, we have decided to launch a new feature which looks to chart the African presence in Hull and East Yorkshire through images and videos. While some include famous people, such as Desmond Tutu others are of men and women who we have found no further information about.
Although for confidentiality reasons we need to be very careful when selecting images for our collection, we would encourage you to look through your family photographs or local newspapers to find pictures showing Black entertainers, sportsmen, politicians or servicemen in the region between 1750 and 2007. Alternatively, if you are of African descent and wish to send us a picture of yourself with a small biography, please do so.
As well as photographs and newspaper clippings we are also very interested in copies of any drawings or paintings you may have discovered in Hull and East Yorkshire highlighting the African presence in the region.
Once these sources have been showcased in our blog, they will be added to our existing photo and video gallery. Already, located on these pages are a host of images which have featured alongside the many stories that we have published plus my personal favourite a video of a small group of Black boxers at Hull fair in 1902 (to watch this clip, click the image above and go to 2.43-3.30 on the video).
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we will be releasing the first picture in our fabulous collection.
Please click here if you would like to send us your photographs or videos.
Dr Lauren Darwin