The Wyng family: Venus Ivy Wyng
Last month we were contacted by Stuart Bell, who revealed his father, Barrie was the son of Venus Ivy Wyng and therefore he was her grandson. Barrie gave us further information about the Wyng family and travelled to the opening of our East Riding Treasure House exhibition to share his collection of beautiful photographs with us. As a result, we have been able to produce an additional story on the Wyngs which has a greater focus on Venus Ivy’s branch of the family.
Read our story about Venus Ivy Wyng and her family.
“My Name is Not Uncle Tom!” - Josiah Henson in Britain 1876-1877
Yesterday we released a fantastic blog post about Josiah Henson by guest writer Dr Hannah-Rose Murray. Sadly, although there is no evidence to suggest that Henson travelled to East Yorkshire during his time in Britain, a picture of him in the Wilberforce Museum Collection and his important place in Black history has meant he is a source of interest to our project.
Read Hannah’s post about Josiah Henson.
The Chapman-Wattley family
In March we were contacted by Nadine Hodgson who had seen our blog post on the Russian Outrage. Nadine wrote, "I think that the Black man in the photo may possibly be my grandfather John James Wattley who was born in St Lucia in 1884." Nadine had already explored her family history extensively and as this story unfolded we came to realise that she was able to bring two seemingly unconnected stories together with a common familial thread, that of the Russian Outrage and Leon Riley.
Read the story on the Chapman-Wattley family.
East Riding Treasure House exhibition
Our second exhibition opened at Beverley Treasure House last Saturday when over 30 people attended our ‘first look’ event. It was fantastic to see so many more people come and go throughout the afternoon - especially the families who have engaged with our project.
On Tuesday evening, our Lead Project Researcher Dr Lauren Darwin gave a talk about the experience of men, women and children of African descent in Hull and East Yorkshire at the Treasure House. We would like to thank those who attended.
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances tomorrow's study day (Saturday 12 May) is cancelled. We apologise for the inconvenience.
The Our Histories Revealed exhibition runs from 5 May until 30 June at East Riding Treasure House, Beverley. Entry is free, so please come along!
James Benjamin Williams
On Tuesday, we released a story about James (Jimmy) Benjamin Williams as told by Denise Anne Mennell. She contacted the project team as she was keen to tell his story and celebrate the special bond she had with her very dear friend.
To read Jimmy’s story click here
New Project Feature! Who do you know?
On Wednesday we launched a campaign to get the people of Hull and East Yorkshire to look through their old photographs and send us any which show African presence in the region before 2007.
To read more about our new feature or find out how to get involved click here.
Calling all teachers! ‘Our Histories Revealed’ study day for schools
Yesterday we asked teachers from around the region to take part in our study day on 6 October by
bringing their classes to a taster session on Black history. The event will be held at Hull College and will
include a trip to see our fantastic exhibition at the Hull History Centre.
For more information please click here.
The Ali Family
In the early 1940s Hussein Mohamed, also known as Abraham Ali, a sailor from British Somaliland and his partner Rose Ada Grisley settled in Hull. Shortly after they married, Rose moved to London leaving four of her six children with their father. Due to Ali’s profession and the time he spent at sea, Abraham, Hassan, Maizna and Adam were placed in Hesslewood children’s home. When they were released from the care system Hassan and Adam became sailors working out of the port of Hull. Sadly, Adam died on board the Kingston Peridot which was part of the ‘Triple Trawler Tragedy’ in 1968.
Click here to read about the Ali family
The Russian Outrage
The tenth image in our picture blog series shows a man of African descent standing in a crowd at St Andrews dock in the aftermath of the Russian Outrage in 1904.
To view this image, click here
On Tuesday, we released a story by guest writer Allison Edwards about Pablo Fanque (born William Darby). Fanque was the first Black English circus owner, becoming famous in Victorian Britain for his extraordinary shows. During his career which spanned over 30 years, he starred as a tightrope walker, acrobat and a gifted equestrian. Fanque primarily performed in Yorkshire and Lancashire where audiences flocked to see his extraordinary talents.
To read about Pablo Fanque click here
Yesterday we released a piece written by Audrey Dewjee regarding the adoption of three orphans from Hull by African American troops during World War Two.
To read this touching story click here
If you have any further information about the Simmons family click here
Kenny Fox: The Story of My African Connection
On Tuesday, we released a personal history written by Kenny Fox. In this fascinating piece, Kenny identifies his family ties with slavery, shares his memories of growing up in St Kitts, details his experience of moving from the West Indies to Derby at the age of 10 and explains why he settled in Beverley in 1990.
To read Kenny’s story click here.
Picture Blog #7: Sudanese Officials in Filey, 1960
Our seventh Picture Blog features images found in the Crimlisk Fisher Archive of Sudanese officials visiting Filey in 1960.
To see these images, click here.
Jon is of mixed heritage and was raised by his English mother, Angela Gilbey, with the help of his maternal family in Hull. He grew up never being told much about his father, Tony Lewis, until at the age of 13 years, long kept secrets started to be revealed. Jon’s research into his father’s family has recently shed new light on his African American heritage and has revealed a possible link to slavery.
To read Jon’s fascinating story click here
Contemporary Voices: Oral history by Gifty Burrows
Gifty talks about her childhood leaving Ghana as a 7-year-old girl with her younger brother without being able to speak English. Her upbringing in Huddersfield and Bury in an exclusively white neighbourhood brought her face to face with insidious racism. She describes how her self-confidence grew out of necessity whilst graduating as a nurse in Leeds. After meeting her husband whilst students at university she mentions the difficulties experienced in embarking on a mixed-marriage and the challenges of staying together whilst raising 3 children in a rural East Yorkshire market town. Her drive to challenge the stereotypes of blackness in all forms of life has brought her to this point where the African Stories project is helping to bring history of people of African descent to a wider audience.
Listen to Gifty's interview here.
The Mainprize/Wheeler family
On Tuesday, we released a story written by Hilda Mainprize about her family. Hilda’s mother, Nigerian Aina Okolo met, Hull-born seaman George Albert Mainprize in her home town in the late 1950s. She emigrated to the region with her husband and their three children in November 1964. Aina had another child with George when she arrived in Hull and when the pair separated she made further additions to her family with partner Harry Wheeler. Today there are 30 members of her immediate family.
Read the Mainprize/Wheeler story here.
Our latest blog post highlights the sacrifices made by men and women of African descent during World War Two. It gives information about the deaths of four Black servicemen who were linked to East Yorkshire. Two of these men died of illnesses which were contracted during training at Filey, while the other two were killed in flying accidents. Click here for more information.
Our EXHIBITION Countdown!
Tomorrow marks the four-month countdown to our exhibition at the Hull History Centre. To celebrate we are releasing our exhibition poster. See our EVENTS page for further details.
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