On Monday we released a story about cultural and political activist, Ansel Wong. The Trinidadian left the Caribbean to study English and American studies at the University of Hull between 1965 and 1968. Since leaving Hull he has played a vital role in transcending racial boundaries and highlighting Caribbean culture across Britain. Wong has held influential positions in the education and arts sector where he has tirelessly promoted equality and diversity.
Read Ansel Wong's story.
"Uncle Tom" picture blog update and calls for information
Our latest blog post predominantly focuses on the life of Josiah Henson, who is believed to have been the inspiration for the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. In July last year, we released a picture blog which showcased a sepia photograph of a Black gentleman with the caption "Uncle Tom" printed at the bottom (read the original blog here). We have now found more out about this image but are we any clearer as to whether the gentleman visited Hull or East Yorkshire?
We have also asked readers for help to find out more information on Shirley Bassey’s visits to Hull and East Yorkshire as well as the African American airmen based in Holme-on-Spalding Moor in the 1950s.
Read Thursday's blog post.
Suicide: People of African descent and the act of suicide in Hull
Monday's new story analyses people with African heritage who attempted or committed suicide in Hull in the twentieth century. It focuses on the forgotten histories of three men: Emmanuel Anderson; Edward Cocoa and James Bailey while analysing community and court responses to self-murder before the passing of the Suicide Act in 1961.
Read our story on suicide in Hull.
James Clinton Jordan
Our second story this week focused on African American James Clinton Jordan. In the 1950s, Holme-on-Spalding Moor was used as a base for the United States Air Force and some serving men travelled to Hull to enjoy the city when they had free time. On 4 May 1956, Jordan stabbed Walter Beaumont in the Blue Bird Café, and the events that followed changed the course of legal history.
Read the story of James Clinton Jordan.
Seaside Resorts: Part Two - Bridlington and Filey
This week we have released a story which charts Black presence in Bridlington and Filey. Our guest writer Audrey Dewjee has demonstrated through entertainers, visitors, local characters and wonderful pictures that two of the region’s most popular seaside resorts have been regularly frequented by people of African descent.
Read about Bridlington and Filey’s Black history.
Hull Daily Mail's Flashback series
Yesterday blog post focuses on photographs we have come across in the Hull Daily Mail Flashback series that document people of African descent in the region through the decades. Some of them are of people who have engaged with our project such as David Gambe, Clive Sullivan and Alex Dyer while other pictures we would love to know more about.
Read our latest blog post.
Dusé Mohamed Ali
We're proud to learn that the African Stories project was the inspiration for the naming of Dusé Mohamed Ali as one of the 100 people honoured in Hull in the Lord Mayor's Centenary plaque scheme. This will honour people who have made an impact within their field locally, nationally and internationally.
See footage of Gifty Burrows speaking on ITV Calendar this week on our Project in the media page.
Many thanks to Les Smith of Beverley FM for broadcasting our 'Call for Information' on 12 February, and providing early notice of our forthcoming exhibition at Beverley Treasure House from 5 May to 30 June.
See our Project in the media page for Les' broadcast.
Our latest story is about Master Juba, the exceptionally talented African American dancer who rose to fame in the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1840s, he worked for P. T. Barnham’s museum billed as "Master Juba, the Dancing Wonder of the Age" and later for Pell’s Ethiopian Serenaders who toured Britain. In July 1849, he performed at the Zoological Gardens and Temperance Hall in Hull.
Read our Master Juba feature.
Alyce Fraser, the West Indian soprano
Yesterday's blog was on West Indian soprano Alyce Fraser's short stay in Hull. While she was in the region, the singer performed at Holderness Road Methodist Church and visited some of the city's most popular attractions including Wilberforce House.
Read about Alyce Fraser on the blog.
The Gittens family
On Monday we released a fascinating story about the Gittens family by our guest writer Audrey Dewjee. Claude Gittens was born in Barbados around 1877. He moved to Hull in the early twentieth century and married Babette Marie Burkhart. Claude and their oldest son appeared on the front of the Hull Daily Mail in 1936 after the vessel they were working on board sent an SOS signal while crossing the Atlantic.
Find out more about the Gittens family here.
Local Black history in personal archives
Our latest blog post, reveals the hidden treasures that people have come across in their personal archives or while looking through old photographs or books.
Event memorabilia, books, videos, photographs, magazines and newspapers are all vital to uncovering Black history in Hull and East Yorkshire. Please take a moment to look through your collections and get involved with our project.
If you have any information which you think may be of use to our project, please contact us here.
Read the full blog post here.
In Dahomey at the Theatre Royal, Hull
On Monday, we released a fantastic piece about the theatre production In Dahomey by our guest writer Eleanor Rylatt. The show was the first full-length musical written and played by an entirely Black cast and was a sensation on Broadway. In Dahomey toured Britain in the early twentieth century, performing in Hull for six nights from 1 February 1904.
Read the interesting story of In Dahomey here.
A West African Chief in Hull
On 25 September 1929, the Hull Daily Mail published an article that commented on the marriage of West African chief Ben Simmons and his local bride Margaret Wyng.
Find out how the couple met and why they chose to settle in Hull by reading the latest blog post here.
Did you know that the much loved and celebrated music icon Jimi Hendrix performed in Hull?
Our latest story, by guest writer Thomas Burrows, explores Hendrix’s life, career and cultural significance as well as his visit to Hull’s Skyline Ballroom in 1967 during a UK tour for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Read the fascinating story on Jimi Hendrix here.
Yesterday we released a blog post on children’s homes in Hull and East Yorkshire. While we have identified some boys and girls of African descent who lived in these institutions, our latest blog post addresses the problems of trying to find people with Black heritage and thus analyse their experiences in the care system.
Read our blog post on children’s homes here.
If you have information about people of African descent in one of the region’s children’s home please contact us here.
A historical perspective of crime in the first half of the twentieth century
Between 1900 and 1950, over 120 people of African descent appeared in court as the perpetrator, victim or witness of a crime committed in Hull or East Yorkshire. The focus of this piece is to highlight the lives of Black men and women through their interactions with the criminal justice system. It aims to show that by analysing the context in which crimes were committed, we can gain a better understanding of the wider social and economic climate which was endured by people of African descent living in this region during the first half of the twentieth century.
Read our piece, Race and Crime in Hull in the First Half of the Twentieth Century, here.
We have also released several case studies of men of African descent who were the perpetrators or victims of crimes committed in Hull and East Yorkshire in the early twentieth century.
Read about the lives of the following men:
A Happy New Year
Our first blog post of 2018 gives information about the changes to our schedule and our exhibition which will be taking place at East Riding Treasure House, Beverley from Saturday 5 May to Saturday 30 June.
Read our blog here.
Download the Treasure House brochure to learn more about our exhibition.
Professor Sir Roy Marshall
On Tuesday, we released a piece about Professor Sir Roy Marshall and his time in Hull and East Yorkshire. Marshall was born in Barbados in 1920. He accomplished many achievements throughout his life including being awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 1968. Between 1979 and 1985 Marshall was the Vice Chancellor at Hull University becoming one of the leading academics of African descent in this region.
Click here to read about Professor Sir Roy Marshall
A Fantastic 2017! End of Year Roundup!
This week’s blog release gives an overview of what the African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire project team have achieved in 2017. This year has included some fantastic highlights as the project has expanded significantly such as an exhibition and exciting new releases on our website. We hope you have enjoyed this year as much as we have!
Click here to read our End of Year Roundup
Seaside Resorts Part One: Scarborough
On Tuesday we released the first of a two-part story about seaside resorts in East Yorkshire. This piece focused on Scarborough and was written by our guest writer Audrey Dewjee. Scarborough became famous in the seventeenth century and has remained popular with holiday makers ever since. As a popular seaside resort Scarborough has attracted many entertainers and seasonal workers of African descent. Read about some of these people here
New material and page updates blog post
Yesterday we released a blog showcasing the new information that we have received from various contributors. Within this piece we also appealed for any extra information you may have that could be of use to our project or Beverley Treasure House exhibition which will open in May 2018.
Click here to read our blog
Follow the project on social media.