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.
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