As part of Black History Month Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) was proud to host a guest lecture delivered by Catherine Ross, Founder of Museumand, the National Caribbean Heritage Museum, exploring the histories and narratives of twentieth century Caribbean migration to the UK.

The lecture explored the stories of some of the first pioneering Caribbean people to emigrate to the UK during the Windrush era following the Second World War. To give a personal context to these incredible stories Catherine and her team displayed items the migrants brought with them in their suitcases including ladies’ curling tongs, pre-1960s jewellery, men’s razor sets, hair products; and leisure items such as books, dominoes and harmonicas.

Using these unique artefacts, collected since 1997 by Catherine for the museum, the lecture offered a fascinating insight what it meant to those who swapped Kingston for Birmingham, how they adapted to their new lives and the UK and how their presence contributed to Britain’s history through moving personal accounts, music, art, performance and crafts.

Dr Sheine Peart, Lecturer of Professional Studies at BGU and researcher into features of the Black British experience, organised the event and ahead of the lecture explained why she felt such discussions were so important:

“Caribbean people have been a part of British history for a millennia, certainly as far back as the Romans, but their stories have often been silenced or forgotten. Events such as this are an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate these rich stories and to do it as part of Black History Month has been fantastic.”

Both Sheine and the team at Museumand hope this event will be the first of many at BGU exploring Black History. If you would like to take part in future events keep an eye on our news page or come along to one of our Open Days to find out how you can become a part of the learning community at BGU.

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