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Educational Resource Pack Launch - Thursday 6/12/2007

On Thursday 6th December 2007 Northamptonshire Black History Association as part of its Heritage Lottery Funded education project called Shaping the Future, launched the first title in a series of five educational resource packs for schools.
The title, Walter Tull: Sport, War and Challenging Adversity, uses the story of Walter Tull to develop a thematic pack that can be used by teachers in primary and secondary schools. Three packs are to be produced one for the Key Stage 1 History Curriculum, one for the Key Stage 3 History curriculum and a cross-curricular scheme of work for Key Stages 2 and 3.

In its 2004/05 Annual Report for History, the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority recognised the importance of Black British History within the school curriculum. The subject is also raised in the DfES’s proposals for KS3 school history from 2008. The need for new resources in this area was also supported by research produced by Northamptonshire Black History Project and the University of Northampton in 2005 in a report titled Black is also British.

Educational Resource Pack Launch

Equiano Exhibition Trip - Saturday 1/12/2007

On Saturday 1 December nearly sixty NBHA members and supporters had the pleasure and privilege of visiting the Equiano exhibition at the Gas Hall, Birmingham.
The most famous and successful of the Black opponents of the British slave trade, Olaudah Equiano led an extraordinary life. The exhibition, presented jointly by the Equiano Society and Birmingham City Council, was certainly an extraordinary experience.
Our visiting party included a large group of young people from the Wellingborough African Caribbean Association’s Saturday School. Their comments included: ‘Equiano was very brave, very kind, and he seemed strong and clever as well’
Older members of NBHA also expressed their admiration for the exhibition and for Equiano the man:
If you missed the trip, you have until 13 January to catch up with this great event. Open Monday-Thursday and Saturday 10.00-17.00, the exhibition is accompanied by a book and a website (
Tickets for the next NBHA trip are on sale now. This will be to Liverpool’s Albert Dock to visit the newly opened International Slavery Museum. Adults £15 (£13 NBHA members and unwaged adults), under 16s £9. Lunch not included.


Equiano Exhibition Trip

Talk To The Page - Wednesday 12/9/2007

The second community learning project, based on language took place in October and November. The project was inspired by a focus group of elders who suggested that language would be an interesting subject. After a good deal of consultation in order to discover what might interest people the idea of a creative writing and reminiscence workshop was developed. Visiting six different locations across the county (Wellingborough, Northampton, Daventry, Oundle and Towcester), we had participants aged from two to over 65 to years old. We played games with language and inspired by African traditions and literature we created a “Call and Response” poem based on ourselves. Then we found about more about some of the amazing people that have lived in Northamptonshire such as John Anderson who escaped slavery, found himself in Corby and devised poems about them (see below). Then, we heard an extract of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative and wrote stories about childhood memories. After that, we looked at newspapers which had stories from over the last 250 years. We looked at how language and life had changed within our own lifetime's grandparents and parents sharing stories with our children about our lives.

Talk to the page evening

Hands On History - Wednesday 8/8/2007

Rachel Silverson, Community History Officer at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, has completed a project to create five object-handling resources as part of the ‘Hands on History’ project, using funding allocated to the museum by Renaissance East Midlands. The project has specifically created loan resources for community groups in Northamptonshire.
As part of the project, five British artists were commissioned to design and produce vessels which reflected the objects that they contained. The resources are based on several themes: the First World War, Crime and Punishment, Archaeology, Shoes Being Fit for Purpose and finally an audio resource created in partnership with Northamptonshire Black History Association.
The audio Globe was designed by the Wellingborough artist Daxa Parmar and was created to discuss the theme of people’s experiences of moving to Northampton from their different countries of origin. This is experienced through six oral history recordings that were recorded by NBHA, and includes the experiences of people who have moved to Northampton from Bangladesh, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Liberia and Montserrat.
The resource takes the form of a globe that opens up into six segments; each segment is decorated and designed to reflect the life and experiences heard on the recordings by each of the people involved. The portable globe can be plugged in and contains an audio speaker so that people can hear each of the recordings.
The ‘Hands on History’ project is a unique and innovative way of looking at museum loans and is one of the first nationally to use art to interpret different elements of community history.


Hands on history

AGM 2007 - Thursday 12/7/2007

The Northamptonshire Black History Association held its second Annual General Meeting on 12 July 2007.
It was attended by 27 members and 5 supporters. Ruchira Leisten (Chair) opened the meeting with a welcome to everyone and commented that 2006/7 had been a very successful with many highlights.
Monica Babb and Donna Palmer-Smith were voted in as new Directors and each gave a short speech outlining their interest and commitment to the Association. A new committee has now been elected and minutes of the meeting are available from the Doddridge Centre.
After the meeting there was a presentation from Izzy Mohammed, Community Access Officer at the Connecting Histories project in Birmingham which was very well received and prompted lively debate.


AGM 2007

The 2007 Bicentenary of the Abolition of the British Slave Trade - Wednesday 20/6/2007

2007 is an important year which gives us all a chance to reflect on the role of Britain in the Slave Trade. Many different organisations and government departments are focusing on the Bicentenary, which prompts NBHA to look critically at how Britain’s role has been misrepresented, and how this lack of acknowledgement affects us all.
Britain acquired enormous wealth from the Slave Trade. This is the main reason why it continued for so long and was so fiercely defended. Let us use the Bicentenary to study how racism was constructed to feed a political and economic argument, and how those racist stereotypes are still used consciously and unconsciously today.
The government is making the history of slavery a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, but this must be a well-thought-out policy and very well executed in the classroom. Teaching about the Slave Trade could perpetuate stereotypes that Black people are always victims with no control over their own lives and futures. It is important to acknowledge that there were many free Black people in Britain who fought hard to end the barbaric trade. Those who were enslaved in the Caribbean also fought for their freedom.
Slavery is not all there is to African History. It would be wrong to acknowledge this aspect without also raising awareness of the long-term history and achievements of the African continent and its people.
NBHA is working to commemorate the Bicentenary, but urges restraint in any celebrations as the 1807 Abolition Act did NOT abolish slavery. We hope that the 2007 commemorations will raise awareness of Black History locally, nationally and internationally. This will help us to build the future of NBHA , as a community organisation promoting research and education about all aspects of Black History.

Day Trip to Greenwich - London - Saturday 28/4/2007

SELL-OUT EVENT - Over 50 travellers of all ages, from the young to the elderly, enjoyed a fantastic day out on Saturday 28th April. The NBHA organised a day trip to Greenwich, London, in partnership with the Black Heritage Group (Deptford).
After an introduction to local black history by the Black Heritage Group and a series of very interesting short talks, the group tucked into a welcome Caribbean-style lunch. We then travelled to the National Maritime Museum, the base for a big national project called ‘Understanding Slavery’. The BHG and museum staff organised a personalised and informative programme of talks and tour within the museum.
We had lovely weather on the day and the children took advantage of the beautiful gardens in which to play.
The next trip, to Liverpool, is planned in October - make sure you get your tickets early.


Day Trip to Greenwich, London

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