Medway African and Caribbean Association ( MACA) has received £67,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting and innovative project called “Black History Live” taking place across Kent and Medway. Led by volunteers from the local community, the project focuses on the history and legacy of African and Caribbean People across Kent and Medway during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Through a series of research workshops, the project will enable local communities to learn more about the history and legacy of African and Caribbean people in the region, culminating in an exhibition called Black History Live that will take place at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Autumn 2018. Alongside this, a learning resource, a drama production and specially trained exhibition guides will be created in order to tell these fascinating stories. Black History Live will be of great benefit to young people and the wider community, providing the opportunity to learn more about heritage in an engaging way, as well as the opportunity to develop new skills in areas such as research, production and drama. It is also hoped that it will go some way to break down some of the social barriers that exist between different communities in Kent and Medway.
Kent and Medway has a very rich history with regards to African and Caribbean people such as Walter Tull, (pictured above) Olaudah Equiano, Chatham Cuffay and many more. Through this project we aim to bring their stories to life.
Commenting on the award, Carol Stewart, Chairperson of Medway African and Caribbean Association said: “We are really excited to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. This has been our biggest achievement to date, and we believe this project will open up many doors for the local community, and provide a unique opportunity for the whole community to learn and appreciate the contribution that the African and Caribbean community have made during that time. A lot of our history remains untold, and we aim to bring it to life in a way that engages and enthuses people to want to learn more. A project like this has never been done before on such as scale as far as we are aware in Kent and Medway, so we are really pleased to be spearheading something that is going to create a long lasting legacy. We could not have achieved this without the support of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Mid Kent College, Dickens World, Medway Council Black Workers forum, local historians Brian Joyce and Marika Sherwood, also the Nubian Jak Memorial Trust and JD Douglas”
Uncovering The Little Known Heritage of African and Caribbean People
Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “This is an important project that will uncover and highlight the little known heritage of African and Caribbean people in Kent and Medway over 200 years. From footballer Walter Tull to composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor, the figures that will be investigated led fascinating lives and I’m delighted that we are able to provide this National Lottery support that will ensure their stories are better known across the county.”
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