ONLINE: An Introduction to Black History in Cornwall and the South West

03 Sep 2020

14:00 — 15:00


This talk and discussion will reflect black history in Cornwall and Devon and is inspired by themes and ideas emerging from our current exhibition, Go On Being So. South west-based writer, Louisa Adjoa Parker, and historian, Lucy Mackeith, will discuss contemporary experiences, case studies of local diaspora and racism in Cornwall today, chaired by Dr Tehmina Goskar.

The discussion will also reflect on the voices of resilience and equality from the exhibition as a starting point to address our own curiosity with creativity, art and poetry and how it can be used to reframe our own histories.

Topics will include case studies surrounding international students studying at the Engineering College operated by Cable & Wireless in Porthcurno, Cornish links to the slave trade and African-American soldiers training in the south west during the Second World War.

This is an online talk, and is free to attend but please book via eventbrite.

Please note: Webinar tickets have sold out but we are releasing tickets to watch via a Live Stream, please book in the same way.
The talk will be recorded if you are unable to attend or view on the day.


Louisa Adjoa Parker is a writer of English-Ghanaian heritage who lives in south west England. Her poetry and prose has appeared in a wide range of journals and anthologies including Envoi; Wasafiri; Acumen; Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe); and Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories (Peepal Tree). She has been highly commended by the Forward Prize; twice shortlisted by the Bridport Prize; and her grief poem, Kindness, was commended by the National Poetry Competition 2019.

Louisa has written books and exhibitions exploring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) history, and set up the Where are you really from? project. Her first short story collection will be published later this year by Colenso Books; and she has a forthcoming coastal memoir, to be published by Little Toller Books. Louisa also works as an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion consultant, and is co-director of The Inclusion Agency.

Lucy Mackeith has been researching Black history in Devon and the connections between Devon and the legacies of slave-ownership for over 40 years.

“There are many histories and they are usually told by the powerful in society. I find it fascinating to uncover the ‘hidden histories’ which can help us to understand both the past and the present, especially with the recent interest in Britain’s – including Cornwall’s – Black history provoked by the Black Lives Matter campaign.”

Lucy MacKeith presented  ‘Marginal Stories? Moving our stories to the Centre’ as a part of The Hidden Histories event focused on diverse histories in 2016, organised by Reach South West (a partnership between the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter and Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery) and hosted in conjunction with Plymouth University.

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