As Black History Month kicked off in the UK this week, my twitter feed has featured some fascinating research and writing about Britain’s black history. I’ll update this page as the month progresses with links to articles, historians, writers etc which contribute to getting Britain’s black history out in the public domain.
Melissa Bennett, UK-based historian of the Caribbean and photography – check out her Instagram blog
English Heritage has uncovered the identities of 2,500 Afro-Caribbean prisoners of war kept at Portchester Castle in England. This website tells the story of the prisoners’ transportation and life at Portchester.
Fay Young’s article on Sceptical Scot about Black History Month in Scotland
Black History Month in the UK
100 Great Black Britons relaunches for 2017
Black History Month in the United Kingdom runs during October. The ‘official’ website for the Month has information about the thousands of events planned across the UK. The ‘features’ tab of the website has many articles about aspects of black history, and opinion pieces. Click here for the Black History Month site.
I also noticed that David Olusoga’s book Black and British: A Forgotten History is available in ebook format for only 99p for the month (I believe only for UK customers): click here for details.
Reviews in History has published a review by Dr Daniel Livesay of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership website and database. The website was created by a team of researchers at University College London lead by Professor Catherine Hall, and has been live for a few years now. It details claims for compensation submitted by slave-owners at the time of slave emancipation—the British government promised the astronomical sum (at the time) of £20 million in compensation. As Livesay notes, the website is “stunningly-comprehensive and meticulously-researched.” In response to the review, UCL noted that a large number of colleagues from within and outside academia (myself included) have contributed to the population of the database, and this contribution is great valued.
Visit the Reviews in History website to read the review and response: Review of LBSO Website
I stumbled across this fantastic collection of digitised manuscripts today. The Beinecke Collection is held by the Hamilton College Library. They have digitised hundreds of manuscripts from the 16th-19th century relating to the Lesser Antilles – the documents include maps, correspondence, legal documents and plantation reports. A document which particularly interests me is Grenada’s Book of Patents for 1765 to 1770, which is digitised in its entirety:) I’m constantly amazed at the online resources I can stumble across as I research places far away from my desk in Australia.
Click here to access the Collection.
The picture is from the Beinecke Collection. I’ll publish a separate blogpost about the picture collection because it’s wonderful!
The British Library’s Endangered Archives programme contributes to the preservation of archival material that is in danger of destruction, neglect, or physical deterioration world-wide. In exciting news for historians of Haiti, the Endangered Archives programme has just approved a grant to work with the Bibliothèque Haïtienne des Frères de l’Instruction Chrétienne (BHFIC) in Port-au-Prince to digitise ninety-one Haitian newspapers published between 1813 and 1913. As set out in the Project overview, the material in the collection has been identified as BHFIC staff as vulnerable to degradation. The newspapers date from the years when Haiti was emerging from the Revolution. As the project team note, a rich and expanding international scholarship engages with the central impact of the Haitian Revolution—but research on Haiti’s post-revolutionary years “declines precipitously,” leaving an enormous gap in our understanding of the new nation after the first decade of the nineteenth century. Making the newspapers for that period accessible online will open up research possibilities in the future.
The digitised newspapers will eventually be available online via the British Library and the Digital Library of the Caribbean.
I learnt about this project on twitter—to monitor progress on the project, I suggest following Claire Antone Payton, a historian and PhD candidate at Duke University, and Erin Zavitz, Latin American and Caribbean History professor at University of Montana-Western.
Click here to go to the British Library Project Overview.
The real-life pirates of the Caribbean often had short careers, meeting with violent ends. We look at what happened to six of them…
Source: The fates of six real-life pirates of the Caribbean