About Black Cultural Archives

Established in 1981 and situated in its iconic building in Brixton’s Windrush Square since 2014, Black Cultural Archives (BCA) is the only national repository of Black history and culture in the UK. We are a public institution open to everyone.

Our unparalleled and growing archive collection offers insight into the history of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. Our work recognises the importance of untold stories and providing a platform to encourage enquiry and dialogue. We place people and their historical accounts at the heart of everything we do.

     

     

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    Our mission

     
     

    Black Cultural Archives is a national institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of diverse people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain.

    Using our unique collection, we promote the teaching, learning and understanding of the African people’s contribution, which enables the public to learn and connect with hidden histories, creating an experience to uplift and inspire. This is achieved through our exhibitions, public programmes and events. Our growing collection of original archives constitute a permanent record of the richness of the Black experience in Britain and is accessible to all.

     

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    Heritage Centre

    Our new heritage centre is located on Windrush Square, in the heart of Brixton. Steeped in history, Windrush Square is historically named after the SS Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury in 1948 carrying her passengers on their pioneering journey from Jamaica to Britain.

    We have transformed Raleigh Hall, a Grade II listed Georgian building in central Brixton, into a space dedicated to preserving and celebrating Black heritage in Britain. The £7-million capital project restored aspects of the building’s original historic features, in addition to a newly designed annexe to create a purpose-built archive and heritage centre accessible to the public.

    We have received tremendous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the London Borough of Lambeth, the Mayor of London and the Biffa Award to complete this capital project, and from all our funders and supporters who help us continue our work.

    Our facilities include:

    • Exhibition space
    • Research facilities including reading room and reference library
    • Dedicated spaces for informal and formal learning
    • Secure and environmentally controlled archive strong room compliant with the British standard 5454:2000 allowing us to continue to safeguard our collection for future generations
    • Café and shop
    • Courtyard for outdoor eating and special events
    • Spaces for events, seminars, meetings and community use

    With thanks to the generous and continued support from our funders.

     
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    Volunteering

    Volunteering with us is a fantastic opportunity to get involved and support a national cultural organisation in the heart of Brixton. We need your help to ensure our visitors receive a warm welcome and have an enjoyable lasting experience.

    Volunteer roles available:

    Please complete the Volunteer Application and email to volunteers@bcaheritage.org.uk

     

     
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    Working in Partnership

    We work in collaboration with other cultural organisations and businesses, large or small, national or international, to bring historical accuracy to important projects. Through partnership, we have been able to champion a more accurate vision of history across every cultural touch-point at our disposal.

    We have collaborated with a large number of organisations to produce a variety exhibitions, events and learning resources.  We also continue to expand our collection through the donation of oral histories and archive materials. 

    Some of our previous partnerships include the V&A, Google Cultural Institute, Photofusion – UK Black Panther movement, Zimbabwe Association 12 Year Project, Paddington Arts – Elimu Carnival band, Lambeth School Cluster Project – The Other Georgians and the Black Dance Archives with National Resource Centre for DanceUniversity of Leeds, and State of Emergency.  

    If you are interested in discussing a partnership or project with us, please complete a project submission form and email our Visitor Services team reception@bcaheritage.org.uk.We are currently no longer accepting partnership projects for 2017. We are open to partnership from late 2018 onwards. We meet quarterly to discuss any new projects/partnerships, so please allow time for a reply.

     
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    People

     

    BCA Team

    Paul Reid                                                   Director

    Doreen Foster                                        
    Deputy Director

    Munira Mohamed
    Learning Manager (Schools and Public Programmes)

    Monique Baptiste-Brown
    Marketing and Relationship Manager

    Karis Morris-Brown
    Volunteer Manager

    Sarah Buntin
    Learning Officer (Schools and Young People)

    Seb Hawkins
    Building Services

    Celcia Hammond
    Development Manager

    Chanel Nelson
    Assistant Archivist                              

    For press enquiries please contact
    Monique Baptiste-Brown monique@bcaheritage.org.uk
    or 020 3757 8519

    Board of Trustees

    Dawn Hill
    Chair     

    Okao Angole
    Treasurer

    Prof Hakim Adi  

    Jonathan Akwue                

    Errol Donald       

    Kimberly Keith  

    Maureen Roberts               

    Conrad Peters    

    Stafford Geohagen            

    Novelette Stewart             

    Cllr. Jacqui Dyer
    Lambeth Council representative

    Cllr. Sonia Winifred
    Lambeth Council representative

    Development Board

    Patricia Hamzahee
    Chair

    Kunle Babarinde                

    Dr Charlie Easmon            

    Charlotte Evans
    Co-ordinator

    Leroy Lawrence

    Anthony Simpson             

    Trevor Williams                  

    Neil Kenlock       

    Patrons

    Dame Jocelyn Barrow     

    Lord Paul Boateng            

    Miranda Brawn

    Chuka Ummuna MP         

    Sir Willard White OM OBE             

    Idris Elba               

    Colin Jackson CBE             

    Benjamin Zephaniah       

    Kwame Kwei-Armah        

    Marie Garrison

     

    Funders

    Black Cultural Archives is grateful for the generous support of all our funders.

     
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