Black History Live • The Project

The Black History Live project will focus on the history of African and Caribbean people, across Kent and Medway.

It aims to tell the story of the inhabitants of the region from the 19/20th Century. Telling the story of how they arrived, their contribution to the region, through their work in the areas of trade, industry. As well as what their life was like in the community, their contribution to the arts, education, science and technology.

The project will unearth the history of the region through the people that lived there. This will be achieved through speaking to living descendants and current inhabitants, to enable them to tell their story of what life was like for them in the region. This will enable their stories to be passed onto future generations. We will also research local and national archives to explore the history of said inhabitants.

The project will also build on research from the Command of the Oceans project, by utilising the data found on BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities that worked in the dockyard. It will enable the wider community not just those that live in the region, but visitors to the region to develop a better understanding of the diversity of the region, in an attempt to redress racial and cultural stereotypes.

The project aims to achieve a number of key deliverable’s:

  • To undertake research into the history of African and Caribbean people, across Kent and Medway from the 19/20th Century
  • The findings from the research will be used to develop a Black History exhibition, at the Chatham Historic Dockyard in 2018
  • The material will also be used to develop an online learning resource, and to create a documentary that tells the story of the history of the region
  • A theatre production by renowned dramatist and theatre director JD Douglas.
  • The exhibition will take the form of displays. Actors trained as tour guides based on historical figures from the region, telling the story of Black history. MACA aims to use the materials and make them accessible to local community groups. The exhibition will also feature a live drama interpretation based on the lives of characters during that era; there will also be a learning resource, and lectures
  • The theatre production will take place at Midkent College, in October 2017