Friday, 6 November 2009


We received this request below back in the Summer and supplied our essential reading list, plus access to the sound archive to student Sarah Durber.

I am UCL student carrying out research for my third year dissertation
on the continuity of racism in education. I am looking to examine the
changes in experiences, values and attitudes towards racism between
generations, through collecting oral histories from participants. But
finding participants has proved challenging, so I am looking to
combine my primary data with secondary sources to increase the scope
and breadth of my analysis.

Sarah has been in touch to let us know about her progress. She posted a beautiful card which said ' I wanted to say thank you for you all your help finding the archives and putting me in touch with contacts for my dissertation research.

Your time and kindness was much appreciated. ' She goes on to say, ' I am now starting my analysis and the wealth of information I collected at the archives is proving very useful. Thanks again I will keep you posted on my progress.'

Job vacancy

We just wanted to ensure that all of our followers were aware that we are currently seeking an Assistant Archivist to work with us at the Black Cultural Archives. You can find out more details from visting our website

Friday, 30 October 2009

Second phase of project

Summer is well and truly behind us, and the Oral History Project of the Black Women's Movement has moved into its second phase in earnest. We have recently interviewed Professor Elizabeth Anionwu CBE who shared her involvement in the movement mainly as someone who made presentations on topical health issues like Sickle Cell at OWAAD conferences and with womens organisations up and down the country.

Lindiwe Tsele a political activist who has lived mainly in London and Manchester very much involved with the long journey to freedom of South Africa. Lindiwe also met the late Olive Morris when she attended University in Manchester.

We also interviewed recently Dawn Butler MP who shared the impact that the women's movement made in a life and how she became active in the Trade Union Movement. Incidentally Dawn will be opening our study day which will take place Saturday 6th March at the London Metropolitan Archive with support from the Women's Library.

We will be announcing further details soon, but wanted to ensure that our blog followers could get this in their diaries as we know this to be a very busy weekend on the eve of International Women's Day.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Oral History Project Launch

The Oral History Project on the Black Women's Movement was launched Tuesday 19th May, at the Karibu Centre formerly the Abeng Centre Gresham Road Brixton. We had over 150 people attending with excellent contributions from Kelly Foster the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) Operations Manager on the new on line catalogue. This means that you can now go on line and search for items we might be holding.

Stella Dadzie co founder of OWAAD Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent and co author of Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain. Stella gave a very thought provoking and moving speech on the Black Women's Movement and celebrating its achievements and why it is vital for people to consider donating items to the BCA.

There was also contributions from Ego Ahiawe volunteer for the project sharing the profound impact the project has made on her life. Plus how much the volunteers have enjoyed the opportunity to interview so many fabulous women who have led extra ordinary lives. Maureen Roberts Trustee for BCA and Chair of the Steering Group also made sure that we kept the event to time and gave a fablulous welcome to the event.

She began by saying:
Honour those who have gone before
You- the ones we have been waiting for
Those who are yet to come - the future.

She went on further to say, "It takes a village to raise a child" You are the village and BCA is our child. That child has reached a special point in its growth. It's passed some important exams. So we thank you, the parents, god parents, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins neighbours who have been watching over us and contributed with finance, words of wisdom, time, gifts, gossip and support.' We've passed our A levels and we're ready for University- and everyone knows how expensive that is, the length of time it take and we' ll need your continuing and full support to come through that experience with flying colours.

Finally Mia Morris Project Manager shared with the audience what a priviledge it was to work on the project and holding the event at the Karibu reminded her of her first attendance at an OWAAD conference some 30 years ago.

We include a range of photographs which hopefully evokes the evenings activities at launch of the Oral History Project of the Black Women's Movement.

Stella Dadzie

Mia Morris Stella Dadzie and Kelly Foster

Audience viewing exhibition on the Black Women's Movement

Our audience

Shot showing the audience

Oral History Project Recruiting Volunteer Transcribers


We are currently recruiting for volunteer transcribers for the Oral History Project
Follow this link to view more details closing date 17th June.

Click here for more details

Friday, 6 March 2009

Feedback on the Interviews

It has been really exciting as the project is up and running with interviews completed and we patiently await for transcripts. This has been a fabulous period for the project, as the training of volunteers behind us in Sound Editing, Transcription and Oral History. We have received good feedback from interviewers who have enjoyed the process of taking time out from their hectic schedules to tell their story.

As you can appreciate getting people what they did some twenty years ago is an awesome job. There is also that delicate balance of ensuring we record the main themes as well as anecdotes, plus prompting appropriately.

We also had an excellent session with Dr.Abiola Ogunsola, University of East London Senior Lecture Programme Leader Education and Community Development. Her talk on how volunteers could possibly consider studying for a Phd and gave much food for thought.

Our next talk in April will be from Dr Kimberly Springer, Lecturer in American Studies and author of several books on Africam-American women's organisation's Kings College London on US Black Feminist Organising: A Comparison.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Update on the Oral History Project

Heart of the Race

The Oral History Project of the Black Womens Movement is of to an excellent start. We had a tremendous response in our call out for volunteers and still receive calls long after the closing date for further information and other opportunities.

We have now recruited for interviewers and transcribers who have all received training at our offices in Kennington. Plus we ran an induction evening event for all who expressed an interest in finding out some more about the project. There was a tremendous buzz in the room with new friends of the BCA developing.

Currently we are matching interviewers to our interviewees, and suspect by the end of the month for the project to fully develop. As interviews are completed and the real work of transcribing begins. This is a very fascinating project which has really captured the black community across the UK.