Nottingham Black Archive (NBA) is dedicated to researching, collecting and preserving black history, heritage and culture in Nottingham, from the earliest time to the present day.
It has in its collection some of the earliest documents relating to the formation of black community organisations in Nottingham, including the *ACNA Centre’s constitution, 14 full transcripts from the first generation of Caribbean elders to reside in Nottingham, photographs, articles, newsletters and political letters dating back to the 1960s.
NBA was founded by Panya Banjoko and Laura Summers two heritage professionals with a combined twenty-six years of Museum experience.
They both recognised there was a gap in local museums provision relating to the formation of the BME communities cultural identity. This gap was further highlighted after the commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 2007, when it was realised that there was a lack of knowledge and information on the black presence. In 2008 Banjoko conducted research into the Attitudes and Perceptions of the African Caribbean Community at Nottingham Castle Museum. This revealed that African Caribbean people did not feel as though their history or culture was being represented in Nottingham’s Museums.
African Caribbean interviewee: ‘It seems that the only black history contained in museums is about slavery and that’s not all of black history there is a lot more to it than that. I just don’t feel like they showcase some of the good in my history apart from that one big problem’. (Banjoko 2008)
NCMG Service Manager: I know that people from afro-Caribbean backgrounds don’t come to NCMG. In essence we have a strong feeling that it’s to do with reflecting the balance of history.
NCMG Programme Manager: I think one of the things is the capacity because in terms of our community outreach programme we’ve only got the capacity to do so much…
As a result of the above it was acknowledged that there was a need to develop an archive that documented black history, heritage and culture in the city of Nottingham. NBA was founded in 2009 and Ioney Smallhorne Documentary Filmmaker joined the team in early 2011.
NBA In The Community…
NBA has worked with the ACNA Centre on a successful intergenerational project (March-June 2011) this project enabled NBA to collect 14 interviews and a selection of photographs from African Caribbean elders. NBA also worked with ACNA on the Community Dialogue Event, which was a discussion on the generation gap featuring a panel of elders and young people.
In October 2011 NBA worked with The New Art Exchange and Autograph ABP on the Autograph project which encouraged the community to contribute to a national Photographic archive. Also in October 2011 NBA worked with the BBC, providing a vital link with the community and exploring the differences between first, second and third generation Nottingham residents from the Caribbean.
Currently NBA is working with the Nottingham Playhouse planning a themed antiques road show event scheduled for the 17th October 2012. This event will encourage the community to bring in objects, stories, letters and photographs from the 1960s which will be documented at the event. For more about us visit www.Nottinghamblackarchive.wordpresss.com
* ACNA is the oldest African Caribbean community organisation in Nottingham.