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From never-heard-before oral histories to articles exploring our extensive photography collection, we have curated a selection of content that explores the history of the African-Caribbean community in London.

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    Black & British: A Fashionable Windrush Story

    In the spring of 2021, the Museum of London acquired two fashion ensembles and a group of oral histories from Tihara Smith and her Granddad, Lazare Sylvestre. Together, these acquisitions tell a multi-generational story about immigration, life in London, and a shared love for fashion.

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    How did the Empire Windrush change London?

    In 1999, the museum interviewed Sam King, ex-RAF serviceman, one of the 802 people who immigrated aboard the Empire Windrush, one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival, and the first black Mayor of Southwark.

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    Listening to the Windrush Generation

    Two of our Listening to London volunteers, Shanice and Jasmine, have selected six oral histories exploring life in Britain in the 60s - from Windrush immigrants to their children.

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    Photographing Black Britain: Charlie Phillips

    Look through the lens of Charlie Phillips, a groundbreaking photographer who captured the lives of black Londoners in North Kensington, and street life for over thirty years.

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    On display: Caribbean family in Trafalgar Square

    This painting, one of a pair, depicts a Caribbean family feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Both paintings date from the 1950s, a period when debate about commonwealth immigration was at its height.

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    Photographing Black Britain: Neil Kenlock & Armet Francis

    Neil Kenlock and Armet Francis took their cameras onto the streets of North Kensington to document the lives of African-Caribbean people across London and beyond. Both Jamaican-born, they arrived in Britain as children and became well-established professional photographers.

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    London, Sugar & Slavery

    The Windrush generation changed the political and cultural makeup of London today. The gallery documents these stories of identity in formation and recognises important questions concerning citizenship and anti-racism.

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    Photographing Black Britain: Roger Mayne & Henry Grant

    Discover how photographers Roger Mayne and Henry Grant brought an outsider's perspective to North Kensington, fascinated by the community they found there.

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    On display: Brixton Market

    The painter David A.N. Williams says of this painting: 'Beneath the railway bridges that criss-cross Brixton there is a lively colourful environment. All my pictures drawn during the summer of 1988 attempt to document the everyday life of the market and the characters who live and work in it'

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    Read, learn and support

    From a reading list to resources to learn more about Windrush and its repercussions on London today, discover more thanks to our curated selection featuring essays, plays and fiction.

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    Listening to London and the Windrush Generation

    Delve deeper into our oral history collection, containing more than 5,000 hours of recorded life story interviews from the people who have lived, worked, moved, migrated, found refuge or just passed through London.

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    On display: Because They Know Not

    Alvin Gladstone Bennett, a West Indian poet and journalist, wrote this novel about migration to Britain. The author came to England in 1954, representing a group of newspapers in Jamaica, to report back on the situation of Caribbean people who had emigrated to Britain.

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    London is the place for me

    Listen to Lord Kitchener, the "King of Calypso", sing as he disembarks from the Empire Windrush in this rare video courtesy of Pathe.

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    The Psychology of Windrush Style

    Black Caribbean fashion in London has evolved and developed over time but has never lost its deep roots in the immigration culture of moving from one place to another, fitting in while standing out but without forfeiting one’s identity. Whether one is a first-, second- or third-generation immigrant, the influence of ancestry and upbringing rings true through everyday style choices.

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