Lost Legends: Project Update April 2017

Serendipity are proud to present and launch the new section of the website focused on Leicester’s Lost Legends, the African and African Caribbean community. 2017 celebrates the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in Leicester and Serendipity’s Lost Legends project has identified issues for change where Black History Month is concerned. Many participants who are involved with the project, from all generations of the Leicester community, would like the future of Black History Month to change and to see the education system teach more of our young people about Black History. Also, ‘365 every day is Black History’ is very important to all members of the community, so this project will not just leave a legacy of archival information, a website, dedicated publication, exhibition and film; the legacy will expand to help change the learning and resources for every generation of the community about the positive aspects of Black History and to develop the next 30 years of our Black History education and celebrations.

Lost Legends has reached out to over 60 individuals within the African and African Caribbean community in Leicester, interacting and meeting with residents from Highfields at the African Caribbean Centre and students who attend De Montfort University to hear their thoughts, memories and interaction with Black History Month.

Lost Legends Exchange on Saturday 11 February saw over 30 attendees listen intently to Dr Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor of Sociology for Birmingham City University, exploring his research around Black Radicalism and racial oppression in relation to Black Education. Dr Kehinde Andrews has set up the first UK Black Studies undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University to begin enrolment in September 2017. Following the lecture, the discussion was interactive and many interesting points were made about Black History and Black History in education. The event was fantastic and successful in seeing the community interacting with discussion focused on Black History, as well as recalling the local Black heritage of past BHM events and individuals such as Wolde Selassie.

Scrap or Revamp: Black History Month was again another pivotal event in forming part of the legacy of this project. Two cultural experts, Karen Salt, Assistant Professor at Nottingham University, and Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph, were interviewed on their thoughts and perspectives relating to BHM. The focus was on whether BHM should be scrapped completely or revamped to give BHM a different future and meaning for Black people. Again, a successful event and the audience interacted asking important questions to Karen and Mark as well as raising key points relating to their own thoughts and perspectives on the question of BHM, Should it be Scrapped or Revamped?

Serendipity representatives were invited as guests to Dulcie Dixon’s show on BBC Radio Leicester to launch the Lost Legends website, with its media archive that includes oral history clips and videos. The website is also home to a new digital directory of artists, and blogs of archival stories, photographs and historical information. The website will keep expanding with new content to be added continuously throughout the year.

Our next Lost Legends Exchange event is taking place on Saturday 10 June 11am – 2pm at LCB Depot with another key guest speaker. We are also calling out for memorabilia and objects for our planned exhibition at Newarke Houses and Gardens Museum in October 2017, items such as records, posters or BHM brochures, relating to BHM events or celebrations or artists, such as Laurel Aitken, Cameron Hinds and the Black Gorillas.

If you would like to find out more information about Lost Legends project or can help us in our search for Black History Month memorabilia, please get in touch by emailing gemma@serendipity-uk.com or call 0116 2577316.