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Black Cultural Archives

26 Reviews
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Black Cultural Archives

26 Reviews
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1 Windrush Square Brixton, London SW2 1EF England
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SouthwarkUnderground61 min
WaterlooUnderground59 min
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Whitehalltraveller wrote a review Sep. 2019
London375 contributions151 helpful votes
After the scandal of the Windrush British commonwealth settlers from the Caribbean hit the news recently, we decided to visit the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. There is only 1 room dedicated to the exhibition on Windrush which I thought was far too small. It did highlight the different immigration acts but there was simply not enough on display. Considering how big a story this is and affects so many people whose parents came over in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, they should be highlighting those cases as they are in the public domain and they are good examples of how people faced an “hostile environment”. They should also be showing on continuous loop the David Olusoga documentary: “The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files” which explains how the various immigration acts have changed over the years and caught people out. The archives also has another room upstairs which has a timeline of black British history and shows there have been black people in the UK since the Roman times. Do visit Windrush Square as well, a monument to all of the commonwealth soldiers who came over to defend the ‘motherland’. However, I do feel that this monument should be in Whitehall where the 2 other monuments to the First and Second World Wars are permanently on display.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Emily J wrote a review Jul. 2019
New York City, New York79 contributions18 helpful votes
The Black Cultural Archives website states that it is "the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain." I visited out of a sincere interest about Black migration to and through England throughout history. The Centre, unfortunately is a bit limited. The gallery is "free" but seemed to consist of a single conference room on the second floor with pictures featuring prominent leaders in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. I couldn't get a clear answer from anyone as to whether this was the entirety of the free gallery. There was also a first floor special "Windrush" exhibit on the first floor that was much more comprehensive than the main gallery and that focused on Black migration from the Caribbean to England in the late 1940s and early 1950s and challenges faced by Brexit and other citizenship laws throughout the last 50 years. Admission to the exhibit cost only £3 and it was a must see. I wish I could give a higher rating, as this centre seeks to tell an important history, but the presentation was not rounded. I left knowing nothing about Caribbean migration prior to the late 1940s or about those who migrated directly from Africa. I did purchase a copy of "Black and British" by David Olusoga from the gift shop, and anticipate that its 529 pages will provide greater insight. The Centre exhibits did not that it is still in its infancy and seeking sources of funding, that could significantly raise their profile. I would still recommend seeing the Centre, but combining a visit to the Brixton Market to make a well rounded half day excursion. I would also recommend considering making a donation to the Centre if you are passionate about Afro Caribbean History.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Vanessacalling wrote a review Jun. 2019
London, United Kingdom227 contributions34 helpful votes
I've reviewed the venue on a cultural excursion previously, we'd also previously stopped for a bite, but this time we got seduced by the menu and that bite got bigger. So I'd like to say - top notch to the cafe kitchen. Cheerful service, tasty fare and a mango rum smoothie winner! Chicken wings were only 3 but garnish, dressing and salad made up for that and I cleaned the plate. My pal's plantain and bean stew with rice also went down quickly to appreciative noises from that corner, even my daughter munched on my mango glazed chicken too. Close to closing they helpfully cleared around us, but left us to bask the sunshine after their doors shut. Lovely and we didn't even have cake this time - which always look tempting! Be back soon...
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Date of experience: May 2019
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Y3048NPdavids wrote a review Apr. 2019
London, United Kingdom785 contributions97 helpful votes
We have been here to see the last three exhibitions and have always found it a pleasant place to visit. The exhibitions are small; the current one showcases the careers of five black women who are at the top of their chosen professions and is accompanied by excellent photographic portraits together with inspirational biographical information. We also enjoyed a coffee and excellent soup in a friendly, relaxed and bright environment in the café there.
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Date of experience: February 2019
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Kirsten C wrote a review Sep. 2018
2 contributions
The one exhibition we saw was interesting. My three friends and I went to check it out because we heard it was cool but woman who worked there was so rude to us! We were looking around trying to find the exhibits and she effectively told us that we weren’t welcome and had the worst attitude. So condescending. Didn’t continue to look around because it was so off putting and won’t be coming back.
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Date of experience: September 2018
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