Gifty Burrows, founder of the Africans in Hull & East Yorkshire project.

Old Town exhibition highlights Hull’s black history

An exhibition in Hull’s Old Town is celebrating and highlighting the city’s black history and culture.

The exhibition, which runs until Saturday 31 October, is part of Black History Month.

The exhibition will feature stories from the Africans in Hull & East Yorkshire project.

Gifty Burrows, founder of the project, said: “Most of the time when history is retold, there are gaps in the narratives which means that the whole community is often not represented and this exhibition aims to provide an inclusive view of our region. People of African descent have a surprisingly long presence in Hull and within British social history generally because of colonialism and trade.

“Presenting our collective stories in the heart of the city allows these lesser-known tales from the city to be discovered by showing them in very accessible settings. It is hoped that it will stimulate shared recollections of the past and conversations about the present.”

The exhibition is at four sites in Hull’s Old Town at Trinity Market, Hepworth’s Arcade, No 18 Whitefriargate and the former M&S Building on Whitefriargate.

The exhibition challenges the misconception that black presence has a brief history in the makeup of Britain as evident in the themes: family life, sport, entertainment, maritime, service personnel and human rights.

It also forms part of the Hull High Street Heritage Action Zone project funded by Historic England.

The project aims to uncover stories related to Hull Old Town and its rich cultural heritage.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “Black history is embedded in British culture and has contributed so much to our society; not just in Britain, but here in Hull. This exhibition will highlight and celebrate the importance of Black history and culture to our region.

“As we start to see huge investment and regeneration on Whitefriargate, Hull’s historic thoroughfare, The Hull High Street Heritage Action Zone project will uncover the rich history of Hull’s Old Town, celebrating why the area means so much, not just to our past, but also our future.”

Craig Broadwith, historic places adviser for Historic England, said: “Hull has a rich and diverse cultural history, boasting such sites as the Immigrants Station & Platform at the Paragon Station, the Earl De Grey public house and the Harry Lazarus Hotel.

“I’m delighted that this overlooked part of the city’s proud multicultural heritage is being explored and celebrated through this exhibition.”

Visitors to the exhibition are asked to observe social distancing. Face masks must be worn when entering Trinity Market and Hepworth’s Arcade.

Trinity Market and Hepworth’s Arcade are open 7.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.