A report by Robert Jobson for the Evening Standard.
Prince Charles today praised the “remarkable contribution” of black immigrants and their families to society in the U.K.
Visiting a new Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, he said, “We are very lucky that you have made that contribution, particularly if I may say so, during the first and Second World
He went on, “At last, you have a centre such as this, which allows you to develop so many opportunities but also to bring the message to so many people in this country and elsewhere about the remarkable contribution made over so long, by people of African and Caribbean descent who have contributed so much to this country.
“When we think of how many people were involved in that war from all around Africa and the Caribbean, their legacy is a truly remarkable one and I am so glad that you are able to ensure that story is told properly,” he said.
During the visit he met a number of black war veterans who served with distinction.
Founded in 1981, by a collective of educationalists, community leaders, and parents, spearheaded by the late Len Garrison, Black Cultural Archives began as a community organisation.
Over the next two decades, Black Cultural Archives amassed its legacy collection and developed a professional archive, library and object collection.
With so many other initiatives that you are pursuing, I was so impressed to hear about them and the fact that you are attracting so many people to this centre.
Prince Charles added, “I believe 50,000 and I’m sure it will grow and grow. In fact I can see a time come when even these premises will probably be too small.
“I just want to use this opportunity to attract those who have struggled so hard for so long to achieve this centre. I can imagine how difficult it has been. It is a great day that you have managed that.”
In July 2014 the Black Cultural Archives opened the first national Black heritage centre in the U.K. dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of Black people in Britain. The B.C.A. heritage centre is located on Windrush Square, in the heart of Brixton – named after the Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury in 1948 carrying her passengers on their pioneering journey from Jamaica to Britain.
The bulk of the collection is drawn from the twentieth century to the present day, while some materials date as far back as the second century.
The collection includes personal papers, organisational records, rare books and photographs.