Why we need Black History Resources on our Black History website

The history of Africa, which is essentially Black history, has been pushed to the margins over the past centuries. Therefore, the contributions of Black people and their achievements in areas such as Art, music, education and science have been ignored, unrecognised or forgotten. We believe that having a range of high-quality resources on Black history on our website would give the people of Wales a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between Black history and the history of Wales.

Representation is vital. In Butetown, Cardiff, we are proud to have one of the UK’s first multicultural communities. In ‘Tiger Bay’ as it is often referred to, from the first World War onwards, it became home to people from over fifty countries, and that number continues to grow. The stories of Black citizens of Wales from the past, such as John Ystumllyn, a Welsh gardener at Ystumllyn, Criccieth, who lived and worked in the community during the late eighteenth century, was one of the first Black men recorded in Eifionydd, North Wales, need to be more well known. It should be known that Black people were recorded as living in Wales as long ago as the Roman era when Africans came to work and fight in Britain as part of the Roman army in the year 43AD. We know that there was a large regiment of Africans ‘the Aurelian Moors’, led by the emperor Aurelius, who was Black and who came to defend Hadrian’s wall. There was also a large Roman presence in Wales for over 300 years. More recently, we look to the people of the Windrush generation for changing modern Wales, but there has been a strong Black presence in Wales for many centuries prior to their migration.

Following the racist murder of George Floyd in the USA in 2020 and the subsequent awakening on the need to explore Black perspectives and history in Wales, the Welsh Government’s vision to work for an anti-racist Wales by 2030. It is thus, more important than ever, that we study Black history, and have access to materials all year round and not just during Black History Month each October.

The ‘why and how’ we are, where we are today help support a deeper understanding and insight which is vital to give context into the issues that are still apparent, such as why this important information is not easily accessible to everyone. In addition to studying history and accessing our resources website, we encourage you to read books written by Black authors, as this will help with understanding and context, as well as shine a light on the reasons for discrimination and racism in our society.

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