Lancaster Museums celebrate Black History Month

Lancaster City Council is celebrating Black History Month with a series of ‘digital encounters’ throughout October via the Facebook pages of its Maritime and City museums.

They include the ‘Memorial to Zong’ exhibition by artist Lubaina Himid, the first black woman to win the Turner Prize.

The exhibition is a powerful re-interpretation of the history and brutality of the slave trade and remembers the Zong Massacre, the mass killing of 130 enslaved Africans by the crew of a British slave ship.

Further digital encounters will include historical information on key figures such as the actor Ira Aldridge, who performed in Lancaster in the 19th Century, and conversations with the likes of Kevin Dalton-Johnson, the creator of the ‘Captured Africans’ memorial sculpture on St George’s Quay.

Councillor Jean Parr, Cabinet member with responsibility for arts and culture, will also be hosting a virtual meeting on Tuesday October 6 at 6pm to celebrate black history.

The meeting, which will take place via Microsoft Teams, will feature speakers including Rebecca Novell and Geraldine Onek, talking about their work with the local Black History Group, Carolyn Dalton, Museums Development Manager, discussing black history relating to the artefacts in the museums, and Professor Vanessa Toulmin, chair of the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust, speaking about BAME artists and entertainers who worked locally.

To register an interest in taking part visit

Councillor Parr said: “We are proud to support Black History Month. While we are sadly unable to bring people together in our wonderful museums, we have a great programme of online experiences for people of all ages to learn more about black history and culture."

The campaign is designed to not only inform, but also to encourage the public to participate.

The museum is asking people to help build a collection for the future, through the sharing of items such as banners from Black Lives Matter protests, photos, stories from within families, diary entries and other items that can help connect to the city’s Black history.

Keep up with the ‘digital encounters’ campaign via the Facebook pages @LancasterMaritimeMuseum and @LancasterCityMuseum.

Last updated: 02 October 2020