You may have joined the online talk Dr Cheryl Butler gave to HAT members on 22 September 2020 intriguingly titled ‘Ascupart’s Children’ – it is still available to view on our website if you’d like to see and hear it please click here.

The talk was inspired by looking at how to respond to the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. Southampton was keen to reflect on responses to migration in the centuries following the events of 1620. One area explored was what archives and materials survive which reflect the history of BAME communities. After a lot of research, Cheryl gave her talk to various groups including HAT and TUVAA – The United Voices of Africa Association based in Southampton.

Clearly, the talk has sparked a lot of enthusiasm and a project has been created by The United Voices of Africa Association (Southampton). They requested funding for their project to collate research and create a high-quality publication with c.50 case studies on early black history from the medieval period to the early 20th century, with details on where archive material can be found. It is hoped that additional sources can also be found as the research progresses. Many local historians, Cheryl among them, have generously donated their findings and knowledge to contribute to the project. TUVAA has clearly hit the ground running and already (Jan 2021) have some 25 cases which will form part of the publication. This project demonstrates just how much you can glean from records when you look hard and sometimes laterally!

It is very pleasing and rare to feel you were there at the inception of a project as HAT was this time and has awarded £8500 to help make this publication a reality.

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