Black Middle Class Society Explored In New London Exhibition

A new  photography exhibition celebrating the lives of the ‘first black middle-class’ – the children of the 1950s and ‘60s who passed through the British educational system into the professions, changing the shape and appearance of British society.

60 Untold Stories of Black Britain, runs at the Professor Stuart Hall Building (Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, SE14) from the 1 – 30 October, exploring the education and careers of the sons of daughters of Caribbean migrants.

Black and white portraits, captured by two photographers in their 60s and two in their 20s, audio interviews, and an accompanying documentary, chart decades of struggles, resolutions and achievements and challenge the viewer to answer the question “who are our black heroes?”

Beverley Campbell is the project lead and envisions 60 Untold Stories as providing a new historical perspective needed in order to gain a holistic view of heritage in Britain. “When we ask the question ‘who are our black heroes?’ we use ‘our’ as an inclusive term, meaning British,” she explains.

Beverley sees her generation, who are now in their 60s, as role models for young people today but while they have contributed overwhelmingly to their communities and British society as whole over the decades, their stories have so far largely gone unheard.

The project by The Friends of Marsha Phoenix is Heritage Lottery-funded and associated with Goldsmiths’ Centre for Caribbean Studies. The exhibition will be on display throughout Black History Month and doubles as this years Marsha Phoenix Annual Memorial Lecture for the charity. 

60 portraits of the 60 subjects will be on display in The Professor Stuart Hall building. Four photographers have been chosen to contribute 15 images each. Two are from a younger generation; Keri-Luke Campbell, Jacob Bryan-Amaning and two are from an older generation; George Walfall and Carlton Bryan.

60 Untold Stories has been curated by Goldsmiths MFA Curating student Tamar Clarke-Brown and supported by post-doctoral researcher Dr Leila Kamali and Centre for Caribbean Studies Director Professor Joan Anim-Addo. 

One of only 17 black female professors in the UK, Joan’s portrait is included in the show, alongside contemporaries, including Lynton Kwesi Johnson (poet and Goldsmiths Sociology graduate) and Russell Profitt MBE, President of Goldsmiths’ Student Union 1968-69.



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