Black Family History in the First World War

A collaboration between the Museum of Liverpool and Writing on the Wall for Black History Month.
Liverpool has one of the oldest Black and Minority Ethnic communities in Europe, in some cases reaching back ten generations, yet photographs of Black First World War soldiers in local archives are incredibly rare.

In 2013 the Museum of Liverpool launched a project aimed at encouraging local Black families to research their First World War family histories and uncover memories to help us fill this gap. As part of an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the war in summer 2014, we are acknowledging the great contribution of Black and Minority Ethnic Liverpool families to the war effort.

The resulting exhibition in the Museum, First World War - Reflecting on Liverpool's Home Front, tells the stories we have so far...

For Black History Month, Museum and Writing on the Wall are hosting a celebration of this project, inviting more families to explore their histories and to join internationally renowned poet Levi Tafari in forming a creative response to some of the stories we have heard.

Wednesday 29 October 2014 Programme

 Education Area 3.

11am: An introduction to Black family history in the First World War at the Museum of Liverpool by Curator of Social History Karen O’ Rourke

12pm: Black Salt - a talk/Q&A by Ray Costello in Education Area 3
1pm - 2pm: Poetry Workshop by Levi Tafari inspired by the First World War

2pm - 3pm: Poetry Workshop by Levi Tafari inspired by the First World War

3.30pm: Performance of poems created during the workshops Levi Tafari and participants in the Museum Atrium

At intervals 11am - 3pm

- Drop in surgeries hosted by Ray Costello and Karen O'Rourke to which members of the public are invited to bring along photos, documents and memories in relation to their Black Family Histories in the First World War to share with the Museum or to possibly find out more.

- Performances in the Atrium by the Living Lindy Hoppers

Throughout the day: Black Community History Trail promoted at all events and on signage and craft workshop in Education Area 2.

Members of the Museum's Education team will share items from the First World War handling collection

All events are free of charge to all visitors, just come along on the day and everybody is welcome.

For directions please visit

Also for Black History Month... 

Curator Kay Jones will also be leading a tour of the Liverpool Black community history throughout the Museum on 21 October at 3pm. All welcome.

The Liverpool Black community history trail is always available from the Museum’s Welcome Desk – this highlight content throughout the museum which helps to tell some of these stories.