Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

Fri 1 Jun – Sun 21 Oct 2018

A free exhibition

Welcomed by some as ‘Sons of Empire.’ Vilified by those spreading fears of a ‘black invasion.’ 70 years since the Empire Windrush carried hundreds of migrants to London, hear the Caribbean voices behind the 1940s headlines. Why did people come? What did they leave behind? And how did they shape Britain?

Learn about the Jamaican feminist poet Una Marson, who became the first black woman employed by the BBC. Read Trinidadian J J Thomas’s scathing rebuttal of English colonialism. See the manuscripts of Andrea Levy’s novel Small Island and Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us. And listen to the sounds of the Caribbean, from jazz and calypso to the speeches of Marcus Garvey and personal reflections from some of the first Caribbean nurses to join the NHS.

Enslavement. Colonialism. Rebellion.
Revisit 1948 and explore how the Windrush story is much more than the dawn of British multiculturalism it has come to represent.

 

Image: Some of the first migrants from Jamaica arrive at Tilbury on board the Empire Windrush 22 June 1948

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