Black Theatre and the Archive: Making Women Visible, 1900-1950

Friday 4th February

A Wiki Workshop asking what a timeline of Black British theatre history looks like and who decides, and, crucially, where are the women?


What does a timeline of Black British theatre history look like? Where does it start and who gets to decide?

How many Black British theatre makers working before 1950 can you name and how many of them are women?

What traditions have shaped Black British theatre and where can we find collections of Black theatre manuscripts?

How does our access to these histories shape what plays are studied, performed and written today?

This online Wiki Workshop run by the British Library’s Eccles Centre & the University of Leeds aims to make Black women in 20th century theatre visible. We want to expand and amplify knowledge produced by and about Black women, and about gender, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia: women make up only 19% of biographies on English Wikipedia, and women of colour even fewer. Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented: in a 2011 survey 2010 UNU-MERIT Survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female; more recent research 2013 Benjamin Mako Hill survey points to 16% globally and 22% in the US. The data relative to trans and non-binary editors is basically non-existent. That’s a big problem. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: gaps in participation create gaps in content.

At this Wiki editing workshop, you will receive training on creating and editing wiki pages in order to communicate the central role played by Black women in British theatre making between 1900 and 1950, women like Una Marson and Pauline Henriques. You will also be invited to explore resources that can enable better citation justice for women of colour knowledge producers and greater access to archive collections documenting Black British histories. With expert support from Wikimedians and researchers alike, this is an unmissable opportunity to improve Wikipedia for the better.

Image of Pauline Henriques and Sam Sevlone courtesy of BBC UK Government, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

More Online Events Listings MORE

Online Events Tuesday 18th June

The Power of Therapeutic-Led Fostering

Join our virtual event to explore therapeutic-led fostering! Discover its impact on children in need. Learn techniques empowering…