Black Lives: Autobiographies

A talk by Kathleen Chater, author of Untold Histories: Black people in England and Wales during the period of the British slave trade.

A number of black people left accounts of their lives. The best known are Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho, Mary Prince and Mary Seacole but there were a host of others whose autobiographies reveal many and varied contributions to British life.


Join us to hear these varied and fascinating stories with author Kathleen Chater, with this talk running along side our new exhibition ‘Unforgotten Lives’.

Unforgotten Lives presents the stories of Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous heritage who lived and worked in the city between 1560 and 1860 and are recorded in London’s archives. Exploring a range of experiences, these multi-layered stories speak of love, enterprise, wealth and family life; discrimination, hardship, resilience and resistance.

Informed by an ongoing research project which aims to reveal London’s complex and long-standing diversity and developed in partnership with Northeastern University London, the exhibition presents evidence of presence and community in documents created nearly 500 years ago. It celebrates well known figures from London’s past and introduces some of the thousands of names discovered in the archives.

Date and time: Wed, 17 May 2023 17:30 – 19:00 BST

Reserve a spot here

London Metropolitan Archives

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is home to an extraordinary range of documents, images, maps, film and books about London. This site offers an insight into the archives, with practical advice on how to research and use them, both at LMA and online.

We run a wide selection of talks, guided tours, film screenings, exhibitions and other events, and you can find out more about these as well as the latest updates from the archives on our news and events page.

LMA is free to use and open to everyone. Whether you’re tracing your family history or researching the history of your neighbourhood, if you’re interested in London or Londoners, LMA is the place to visit.