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Black Cultural Archives 'proud' to win top diversity award

WINNERS: (L-R) Dawn Hill, Chair of Black Cultural Archives and Miranda Brawn, Vice Chair of Black Cultural Archives

THE BLACK Cultural Archives (BCA) was honoured for its work and “commitment to championing diversity” at the recent National Diversity Awards.

BCA was founded in 1981 by educationalist and historian Len Garrison and others members of the Black British community in a bid to record, preserve and celebrate the history of people of African descent in Britain.

The National Diversity Awards was held in Liverpool on Friday (Sept 16) and celebrated the achievements of organisations, communities and individuals from across the country.

A spokesman for the BCA said they were “proud” to walk away with the award for community Organisation for Race, Faith and Religion 2016.

They said: “The National Diversity Award for Community Organisation for Race, Faith and Religion awarded to Black Cultural Archives recognises our dedication to tackling issues in today’s society, and commitment to championing diversity. Black Cultural Archives in the UK’s first national heritage centre committed to preserving and celebrating the diverse histories of Black people in Britain.

HEART OF THE COMMUNITY: The BCA's Grade II listed building

“For over 30 years, we have collected and preserved a comprehensive archive collection which constitutes as permanent record of Black history and heritage, but also provides invaluable resources for everyone to learn about the contributions of Black people to Britain – beyond the Windrush era.

They added: “Our unparalleled and growing archive collection is drawn from the twentieth century to the present day, while some materials date as far back as the second century. Our collection includes personal papers, organisational records, rare books, ephemera, photographs, and a small object collection.”

In 2014, the BCA opened its Grade II listed heritage centre in the heart of Brixton, south London.

Since the grand opening, over 45,000 visitors have visited the heritage centre.

Four major exhibitions have been presented including the inaugural exhibition Re-imagine: Black Women in Britain which honoured the legacies of Black women from Mary Seacole to Doreen Lawrence; Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s – 1990s in partnership with V&A showcasing the iconic work of celebrated photographers such as Charlie Phillips, James Barnor, Neil Kenlock, Ingrid Pollard and Jennie Baptiste.

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