Explore History aimed to be a truly exploratory look at history from different cultural and historical perspectives and it did not disappoint.
The day began at the University of Leeds with a Research Skills Workshop led by Postgraduate Researcher Emily Webb. Following this students embarked on a journey through time and history and took park in an inspirational ‘Leeds Black History Walk’ around the campus with Heritage Corner. After refuelling at lunch in the university refectory, students walked to Leeds City Museum and received a guided tour of the exhibition ‘A City and it’s Welcome’ where they learned about jobs and roles within the museums sector.
Students studying history at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College and Mount St. Mary’s Catholic High School took part. The research skills workshop looked at case studies from black history that really opened students’ eyes: 1. black soldiers’ involvement in both world wars 2. the journey people took on board HMT Empire Windrush and 3. the Notting Hill Race Riots.
Students commented, ‘I learned about the different perspectives of Black History and how we can express and spread this information.’
‘It was really good how we communicated with each other even if we are from different schools.’
The Leeds Black History Walk was led by Joe Williams of Heritage Corner which took students on a fascinating journey through black history from the ancient Nubian dynasty of Egypt to 19th century history of slavery. Students also enjoyed learning about the history of black people in Yorkshire, including Olaudah Equiano who visited Yorkshire in 1791 and Wole Soyinka who studied at the University of Leeds in the 1950s.
‘I really enjoyed this tour, it was very informative and the host was enthusiastic in his comments. I was really interested in hearing about buildings and artwork around the university and their history and meaning.’
‘I learned about the history of black culture within Leeds and the black influence in everyday life.’
The day also provided students with an insight into careers within the cultural heritage sector as they engaged in discussion with Adam Jaffar Curator of World Cultures at Leeds City Museum and with Selina McGonagle, Director of the Geraldine Connor Foundation.
Explore History was organised by HE Progression Officer Mary Owoo and was supported by the National Collaborative Outreach Programme in partnership with the Geraldine Connor Foundation.
Mary Owoo 2019