Hull’s Old Town to celebrate Black History Month with two-week exhibition

An exhibition to mark Black History Month is taking place in Hull’s Old Town.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 17 October until Saturday 31 October, merging themes of migration, inclusivity and community.

It will form part of the Hull High Street Heritage Action Zone project funded by Historic England, taking place at Trinity Market, Hepworth Arcade and on Whitefriargate.

The exhibition will feature stories from the Africans in Hull & East Yorkshire project.

Gifty Burrows, founder of the project, said: “Most of the time when history is retold, there are gaps in the narratives which means that the whole community is often not represented and this exhibition aims to provide an inclusive view of our region. People of African descent have a surprisingly long presence in Hull and within British social history generally because of colonialism and trade.

“Presenting our collective stories in the heart of the city allows these lesser-known tales from the city to be discovered by showing them in very accessible settings. It is hoped that it will stimulate shared recollections of the past and conversations about the present.”

The exhibition will challenge the misconception that Black presence has a brief history in the makeup of Britain as evident in the themes: family life, sport, entertainment, maritime, service personnel and human rights.

The exhibition will focus on the lives of people like Laureen Sylvestre, who was born in Hull in 1911.

The Hull High Street Heritage Action Zone project will build upon the work carried out to date by further exploring these themes to uncover stories related to Hull Old Town and its rich cultural heritage.

If you have any stories to share you can contact

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “Black history is embedded in British culture and has contributed so much to our society; not just in Britain, but here in Hull. This exhibition will highlight and celebrate the importance of Black history and culture to our region.

“As we start to see huge investment and regeneration on Whitefriargate, Hull’s historic thoroughfare, The Hull High Street Heritage Action Zone project will uncover the rich history of Hull’s Old Town, celebrating why the area means so much, not just to our past, but also our future.”

The four exhibition sites will be found at Trinity Market Food Court, Hepworth’s Arcade, No 18 Whitefriargate and the former M&S Building on Whitefriargate.

Visitors to the exhibition are asked to observe social distancing. Face masks must be worn when entering Trinity Market and Hepworth’s Arcade.

Trinity Market and Hepworth’s Arcade are open 7.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

Craig Broadwith, historic places adviser for Historic England, said: “Hull has a rich and diverse cultural history, boasting such sites as the Immigrants Station & Platform at the Paragon Station, the Earl De Grey public house and the Harry Lazarus Hotel.

“I’m delighted that this overlooked part of the city’s proud multicultural heritage is being explored and celebrated through this exhibition.”


You can download a map of the exhibition here