Looking back: Why Black Lives Matter in the British Countryside

Our final speaker, Louisa Adjoa Parker, closed our 2020 Conference by encouraging delegates to understand what they can do to support Black Lives Matter in a rural context.

©Robert Golden

A writer and researcher from South West England, she focused on the experiences of people of colour in white rural landscapes, including the Black History in Dorset project (2007) which explored the presence of African and Caribbean people in Dorset over 400 years. She brought that work up to date for us by exploring the differences between rural and urban racism, the challenges in challenging others, Black Lives Matter protests in rural areas, as well as what museum workers can do professionally and personally to enact change.

This session was hosted by Melanie Williamson, Collections Assistant, Staffordshire Archives and Heritage

Louisa Adjoa Parker is a published writer and poet of Ghanaian and English heritage from South West England. She began writing to talk about the racism and domestic violence she experienced as a child, and is passionate about telling the stories of marginalised voices. Louisa has written books and exhibitions exploring black, Asian and ethnically diverse history in the South West. She set up the Where are you really from? project which tells stories of black and brown rural lives. As co-founder of The Inclusion Agency (TIA) she provides consultancy around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to a range of organisations as well as delivering diverse Arts and Heritage projects. @LouisaAdjoa

Melanie Williamson is Collections Assistant at Staffordshire County Museum. She studied Art Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester, but moved into social history. She has gained experience in front of house, consultancy, collections, outreach and events, following part-time and temporary roles all over the country. She’s been in her current role for seven years, and collections are where her heart lies. She is a committee member of the RMN.

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