The Society's seal and three photographs

Our Publications


African Lives in Northern England

In the autumn of 2020, following the founding of the Culture Against Racism group and our President's signature of their Statement Against Racism, the Society supported the publication of a 2021 calendar, African Lives in Northern England, with volunteers working as part of an informal group writing and editing it.

Subsequently in 2021, a factsheet and a booklet giving much fuller information have been published, again with writing and editing work by volunteers from the Society, and we acted as fund-holders for grant aid received towards publication.

The Society is glad to have been able to offer its website to host further information and resources about the individuals and places featured in these publications, and background material. The project now has its own website, with the documents and much more on it

For further information, contact the project co-ordinator and editor, Beverley Prevatt Goldstein by e-mail.


The calendar and booklet showcase the long history of African lives in Northern England, from Roman soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall to actors in the twenty-first century. The aim is to share the highlights, such as the people believed to be the first black editor and the first black J.P. in Britain, and the first black professional footballer in the world. Others include the enslaved woman who escaped across the Atlantic and settled in North Shields, the ANC fighter who settled in Tynemouth, and famous visitors such as Martin Luther King.

Main sources and references

The  informal group compiling the calendar drew on a number of sources for their information. The main ones were;

Another useful reference book is David Renton, Colour Blind? Race and Migration in North East England, University of Sunderland Press, 2007.

In addition, Historic England and the National Trust have both recently brought out reports linking England's built environment with colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade, downloadable from their websites. They are;

Text and picture sources for Calendar

Individuals and places featured in the Calendar are listed below in alphabetical order, not in order of the months in which they appear. Note; much fuller references, after further research, appear in the booklet. Many of those listed below also have Wikipedia entries.

Aballava (January)

Picture credit; Plaque, photo by courtesy Beverley Prevatt Goldstein.


Aldridge, Ira (October)

Picture credit; James Northcote's painting of the actor as Othello is in Manchester Art Gallery, reproduced with permission from Alamy. Playbill: Public domain.


Coleridge-Taylor, George (December)

Picture credit; Photo taken by Yutaka Nagata, United Nations photo library, in United Nations and Sierra Leone, by Ade Daramy with permission from the author.

Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel (November)

Picture credit;  United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division via Wikimedia Commons

Constantine, Learie (July)

Picture Credit; Wikimedia Commons, from National Library of Australia -

Craft, Ellen and William (April)

Picture credit; Ellen Craft; The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, Wilbur Henry Siebert, Albert Bushnell, (Macmillan, 1898), p. 162, via Wikimedia Commons


Cummings, Ismael and Ivor (September)

Picture Credit; Windrush ship, Royal Navy official photographer. Photograph FL 9448 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums, downloaded from Wikipedia Commons

Durham, Jimmy  (May)

Picture credit; reproduced by permission of the DLI archives and Durham County Record Office, D/Lo/C 113


Edwards, Celestine (June)

Picture credit;  reproduced by permission of National Archives; newspaper cutting, Sunderland Echo, 30 Sept, 1891, p. 3, sourced from Local History Library@ETR.

Back page, picture of plaque reproduced by permission of Sunderland City Council.

Equiano, Olaudah (Writers and Publishers, June)

Picture credit; Frontispiece of his 1789 book, public domain,

Fifefield, William (working class residents, February)

Picture Credit; the Black Gate, Newcastle (part of Newcastle Castle), photo taken by Don O'Meara


Fisk Jubilee Singers (Entertainers, August)

Picture Credit; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA via Wikimedia Commons


Kent, John (Africans in Uniform, May)

Picture credit: plaque reproduced by permission of Maryport town council.

King, Martin Luther (Orators, April)

Picture credit; Beverley Prevatt Goldstein

Macham, Mary Ann (Working class residents, February)

Picture credit; taken from Philip Spence, Robert & Mary Spence of North Shields, Reid and Co., in Newcastle (1939) used with permission from Breaking Chains Exhibition.


Omorogbe, Osa (Actors, October)

Picture credit; David Faulkner

O'Neal, Charles (Nationbuilders, December)

Picture Credit;, Barbados Postal Service

Psyche (Untold stories, March)

Picture Credit; Yale Centre for British Art, via Wikimedia Commons.


Paul Robeson (Musicians, November)

Picture Credit; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection, via Wikimedia Commons

Sibeko, Archie (nation-builder, December)

Picture credit: with permission from Steve Brock. Sibeko was also known as Zola Zembe and Zola Ntembe.


Tyne Concert Hall

Picture Credit, Don O'Meara

Unknown young black servant

Picture credit; Laing Art Gallery/Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, with thanks for permission to use.


Victor (tombstone, January)

Picture credit: Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums


Wellesley-Cole, Robert (medicine, September)

Picture credit: Wikipedia Commons, from an anonymous photographer

West Indian Cricket Team 1923  (Sports People, July)

Picture credit: Team picture reproduced by permission of Alamy.

Wharton, Arthur (Sports People, July)

Picture credit: reproduced with permission from Sean Campbell, Arthur Wharton Foundation





In the future, don’t forget your past