Our mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK and to inspire and give strength to individuals, communities, and society.
Black Cultural Archives grew from a community response to the New Cross Massacre (1981), the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984); underachievement of Black children in British schools, the failings of the Race Relations Act 1976, and the negative impacts of racism against, and a lack of popular recognition of, and representation by people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK.
Our founders, including the iconic Len Garrison, came to the conclusion that what was needed was a space where members of the community, especially young people, could come and find positive representations of themselves in history and culture. This act of self-help expanded into the creation of what our founders called an ‘archive museum’ that evidenced and painted a more comprehensive picture of Black presence in Britain.
Black Cultural Archives is the home of Black British History.
We use our mission to collect, preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK and to inspire and give strength to individuals, communities and society.
Our HQ is 1 Windrush Square in Brixton, London.
At our HQ we run a series of gallery exhibitions, educational programmes and public engagement events. We provide free access to our unique set of archives, museum objects and reference library.
We have become the leading non-governmental and heritage institutional voice for the Windrush Generation. We are part of the Windrush Action Group and the Windrush National Organising Committee.
BCA’s network includes current collaborations with the Universities of Roehampton and Kings College.
We are leaders in the heritage sector for our work on workforce diversity, and we are interrogating decolonial archival practices.