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New Black History 365 fund launched to support local communities


Tue 4 Oct 22

We are thrilled to announce that the Old Royal Naval College has been successful in securing £6,000 from the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Black History 365 Fund (BH365). The fund seeks to support projects that connect with and support local communities to creatively interpret and celebrate Black cultural heritage and experiences.

Building on the success of previous programming around the Black history of our site (for example, the 2020 Black Greenwich Pensioners exhibition and our ‘Where in the World?’ primary school workshop), the Old Royal Naval College is using the funding to expand the Black History secondary schools offer to include new in-person and digital sessions on Black women’s history in Greenwich. 

The sessions will focus on women such as Catalina, a Black Lady in Waiting to Catherine of Aragon, who lived and worked on our site during the reign of Henry VIII; Phillis Wheatley, a former slave who became the first published Black female poet and who visited the Old Royal Naval College’s Painted Hall in 1773; and Mary Ann Johnson, wife of a Greenwich Pensioner, murdered in Skinner’s Court in 1847. Through analysing the lives of these women, our specialist educational freelancers will build up a picture of the specific cultural, social and political circumstances in which each woman operated, and by doing so illustrate how identity politics of gender and race intersected at different points in Greenwich’s history. 

The project will bring wide-ranging benefits from the development of a more inclusive interpretation of Greenwich’s heritage and in so doing we will make the interpretation of local history more representative of our borough and the diverse communities who enrich it.