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Black History Month in Bristol

Explore Black heritage in Bristol by e-scooter

In addition to our Bristol City Guide we want to mark Black History Month with some important sites to visit that promote knowledge and understanding of Black History and culture. Bristol’s ships were central to the slave trade and, years later, descendants of those slaves arrived from the Caribbean in the 1950s as part of the Windrush generation.

As well as many specific events marking Black History Month, we invite you to visit sites that acknowledge and celebrate contributions made by Black people to the cultural and economic development of Bristol and the region.

Seven Saints of St Pauls Murals

Created in 2018 by Black Bristolian artist Michele Curtis, who is also founder of Iconic Black Britons, these Seven Saints of St Pauls murals not only light up the streets but also the soul.

Celebrating the contributions the African-Caribbean community have made to Bristol, and located in the St Pauls area, home not only to many generations of Black families but also its famous Carnival, which has been on hold for the last few years.

In the words of the artist, these “joyful black memorials are a tool for black unity and historical inclusion. They dismantle prejudices and promote social reflection.”

Arnolfini

Arnolfini is Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts located at the Harbourside. Arnolfini has history of celebrating diversity in the arts, and an impressive programme of events and exhibitions celebrating Black culture.

Their current writer in residence is Melissa Cheman, an internationally acclaimed expert on multiculturalism, post-colonial issues art and music. There is also a great waterfront bar, but remember - no drinking and scooting.

Mural of Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist Jen Reid

Painted by street artist Mr Cenz, a bold and beautiful mural in Stokes Croft, opposite Banksy’s famous Mild Mild West Mural, was a response to the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston’s statue during a Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020.

It features BLM activist Jen Reid, who was photographed standing on the empty plinth after the toppling. A statue of Reid was put in place of Colston’s but this has since been removed, and a new People’s Platform put in its place.

The mural is entitled United Souls United Goals, and its aim is to help "build bridges" between different cultural communities.

The People's Platform

The People’s Platform is a series of digitally-built statues that have replaced the statue of slave trader Edward Colston, after it was toppled during the Black Lives Matter protests of June 2020.

It was launched on the first anniversary of the statue being removed and curated by Bristolian art curators, Cargo Movement, a non-profit aimed at changing the narrative around the slave trade.

Scan a QR code next to the empty Colston plinth to see augmented reality statues and works of art. We are honoured to play a part in keeping a city like Bristol moving forward, and encourage you to scoot past this historic site on Colston Avenue.

Bristol Museum and M Shed

Bristol Museum has taken action on decolonisation, stating that ​​”it’s vital we address the issues of power, racism and inequality in our shared history.” With that in mind, the Museum is a great spot to visit, even if it is to gain a greater understanding of how we change the narrative of what history represents.

M-Shed comes under the Bristol Museums umbrella, and it is here that you can see the statue of Edward Colston that was toppled, on display, in an exhibition entitled The Colston statue: What next?.

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