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Black History Month exhibition heads to Leicester

LOST LEGENDS: The exhibit is interactive and multi-platform

NEXT MONTH, the light will be shone on Leicester’s African and African-Caribbean pioneers through archival objects and previously untold stories in Lost Legends, an exciting, historical exhibition.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in the UK. Leicester-based arts organisation, Serendipity, is celebrating with the Lost Legends exhibition.

The exhibition acknowledges the cultural contribution of the African and African-Caribbean communities in Leicester and the UK. Lost Legends also explores the first-hand stories of local pioneers and reflects on three decades of Black History Month through memories, memorabilia and archival research.

The Lost Legends exhibition has been funded by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Leicester City Council.

A project, including an interactive online media archive featuring oral histories and archival footage, a publication and a short documentary film, is accessible to exhibition visitors.

The exhibition aims to bring to light the hidden gems, achievements and trailblazers, such as the story of Canadian boxer Larry Gains who lived in Leicester during the 1930s, the contribution of ska pioneer Laurel Aitken, actor Josette Simon and stage sensation Milli Munro.

A showcase of unique memorabilia will be on display, allowing visitors to reflect on cultural, social and political movements from the last 30 years and beyond.

Powerful pieces of art work, an insightful collection of vintage publications from black writers and programmes from events in Leicester featuring artists such as Billy Eckstine, Cy Grant and Joan Armatrading, are just some of the objects on display.

Pawlet Brookes, Chief Executive and Artistic Director for Serendipity, said:

Lost Legends has been a fantastic opportunity to record, collect and document the contribution African and African Caribbean artists and activists have made to the cultural landscape.

“It has become increasingly exciting as the project has evolved, from the discoveries that artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and John Coltrane performed in Leicester in the 1960s through to the unrecognised contributions that Leicester’s own artists have made.

Lost Legends is an opportunity for people from across the region and the UK to learn more about black British history and question what Black History Month means to them as they learn, reflect and respond to this exhibition.”

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