Black Cultural Archives

Black Cultural Archives, London: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Black Cultural Archives Reviews: 4/5

Black Cultural Archives
4
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
What people are saying
Important Story but a Limited Telling
Jul 2019
The Black Cultural Archives website states that it is "the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain." I visited out of a sincere interest about Black migration to and through England throughout history. The Centre, unfortunately is a bit limited. The gallery is "free" but seemed to consist of a single conference room on the second floor with pictures featuring prominent leaders in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. I couldn't get a clear answer from anyone as to whether this was the entirety of the free gallery. There was also a first floor special "Windrush" exhibit on the first floor that was much more comprehensive than the main gallery and that focused on Black migration from the Caribbean to England in the late 1940s and early 1950s and challenges faced by Brexit and other citizenship laws throughout the last 50 years. Admission to the exhibit cost only £3 and it was a must see. I wish I could give a higher rating, as this centre seeks to tell an important history, but the presentation was not rounded. I left knowing nothing about Caribbean migration prior to the late 1940s or about those who migrated directly from Africa. I did purchase a copy of "Black and British" by David Olusoga from the gift shop, and anticipate that its 529 pages will provide greater insight. The Centre exhibits did not that it is still in its infancy and seeking sources of funding, that could significantly raise their profile. I would still recommend seeing the Centre, but combining a visit to the Brixton Market to make a well rounded half day excursion. I would also recommend considering making a donation to the Centre if you are passionate about Afro Caribbean History.

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Tours and Tickets


4.0
26 reviews
Excellent
8
Very good
11
Average
3
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Whitehalltraveller
London391 contributions
Could do better!
Sep 2019
After the scandal of the Windrush British commonwealth settlers from the Caribbean hit the news recently, we decided to visit the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. There is only 1 room dedicated to the exhibition on Windrush which I thought was far too small. It did highlight the different immigration acts but there was simply not enough on display. Considering how big a story this is and affects so many people whose parents came over in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, they should be highlighting those cases as they are in the public domain and they are good examples of how people faced an “hostile environment”. They should also be showing on continuous loop the David
Olusoga documentary: “The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files” which explains how the various immigration acts have changed over the years and caught people out. The archives also has another room upstairs which has a timeline of black British history and shows there have been black people in the UK since the Roman times. Do visit Windrush Square as well, a monument to all of the commonwealth soldiers who came over to defend the ‘motherland’. However, I do feel that this monument should be in Whitehall where the 2 other monuments to the First and Second World Wars are permanently on display.
Written September 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Emily J
New York City, NY78 contributions
Important Story but a Limited Telling
Jul 2019 • Solo
The Black Cultural Archives website states that it is "the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain." I visited out of a sincere interest about Black migration to and through England throughout history. The Centre, unfortunately is a bit limited.

The gallery is "free" but seemed to consist of a single conference room on the second floor with pictures featuring prominent leaders in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. I couldn't get a clear answer from anyone as to whether this was the entirety of the free gallery. There was also a first floor special "Windrush" exhibit on the first floor that was much more comprehensive than the main gallery and that focused on Black migration from the Caribbean to England in the late 1940s and early 1950s and challenges faced by Brexit and other citizenship laws throughout the last 50 years. Admission to the exhibit cost only £3 and it was a must see.

I wish I could give a higher rating, as this centre seeks to tell an important history, but the presentation was not rounded. I left knowing nothing about Caribbean migration prior to the late 1940s or about those who migrated directly from Africa. I did purchase a copy of "Black and British" by David Olusoga from the gift shop, and anticipate that its 529 pages will provide greater insight. The Centre exhibits did not that it is still in its infancy and seeking sources of funding, that could significantly raise their profile.

I would still recommend seeing the Centre, but combining a visit to the Brixton Market to make a well rounded half day excursion. I would also recommend considering making a donation to the Centre if you are passionate about Afro Caribbean History.
Written July 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vanessacalling
London, UK231 contributions
Cafe Culture
May 2019 • Friends
I've reviewed the venue on a cultural excursion previously, we'd also previously stopped for a bite, but this time we got seduced by the menu and that bite got bigger. So I'd like to say - top notch to the cafe kitchen. Cheerful service, tasty fare and a mango rum smoothie winner!

Chicken wings were only 3 but garnish, dressing and salad made up for that and I cleaned the plate. My pal's plantain and bean stew with rice also went down quickly to appreciative noises from that corner, even my daughter munched on my mango glazed chicken too.

Close to closing they helpfully cleared around us, but left us to bask the sunshine after their doors shut.

Lovely and we didn't even have cake this time - which always look tempting!

Be back soon...
Written June 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Y3048NPdavids
London, UK778 contributions
Interesting exhibitions and a pleasant cafe
Feb 2019 • Couples
We have been here to see the last three exhibitions and have always found it a pleasant place to visit. The exhibitions are small; the current one showcases the careers of five black women who are at the top of their chosen professions and is accompanied by excellent photographic portraits together with inspirational biographical information. We also enjoyed a coffee and excellent soup in a friendly, relaxed and bright environment in the café there.
Written April 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kirsten C
2 contributions
Bad Experience
Sep 2018 • Friends
The one exhibition we saw was interesting. My three friends and I went to check it out because we heard it was cool but woman who worked there was so rude to us! We were looking around trying to find the exhibits and she effectively told us that we weren’t welcome and had the worst attitude. So condescending. Didn’t continue to look around because it was so off putting and won’t be coming back.
Written September 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

pauletteb70
London, UK20 contributions
Lunch with Family Members
Sep 2018 • Family
I have always seen this place when on the bus but never been inside, my husband and brother in laws were raving about it, so on over weekend we had lunch to celebrate my husband pre-birthday. We had just missed the cooked food, so I opted for Ham sandwich which was really delicious followed by mixed fruit punch, I did not get a chance to go to the museum bit but will next time everybody else had cake which left their month watering, the staff that run the place were really friendly and made you feel really good
Written September 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vicsie
Boston, MA87 contributions
Small but good exhibit
Mar 2018 • Solo
I enjoyed the exhibit but know that it is pretty small. You will not spend more than an hour here. The exhibit when I visited was the Family Archive. I enjoyed it very much. I only wish there was more to see.
Written March 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Urbancitygirl64
Chicago, IL273 contributions
Bucklist item for Black Culture!
Dec 2017 • Solo
It's small and Brixton is a cool place to visit. Even if you stop in, it won't take a lot of your time. I enjoyed the one exhibit while I was there. The food at the cafe was good. I bought things from the gift shop. I'm into Black History so I enjoyed myself. I'm not sure if it holds up if you're expecting a traditional "museum" experience.
Written January 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dawn M
London, UK32 contributions
Great Building
Oct 2017
I've been meaning to visit the BCA ever since they were opened in Brixton in 2014 and finally got the chance this weekend during an impromptu visit.

The Black Sound exhibition is currently on until 4 November 2017, and "tells the story of 100 years of musical creativity and DIY ingenuity". It's a very small exhibition and we opted not to get the audio-guided tour, but instead to do a quick browse. There will doubtless be something in the exhibition for Black music anoraks.

The main attraction for me was the building itself and Raleigh Hall has been lovingly restored. There's a small bookshop selling a range of books and some great posters and artwork.

Most of our time there was spent in the café where my companion had a meal (jerk chicken, rice and peas and salad) and we both had a slice of carrot cake, hot drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails (mine was a fantastic cucumber, mint and ginger concoction which I am going to try to replicate at home). The café will definitely be on my go-to list whenever I'm down in Brixton again and wanting a hot drink and a cake! The food was great, as was the service. In fact all the staff present on the day were very friendly and very helpful.

The BCA is a great space and is available for private hire. It would be great to hold an event there in the summertime so the courtyard could be used.
Written October 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Emily E
London79 contributions
Great building - shame there's so little to see inside
Jun 2017 • Solo
Lovely handsome Georgian building in the heart of Brixton which I am pleased has been saved from collapse after years of decay. I just hope there is more to see next time I visit - it just felt like a series of near empty rooms with a small shop and a nice little cafe. I felt the archives were not accessible to people walking in off the street and there were no artefacts on display. There is huge potential for improvement.
Written June 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Black Cultural Archives is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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