The Boys research piece of Len Johnson …

The Boys Project at Archives+  came to an end today. .This is his finished work on Len Johnson the Manchester Black Boxer born in Moss Side and the colour bar in boxing and how he created an organisation to raise awareness about the colour bar and to stop discrimination..fascinating story and so proud at how much effort he put in. I love his art work too.a surprising talent I didn’t know he had.

The final work will be up on their official blog in a week or so…


Black and British Season: History…

It annoys me that they give Black British History a season or a month however at the same time I am glad they do as it means that it at least gets an airing. The BBC season has been the focus of the Boys History learning this month… There have been some wonderful programming.. that not only teaching him about his on heritage as being part Nigerian (through myself) but about the struggle of people of colour In the UK , but also their presence in the UK from Roman times onwards……

It’s really opened his eyes  and mind….

The programming for the season can be found here BBC Black and British Season…..

It’s also lead to lots of debate about the political climate in the USA… and its history, especially related to Slavery and Racism… and how todays political climate can be seen as a result of that history….

We’ve particularly likes Black and British: A Forgotten History

We’ve even bought the book that accompanies the series from The Book People referal link  (Direct Link)

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He also loved Back in time for Brixton  A documentary following a family who give up their modern lives for one summer to experience what life was like for Caribbeans who immigrated to Britain in the postwar period. We’ve wacted so many of these series and this didn’t dissapoint…but he was disappointed there was only two episodes…


He’s virtually watched the whole of the programing and devoured it.. I’d highly recommend for you to watch on catch up on iplayer if you can…

Street Art Walk with the Boy …

So today we mixed a little culture, art, polictics and social history on this art walk.  Back in June Manchester hosted a Cities of Hope Street Art festival. If you’ve seen my instagram you will see that we searched out lots of pieces then rsearched them at home, so when I saw this tour I had to book the Boy on.

The tour focused on the changing face and history of Manchester through it’s street art in the Northern Quarter and Ancoats.

He absolutely loved it. He came home talking about how he disliked the council and their erossion of art in the city centre to make way for gentrification (win!!)

He was amazed at just how much there is that he has just passed by and never noticed before.  These are just a few of the pictures and pieves from today….

Converse advert was the biggest mural in Manchester before the Cities of Hope exhibtion. This piece was by Phonographic, a female Artist from Sheffield. SHe always does things you woudl’nt find in the city, so birds…..Which has spawned a whole host of pieces that are not just art but adverts, but it’s a double edged sword as artists need to eat

Old man and woman City of Hope piece by Christian Guemy and an interpretation of the work by artist currently unknown.

This is a long lost Banksy that Manchester council has “protected” by putting some perspex over the top which casue condensation and mold which essentially destroyed the piece. Its now covered by these flyers, and tags. It was forgotten for over 10 years. The smaller character symbolises hidden things that are lost.

Cities of Hope piece about dealing with subatace abuse and mentsl health. This piece is by an artist called Case. The man in the art is homeless and this was a piece done after work done withthe charity Back on Track. Homelessness is a huge issue in MAnchester at the moment. Finding cut. Benefits cut. Not enough housing, austerity cuts, and it too is affecting the changing face of Manchester.

Below the mural is an iron curb. This can not be found anywhere else in the world and is unique to Manchester. These where used during the industrial revolution because the barrels of goods cracked the curbs so they were replaced with iron instead. I never knew this about my own city…..

Street signs white to blue means east to west. The font of the signs was specially created and only found in this area.

This mural about the elements it was made by four different artists and will no longer be available to view as gentrification of Manchester continues.  A high rise will be built in front of it so it will no longer be in view.

This Mosaic is an outline of a Cotton Mill that existed during the industrial revolution that was demolished. .it was created by local schools and the community to pay homage to Manchester’s industrial and textile past…it you look can see the room..the outline of the windows etc…

The pale colours tiles are newspaper articles and documents  from the years the cotton mill existed.

The blue tiles are imprints of the lace work and fabrics that were produced at the cotton mill all those years ago. ..
We’ve passed this Mosaic for years and never knew what once existed there or what it represented…. 

I could go on and on…it was such a great tour…and a great way to learn about Manchester’s History..and about current issues facing the city…