Join us for a special event discussing and celebrating the legacy of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project.

As Birmingham Museums begins to make the recordings of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project available online, we are joined by some of the project’s founders to reflect on this incredible archive. Join a panel including founders Ranjit Sondhi CBE, Jagwant Johal and Siobhan Harper-Nunes to discuss the project’s origins, some of the notable recordings and what we can learn from these memories 30 years on.

The Birmingham Black Oral History Project (BBOHP) was founded in Handsworth in 1990. The project aimed to ‘collect, preserve and disseminate the spoken history of Birmingham’s black population’. The collection includes oral history interviews with 21 people conducted between 1990 and 1992, who originated from the Caribbean, South Asia and covered a range of themes including first impressions, religious experiences, education, experiences of racism, identity, as well as their thoughts on the future. In 1999 the BBOHP deposited jointly the collection with Birmingham Museums Trust and University of Birmingham, Cadbury Research Library (Reference: GB 0151 DA06).

This free online event will be delivered via Zoom. Once you have signed up to the event, a unique invite will be sent for an online Zoom webinar, along with instructions of how to log on.

Pre-booking is essential. Book a free ticket online - ticket sales end at 12noon on the day of the event.


Ranjit Sondhi CBE

Ranjit Sondhi was born in India and has lived, studied and worked in Birmingham since 1966. He founded the Asian Resource Centre in Handsworth and has been a community activist, a university lecturer training youth and community workers, and a Board member of a number of of local and national governing bodies, regulatory authorities and appointments commissions. These include the Commission for Racial Equality, the BBC, the National Gallery, the NHS primary Care Trust, the Criminal Cases Review Commission and Guide Dogs for the Blind. His particular interest in formations of community and identity led him to be involved in the Birmingham Black Oral History Project. He considers himself to be a black, British Brummie of Urdu-speaking Indian Punjabi origin.

Jagwant Johal

Jagwant has worked in the field of race equality, Black history, community development and local government over the last 4 decade. During this time, he co-founded Birmingham's first Black History Month pilot in 1992, ran the European Council's 'All Different All Equal' Partnership, ran the City's BHM programme (1997 - 2007) and co-founded the Black History Foundation. Now retired, he is the Secretary of the Birmingham Race Impact Group (BRIG).

This event has been made possible with a grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Image: Photos of Birmingham Black Oral History Project participants Frank Scantlebury, Carlton Duncan, Ryland Campbell and Esme Lancaster. © Kate Green, BBOHP.