The British Library has set out plans to launch an extensive research project exploring black history in music, which will culminate in an exhibition due to open in 2024.
The project is in collaboration with the University Of Westminster’s Black Music Research Unit, with the exhibition opening in 2024 and will examine and dissect 500+ years of African, Caribbean and Black diasporic musical influence on the UK.
Mykaell Riley, director for The Black Music Research Unit and principal investigator for Bass Culture Research at the University of Westminster, will lead the project. His main aim is to develop and build on the findings of his renowned 2018 Bass Culture research project.
“We cannot change the past, but we can use history to impact the present and influence the future,” said Riley. “This exhibition will offer unique opportunities to explore the library’s vast collections and other public and private collections, alongside music industry data, allowing us to rethink Black music contributions to British history, culture, and popular music.”
This research represents one of the largest in scale during recent times.