Black History Month 2020: People of Leeds

During October the majority of our content on the Secret Library blog will focus on Black History Monthincluding links to relevant resources held at the Central Library and signposting to external organisations, most specifically relating to Leeds, its history and heritage. Each week will have a different theme – Research, Events, Social Justice, Windrush and the People of Leeds. In week 4, we are focusing on the People of Leeds: individuals from Black communities who have made a particular impact on Leeds and its past.

Much of the content will take the form of an archive of tweets on the same theme delivered during our Local and Family History department’s weekly Thursday thread on Twitter. Please follow the Leeds Libraries Twitter account to see those tweets in real-time and for more Black History Month content. By archiving the tweets, we hope to begin building a directory of useful resources for anyone beginning or continuing research into Black History in Leeds.

We know that our collections and our content output do not fully reflect the diversity of experience in our city; this is our starting point, but we know we have much further to go before we can begin to say that our local historical output is truly decolonised. We are always open to feedback, suggestions or contributions. Contact us on 0113 37 86982 or via with any comments. 

Tweets from October 29

Other content

Video from Leeds Civic Trust, telling the story of Gertrude Paul, the city’s first Black headteacher and the co-founder of Leeds Carnival

Single-sheet PDF exploring Gertrude Paul’s story (c) Leeds City Council – written by Dawn Murray

Photographs and brief biographical information about Norma Hutchinson, the first Jamaican elected to Leeds City Council

(c) Leeds Libraries,

Material about Susan Pitter, former Lady Mayoress of Leeds, organiser of the Leeds West Indian Carnival, curator of the Eulogy exhibition celebrating the lives & achievements of Leeds’ Jamaican community and the author of the book of the same name:

Interview with Councillor Eileen Taylor, the first Black Lord Mayor of Leeds


The image on this page is (c) Leeds Libraries and shows Cedric Clarke, Leeds’ first Councillor of African-Caribbean heritage

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