Black History Map
We're very excited to share the launch of Gloucestershire's Celebratory Black History Map to promote cultural understanding and active lifestyles in Gloucestershire. The map has been created by the talented and inspiring team at Black Ark Media, an organisation dedicated to educating people about Black history. Pioneered by Derrick McLean and Ronnie McGrath, of Black Ark Media, and commissioned by GCRP with funding from Active Gloucestershire, the innovative map aims to deepen the understanding of both "British" and "Black British" history while promoting cultural appreciation, active lifestyles, and community engagement.
This celebratory map also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush generation in Britain. Going beyond historical significance, the map has been designed to encourage individuals to explore the outdoors, adopt healthy habits, and forge connections with their community through active rail travel and active forms of travel such as walking and cycling.
The Black History map serves as a guide to discovering the diverse contributions of Black Britons to art, education, and culture. It highlights walking routes and active rail and sustainable travel experiences radiating from Gloucestershire's nine railway stations, leading to a series of significant Black History sites. By embarking on these journeys, individuals not only gain knowledge and appreciation of the past but also actively promote physical well-being and unity in their communities.
We're also partnering with local community groups to organise guided community walks, through the summer months and celebrating Black History Month in October 2023. The walks will be led by experienced walk leaders, encouraging participants to engage in physical activity while immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of Black History.
A spokesperson for GCRP said:
"We are delighted to collaborate with Black Ark Media on the launch of the celebratory Black History map. This project perfectly aligns with our mission to connect communities through rail and active travel, promote cultural understanding, and encourage active lifestyles. The map will serve as a valuable resource for residents and visitors, allowing them to explore the rich history of Gloucestershire while enjoying the benefits of walking and engaging with their surroundings. We are grateful for the support of Active Gloucestershire in making this initiative possible and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our community."
Derrick McLean, co-founder of Black Ark Media, expressed his enthusiasm about the project, stating,
"We are excited to introduce this innovative Black History map, which not only celebrates our shared heritage but also encourages people to explore their surroundings and adopt active lifestyles. Through this map, we hope to foster cultural understanding, celebrate diversity, and create a sense of unity within the Gloucestershire community."
Richard Fishlock, Active Gloucestershire, said:
“As long-time supporters of Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership and Black History Month we’re extremely proud and excited to support this project. Combining the many benefits of walking around our neighbourhoods with the chance to learn about Gloucestershire’s rich cultural heritage is a genius idea from Black Art Media, and we look forward to promoting the routes and trying them out ourselves.”