Another England: Mapping 100 years of our Black & Asian heritage

Mapping 100 years of England’s history from the perspective of Black and Asian people, Another England tells the story of the country’s rich multicultural heritage through place. Share your own local knowledge using the Another England map.


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About Another England

Another England is in a constant state of becoming. From the moment Britain began to colonise Africa and Asia and other parts of the world, another England has existed in the hearts and minds of those destined to come here. That other England has often differed dramatically from the one that people have been confronted with when they arrived in the mother country. And within the buildings, places and communities that they adopted, adapted and built, another England emerged.

The story of the people from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia who came to settle here as a result of our colonial history is also England’s story.

In establishing new trade relationships and transporting enslaved Africans to the New World, in drawing boundaries and inventing new nation states in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, England has been forged. The arrival of people from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean has transformed and continues to transform the country. Another England has always and will always exist.

Another England combines insights from historians, architects and curators with a public campaign to gather personal histories and uncover a much broader picture of England’s past that encompasses the perspectives and histories of People of Colour. Pidgin Perfect and their project team have been commissioned by Historic England to take an innovative approach to exploring Black & Asian history and the nation's buildings and spaces.

Historic England is the public body that protects and champions England’s historic environment. Our aim for this project is to enrich the established and understood histories of England with more diverse, open accounts. We want to bring greater attention to the histories of under-researched and under-represented groups. A more inclusive account of our history will enable more people to enjoy the historic environment.

Pidgin Perfect has been commissioned by Historic England to lead a diverse project team that includes:

  • Historian Professor Hakim Adi
  • Black studies expert Dr Kehinde Andrews
  • Engagement specialist Janet Browne
  • Curator Kaia Charles
  • Architect Shahed Saleem
  • Artist Alberta Whittle

The project team is supported by a steering group of Black and Asian heritage and culture specialists who meet every two months.

2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. Many Black Britons, as well as thousands of Black and Asian soldiers from across the British Empire, fought in the war. The project takes this important year as its starting point.

There followed a century of enormous global change and waves of migration. The century since has seen Black and Asian people influence England’s culture, industry, economy, and national life as never before.

The project follows the histories of people arriving from countries in Africa, South and East Asia and the Caribbean. It will build our understanding of England’s recent history from the perspective of people of colour.

The project will explore the reasons people came, including two world wars and established colonial and trade links. It will chart the places in which they settled, worked, and socialised. It will draw attention to the individuals and communities of Black and Asian descent that have made their mark on the places and buildings around us in these last 100 years.

This project will enable Historic England to:

  • give an account of England’s history of the last 100 years from the perspective of people of colour, enabling more people to understand and enjoy their historic environment
  • identify and understand the historical and social significance of places and how, where and why England has been changed by Black and Asian history
  • mark out historically significant places which have been previously-unrecorded and recognise them in an appropriate way
  • create public awareness of community assets so they can be better understood and valued

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