Black Entertainment Culture 1900-2000 – Talk 23 July


Thursday 23 July. 2.30pm.

100 Years of Black Entertainment Culture in Britain 1900 – 2000

Speaker: Leon Robinson, Filmmaker, Archivist and Founder of Positive Steps Archive. Victoria & Albert Museum.

Unearth the story behind this archive, in many instances written out of history, and the research undertaken to find performers whose names have never appeared on a billboard or flyer. Examine, view and handle original material from Robinson’s archive, including black performers in British music hall such as Edwardian double act Smith and Johnson, tap dancers The Clark Brothers, and Les Ballets Negres, the UK’s first black ballet company founded in 1946. Discover more about digitisation and conservation as forms of preserving archives.

Free, but booking essential. Book at:

Positive Step’s Facebook is at

A 2009 interview with Leon on the Really Useful website can be read at:

Leon’s 2011 Institute of Historical Research seminar talk ‘Unveiling the unknown: archiving the Black contribution to the performing arts over three centuries’ can be seen at

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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