By Joe Belanger
Originally published on September 30, 2019 on The London Free Press

An effort is under way to develop an exhibition at Museum London to tell the story of London’s black community.

Museum London is hoping to build an exhibition of artifacts and accompanying stories about the lives of people from London’s black community for the annual Black History Month celebration in February.

“We have nothing in our collection that’s strong enough alone to put on an exhibition,” said Amber Lloydlangston, curator of regional history.

“It could be anything — a hammer dad used at work, a garment worn by mom or a relative or a lunch box — and the stories associated with them to tell the story of settlement or arrival, whether it was in the 1800s or the 1970s. Stories about when they came, where they worked, of play, of prejudice experiences or just going to school here to give snapshots of peoples’ lives.”

Lloydlangston said they are hoping to receive donated items or loaned items to tell the story, but need them by Nov. 15 for enough time to get the exhibit ready.

Lloydlangston can by reached by email at for more information or to arrange contributions.

Carl Cadogan, a member of the London Black History Month co-ordinating committee, urged the public to contribute.

“A lot of people heard about places like Buxton (in Chatham-Kent) that had early black settlers, but one thing a lot of people don’t know is London was also a settlement area (for fleeing black slaves),” he said.

“This would be a good opportunity to highlight that. We want people who’ve got a family history in London to reach out with artifacts — letters, writings, mementos — and tell the history of our community at the museum.”