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PAths across waters

black British history in the north east

Paths across Waters is a journey across seas and oceans that navigates the shared pasts and the lost connections linking the Caribbean and Africa to the North of England.

This project follows the sailors, students, doctors, musicians, nurses, and journalists who lived in the North East. Their personal stories overlapped with the story of the British Empire and offer rich and fascinating details about the Black experience in Britain. They remind us that local and global histories should be studied together.

How is the site organised? Each essay in the“Places & Stories” page is centred on a location in Tyne and Wear. The section “Lallie’s Book” tells the story of a book that travelled from Newcastle, Jamaica, to Newcastle, England. A list of suggested readings on Black British history and more information about the project can be found in the “About Us” page.

Except where otherwise noted, this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please cite or link the materials you are using.

Assembly Hall


Learn about the late 19th century activists who devoted their lives to challenging racism and imperialism

International Coloured Mutual Aid Association

North Shields

Building solidarity across the African Diaspora, this Association turned North Shields into a centre of black activities in Britain

Colonial Students Club


When they were not studying for their exams, these students led a campaign to dispel  misconceptions about Africa

West Indies House


The first boarding house in the region was a home away from home for seafarers during World War II

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