‘You’re not British, you’re Black. And so I didn’t really fit into either camps (Nigeria and England). And space was that wonderful thing that transcended all of that because when you look at the earth from space, there are no countries, there are no boundaries, we’re just one people.”

Quote from interview with Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock below.

Most of us may have come into contact with Maggie Aderin-Pocock on the TV when she presented Sky at Night in 2014, Stargazing on CBeeBies, Out of this World on CBBC and other programs.

As a person, Margaret Ebunoluwa Aderin-Pocock is just awesome. Born in London on 9 March 1968 to Nigerian parents, she attended 13 schools and at one when she said she wanted to be an astronaut, she was advised instead to become a nurse. She went on to gain 4 A levels in maths, physics, chemistry and biology and went on to get her BSC in physics in 1990 and her PhD in mechanical engineering in 1994. Her PhD research:

Her research investigated the development of an ultra-thin film measurement system using spectroscopy and interferometry to the 2.5 nm level. This involved improving the optical performance and the mechanical design of the system, as well as the development of control and image processing software. Other techniques at the time could only operate to the micron level with much poorer resolution. This development work resulted in the instrument being sold by an Imperial College University spin-off company, (PCS Instruments).

Aderin-Pocock has worked on many projects in private industry, academia, and in government. From 1996 to 1999 she worked at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, a branch of the UK Ministry of Defence. Initially, she worked as a systems scientist on aircraft missile warning systems, and from 1997 to 1999 she was a project manager developing hand-held instruments to detect landmines. In 1999, Aderin-Pocock returned to Imperial College on a fellowship from the Science and Technology Facilities Council to work with the group developing a high-resolution spectrograph for the Gemini telescope in Chile. The telescope examines and analyses starlight to improve understanding of distant stars.

She was the lead scientist at Astrium, where she managed observation instruments on a satellite, measuring wind speeds to help the investigation of climate change. She is working on and managing the observation instruments for the Aeolus satellite, which will measure wind speeds to help the investigation of climate change. She is also a pioneering figure in communicating science to the public, specifically school children, and also runs her own company, Science Innovation Ltd, which engages children and adults all over the world with the wonders of space science.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock in Wikipedia

The way she tells stories about science and space are encapsulating, softly spoken, with humour, animating. She actively inspires young people into taking up careers in science, engineeering and reaching for the stars and becoming astronauts. She has reached 25,000 young people in inner city areas busting myths about careers, class and gender.

Her own story about her youth is just lovely. Wanting to see the stars:

“When I was young we were living in a council flat. We didn’t have much money [so] I saved up some money and I got a telescope,” she says as I glance enviously at the tripod. “But it was really not very good. It suffered from something called ‘chromatic aberration’ which means that as you look through it, the light coming through gets split up into different colours.” It was a disappointment to a youngster desperate to look beyond the glare of the capital and gaze into the depths of the night sky. But then she spotted an advert for telescope-making classes in Camden, north London. Turning up to investigate, she encountered a curious scene. “There were lots of middle-aged blokes – they had large slabs of glass and they were just grinding away,” she laughs. Bizarre or not, the following week she joined their ranks.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock: how a space-obsessed schoolgirl battled the odds to become a top scientist interview with Nicola Davis 21st September 2014 in the Observer

In her own words, in vitae: Realising the Potential of Researchers Maggie Aderin-Pocock says:

“My name is Doctor Maggie Aderin-Pocock and I am a space scientist and a science communicator. As a space scientist I actually build satellites that go up in space, and as a science communicator I like to try and translate some of the complexities of science into a simple format for everybody to understand.

“Someone, somewhere, will think we need a satellite to understand the universe to probe the Earth’s atmosphere or do something. At Astrium Limited what I do is, we take that requirement and we try and build instrumentation and a complete satellite system that will meet those requirements

“So my PhD was in mechanical engineering. But before that I did my degree which was in physics. And so that was quite an interesting hybrid for me ‘cause doing the physics and the mechanical engineering turned out to be a perfect marriage for making satellites in the future. I didn’t know it at the time but it worked out very well. So I sort of had an inkling that I’d quite like to go into industry ‘cause I liked to solve problems and actually take the physics and mechanical engineering that I’d learnt and put them onto a variety of different problems. But when I actually left university I wasn’t actually sure where I was going to go, and also jobs were very scarce at the time, but I actually found a job with a branch of the Ministry of Defence, The Defence Evaluation Research Council, and was doing and making instrumentation for them. The first sort of instrumentation I was working on was something called a missile warning system. This was a quite a complex piece of equipment, but what it was designed to do was warn pilots when a missile was coming and then automatically let off flares to protect the pilot and the aircraft.

“So I did that for a number of years, travelled around the world, went out to Australia and to Rumora and did tests out there, as well as Appendine Sands in Wales. Then I actively got a promotion and I changed to working in landmine detection. That was my first management role and I was managing a handheld landmine detection group. From there I actually actively decided that I’d come back to academia. Because my dream had always been to sort of work in space and astronomy, and as a child my very first instrument that I made was my own telescope.

“So an opportunity came up to work on the Gemini telescope in South America, and this is an eight metre telescope, and I did that role at UCL, the University College London, and we were building an instrument that bolted onto the telescope. So we spent sort of two and half years building an instrument in UCL in the basement. And then it was a fantastic day when we packed it all up and shipped it out to Chile. And I spent about six months working in South America. And then I got to my dream of actually working in space science and that’s why I transferred from actually making ground-based space telescopes to space-based telescopes and space based instrumentation.

“Because I think, for me, it took me a while to realise the call for my PhD wasn’t just the technical knowledge that I picked up but it was also the transferable skills which you don’t really see at the time. But it’s things like problem-solving, taking on a challenge, getting it down to sort of the nitty gritty and working out a step-by-step method of solving a problem. To me, space was the ultimate goal, and I think it was sort of a subconscious for a long time but I could see I had that sort of goal in mind, so when I took on jobs, it was also, well you know can they lead me to space or will it go a different way? And you know it didn’t matter that I did lots of different things along the way, ‘cause I think often that helps. But that was I think, my goal.

“Because I’ve had a sort of quite hybrid career there are benefits in working in academia and pitfalls and the same in industry. But I think I’ve gone, I’ve done it sort of in a strange way where I am doing both now.

“And sort of trying to get the benefits of both aspects and trying to minimise the detriments, and it’s not something that people often consider but there are some good benefits in doing both. Sometimes that means you don’t know what hat you are wearing on what day, but there are synergies between the two. Someone once told me that you don’t actually, that for the time, extra time you spend in university doing a PhD you don’t actually get the money back until you are 40, but I think you can actually get it back sooner than that.”

Like many people Aderin-Pocock has dyslexia, if this is not picked up at school many young peoples life chances are just thwarted. Looking at dyslexia differently, as visual thinkers, people who think outside the box of the linear as in lines of text – creative people. Maggie Aderin-Pocock joins a long list of inspiring people who also have dyslexia: the boxer Muhammad Ali; another famous scientist Albert Einstein; actress Whoopi Goldberg; British writer and dub poet Benjamin Zephania; British racing driver Lewis Hamilton; the illustrator Jerry Pinkney; the rapper M.I.A….the list is endless.

As Aderin-Pocock says:

“We’re not teaching kids to think, we’re teaching kids to pass exams.”

Quote taken from: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE – Made By Dyslexia Interview

More about Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Commissioner – Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

Maggie Aderin-Pocock: how a space-obsessed schoolgirl battled the odds to become a top scientist interview with Nicola Davis 21st September 2014 in the Observer

Maggie Aderin-Pocock in vitae: Realising the Potential of Researchers

Wikipedia Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Listen on BBC Sounds Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock talks to Jim Al-Khalili on The Life Scientific

This is a gem, for tonight’s viewing with blog by Rob Burns. Enjoy.

The first all Black cast in a Hollywood sound drama musical

Hallelujah was King Vidor’s first sound film, and combined sound recorded on location and sound recorded post-production in Hollywood. It was the first all Black cast drama-musical and of such importance it  is conserved in the USA National Film Registery by the Library of Congress as being of ‘Cultural, Historical or aesthetically significant’. King Vidor was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for the film.

King Vidor brings you in his startling vision of the soul of the coloured race.

Hallelujah (1929) was shot in Tennessee and Arkansas, far from the prying eyes of studio executives and the interference of newly venerated sound engineers. Thus, Vidor was relatively free to experiment with what was essentially a new medium. (Judging by the limitations of the next several films Vidor made back home at M-G-M, it is most likely that much of the adventuresome quality of Hallelujah would have been lost if it was made under the nose of Irving Thalberg.)

To watch Hallelujah either go to Heritage House Arts & Civic Centre West and watch on Facebook and if you prefer go to:

Free Great Movies. There’s about 10 minutes of requests to donate. Then the presenter gives a 15 minute talk about King Vidor. It’s helpful as the film certainly contains racial stereotypes and has to be watched with that in mind. The film starts at about 26 minutes.

Visually, it is as striking as any of Vidor’s silent films. Since many sequences were shot silent with sound added afterward, the director was able to retain the fluidity of camera movement so evident in The Crowd. Vidor’s lovely soft-focus images of life in the cotton fields, his spectacular staging of a mass baptism, and the brilliant Expressionism of the church meeting and the climactic chase through the swamp are unparalleled in the early sound film. His imaginative use of sound, ranging from off-screen voices to moving musical numbers, is equally unique. It could be argued that Hallelujah is, in its way, as important to the development of talkies as The Birth of a Nation was to the silent film fifteen years earlier. Unfortunately, the parallel between the two films doesn’t stop there.

Vidor, an unabashed Texan, carried much of the baggage of a Southern upbringing. On one level, Hallelujah clearly reinforces the stereotypes of Blacks as childishly simple, lecherously promiscuous, fanatically superstitious, and shiftless. This was, of course, not unusual in American films; even the great Paul Robeson had to shuffle a bit in James Whale’s Showboat (1936). Chick, the mulatto temptress (or “yellow hussy,” as Zeke’s mother calls her) reappears as the Lena Horne character in Vincente Minnelli’s “sophisticated” Cabin in the Sky (1943). Certainly, Vidor could never be accused of the overt racial venom exhibited by Griffith in The Birth of a Nation. Yet the benefit of the doubt one might give to Hallelujah is partially negated by his So Red the Rose (1935).

The director himself links the two films by opening So Red the Rose with cotton-field footage of the Johnson family from Hallelujah. Daniel Haynes (Zeke) reappears as a loyal slave who puts down a slave rebellion following the Emancipation Proclamation. He converts the Blacks back into the happy singers they were before they became “uppity” and began to think of themselves as men rather than chattel.

Is there, then, a defense for Hallelujah beyond its aesthetic importance? I think there is, and I think it lies in Vidor’s personality as we know it from his films. (Full disclosure: I found Vidor modest and utterly charming in the few hours I was privileged to spend with him in 1972.) Certainly, for a white man to make such a film now would require a great deal of chutzpah. For King Vidor, however, in 1929, there may be grounds for understanding, if not approval.

He did grow up in the South and did, indeed, have preconceptions about Blacks. These he tried to render lovingly in dramatic form in what he sincerely deemed to be an honest and affectionate film. Given his naivet&eacute, his lack of malice, and his trust in his own fairness—and given his almost mystical fervor—Hallelujah can and should be accepted as the remarkable achievement it is. Perhaps we can best gauge Vidor’s purity of intent through the words of Zeke’s song:

“I can’t go wrong, I must go right/I’ll find my way ‘cause a guiding light/will be shining at the end of the road.”

Reviews

REALISTIC! EARTHY!…it pictures in dialogue and heart-stirring song the reckless love and the gripping drama of the Southern Negro…come to the dusky cabarets….the revivals and the baptisms.

In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she’s only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family’s entire cotton crop. His brother Spunk is mortally wounded in the shoot-out which follows. Zeke goes away but returns as Brother Zekiel the preacher. His forceful preaching draws the faithful in large numbers. Even Chick wants to be saved. Zekiel has asked the pretty Missy Rose to marry him, but Chick can still cast a spell over the preacher…

ActorCast
Daniel L. HaynesZeke
Nina Mae McKinneyChick
William FountaineHot Shot
Harry GrayParson
Fanny Belle DeKnightMammy
Everett McGarritySpunk
Victoria SpiveyMissy Rose
Milton Dickerson
Robert Couch
Walter TaitJohnson Kid
Dixie Jubilee Singers

By Rob Burns

This larger than life character was a fire eater in a circus, a sailor, a boxer, a model in Germany where he was imprisoned in WW1, but most of all he was the most famous ‘Horse Race Tipster’ in Britain, I love the stories below found on the website My Brighton and Hove, they sum up this larger than life character perfectly.

By Colin Southwood – My Brighton & Hove

My first recollection of Prince Monolulu (1880-1965) was as a six year old boy in the early fifties when my grandfather used me to take to the Brighton races with him. Part of the excitement for me was the trolley bus ride up Elm Groove, my grandfather and me sitting on the top deck looking at all the punters making their way laboriously up the steep hill on a summer’s day.

A giant black man

To a six year old lad the first sight of him was amazing, there was this giant black man in a brightly coloured outfit with large coloured ostrich feathered plumes from his hat. The first sighting made all the more exciting when my grandfather told me he was a Zulu Prince from Africa!  At six years old I had never seen a black man before let alone a black prince!

A tipster in fancy dress

My grandfather was a regular visitor to Brighton race course and knew him well.  On the first occasion my grandfather introduced me to him I remember standing there petrified!   Fifty odd years later I can still see the man and him shouting, “I Gotta Horse” to anyone that would listen as he strode around the course in his fancy costume and plumes.

The most famous black man

Ras Prince Monolulu was the most famous black man in Britain. Between the wars, he was a national icon renowned for his eccentricity, a racing tipster of such theatricality that even in the days when newspapers carried few photographs and television was in its infancy, he was still the most recognisable racing personality other than the top jockeys.

Catchphrase – “I gotta horse!”

Everyone knew that he wore a bizarre costume of massive baggy trousers, and a headdress of ostrich feathers atop ornate waistcoats, and colourful jackets. Prince Monolulu would be at all the important race meetings where he would sell his tipping sheets in envelopes. He was very funny, and would have the crowds in stitches with his banter – just like a market trader, only with much more style. His catchphrase “I Gotta Horse” guaranteed him a place in most newsreels of the day featuring racing.

Of Scottish descent

He claimed to be the chief of the Falasha tribe of Abyssinia, but in reality he came from Guyana, as it is now and was of Scottish descent – his real name was Peter Carl Mackay. According to his memoirs, called, funnily enough, “I Gotta Horse”, he started out as a sailor but re-invented himself as a Prince after being press-ganged aboard an American ship in 1902.

He was told princes were important people, and he figured a prince wouldn’t be shanghaied again. He was soon off round the world, eating fire in a travelling circus, working in Germany as a model and boxing in France, pretending to be an opera singer in Russia, and becoming a fortune-teller in Italy.

Battle against racist attitudes

Interned in a German camp during the First World War, he emerged to become Britain’s most famous racing tipster – unlike some of today’s TV tipsters he was funnier, louder and considerably more accurate with his tips!  

Indeed he came to prominence because of an extraordinary coup in the 1920 Derby. Virtually alone among tipsters he plumped for ‘Spion Kop’ the 100-6 outsider which romped home in record time to win him £8,000 – a fortune in those days. His career was made; soon no major race meeting was complete without a visit from the Prince and his envelopes of tips.  He was a figure of fun, yes, but he also contributed in his own uniquely humorous way to the battle against racist attitudes.

First black man on TV

Such was his fame that in 1936 he achieved a slice of immortality – on 2nd. November in that year, the BBC began its television service and Prince Ras Monolulu was the first black person to appear on screen on that very first day of British television broadcasting. He himself estimated that between 1919 and 1950, he made and lost up to £150,000 on the Turf, and while his health and fortunes declined in the late 1950s he was still a much-loved character.

Remembered as an amazing man

Images courtesy of Mashable 1920s – 1950s: Ras Prince Monolulu

Prince Monolulu was always himself as a bit of a ladies man and was believed to have fathered many children and married several times. Once was to the actress, Nellie Adkins on the 21st August 1931. When he died of cancer on the 14th February 1965 at the age of 84, the Daily Telegraph and many other newspapers carried full obituaries of this amazing man.  Prince Monolulu, the man who had brought a ray of sunshine to the punters at many race courses throughout Britain regardless if they won or lost!

Read more

Ras Prince Monolulu BBC in 2010 and here in BBC Sports in October 2020

Jeffrey Green’s blog pictures him in 1957 with Dutch fashion models

Short biography in Gambling online news

Remembrance Day is drawing near. These posts are to redress the balance and to remember that Black people supported the war effort from Britain, Europe and men and women from the Commonwealth and the Empire. The posts are also to acknowledge the deep-seated racism in the European armed forces at the time, ‘Lest We Forget’.

British historian, Professor Davis Olusoga, sums this up. He wrote this poignant article on Sunday 11 November 2018 in the Guardian entitled ‘Black soldiers were expendable – then forgettable’.

“These people were les races guerrières, whom the infamous French general Charles Mangin would forge into his ‘force noire.

“So dedicated were the French to these theories that they convinced themselves that West Africans, being supposedly more primitive than Europeans, could better withstand the shock of battle and experienced physical pain less acutely. This justified deploying them as shock troops in the first line of battle. As a result, West African soldiers on the western front between 1917 and 1918 were two-and-a-half times more likely to be killed in action than white French infantrymen. The British held similar views of the people of India. Dismissing most of the people of the subcontinent as passive and effeminate, they only recruited from certain ethnic groups, the so-called ‘martial races’.

Black Poppy Rose (pictured at top) from Black Poppy Rose.

Renowned broadcaster and first UK black TV news anchorman

Born in Trinidad in 1939, Trevor MacDonald worked in various aspects of the media including local newspapers, radio and television. He joined the Caribbean regional service of the BBC World Service in 1960 as a producer, before moving to London at the end of that decade to work for the corporation (BBC Radio, London).

Moving to Independent Television News (ITN) in 1973, he rose steadily through the ranks. He’s served as news, sports and diplomatic correspondent before moving on to become diplomatic editor and newscaster. Twice voted Newscaster of the year, McDonald is perceived as the face of ITN after years of fronting its flagship ‘News at Ten’ bulletin.

An accomplished journalist, he has penned several books including autobiographies on cricketers Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards. His own biography, ‘Fortunate Circumstances’, was published in 1993.

Once viewed as the best-spoken person in the country and was reported to have fronted a two-year inquiry into the state of language learning. It warned that government education policy failed to teach pupils the necessary language skills needed for later life.

In 1992 he received an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List, and received a knighthood in 1999. He continues to be the anchor for the News at Ten, and presents Tonight with Trevor McDonald, which was launched in 1999.

Margaret Busby is an extremely admirable figure in the British publishing industry, as she became the youngest and first black female book publisher in 1967, aged 23.

The Ghanaian-born publisher, editor, writer and broadcaster co-founded Allison & Busby in 1967, which published the works of many writers, including up and coming black writers.

She also continuously campaigns for diversity within the publishing industry and was a founding member of Greater Access to Publishing (GAP), which works to increase representation of Black writers in British publishing.

Constantly in demand Busby is a frequent contributor to the Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Independent. She has works regularly in radio and television. She presented Break for Women on the BBC Africa Service and London Line for the Central Office of Information.  She has also contributed to programmes such as Open Book, Front Row and Woman’s Hour.

Margaret Busby OBE is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Founder of Europe’s largest ever black newspaper The Voice also founded Black Britain and The Weekly Journal.

From a small, east London council flat in 1982, Val McCalla started the weekly newspaper, the Voice, which went on become the mouthpiece of Britain’s black community and made him a multi-millionaire.

Launched at the Notting Hill carnival that August, it grew into the most popular and important black newspaper in this country. From initial sales of only 4,000, within eight years the Voice was selling more than 53,000 copies a week – and turning over a small fortune in job recruitment advertising.

Its birth was an inspired vision by McCalla. He saw that Britain’s national press gave scant coverage to black issues – and that when it did, it was usually negative. There were a couple of black-orientated publications which appealed to an older generation of Caribbean immigrants, whose notion of “home” lay thousands of miles away. But for a younger generation of British-born blacks, there was nothing.

McCalla identified the emerging culture of the black British identity and honed it into tabloid form. Helped with start-up money from the Greater London Council, his paper quickly established itself as an important campaigner against all forms of racism. For local authorities, and voluntary sector organisations concerned about the lack of ethnic minorities in their ranks, it became a valuable recruitment tool. This led to pages of job advertising.

The job of campaigning black newspaper publisher was far removed from McCalla’s early ambitions. He studied accountancy at Kingston College in Jamaica, and arrived in England in May 1959, aged 15, with dreams of being a pilot. He joined the RAF, but his plans were soon grounded by a perforated eardrum. He spent five years in the supplies section, where he picked up book-keeping skills.

After leaving the RAF in the mid-1960s, he worked in a variety of accounts and book-keeping positions, before volunteering to go part-time on a radical community newspaper, East End News, based near his flat in Bethnal Green. The newspaper bug took a grip, and, within a few years, the Voice had risen from idea into reality.

Despite considerable financial success, McCalla lived a modest life and kept a low profile; there was no vast country mansion or Italian sports car. After being stopped by police several times in his Sussex neighbourhood, he traded in his Mercedes for a Volvo – and lamented that, despite his money, he was like many other black men in Britain, still a victim of prejudice.

But his legacy stretched further than the pages of his newspaper. Many of the black journalists working in mainstream media today got their first break at the Voice. Among them are the television reporter Martin Bashir and the senior programme producer Sharon Ali. People met and got married through the personal pages of the Voice. People found employment via recruitment adverts. Institutionally racist organisations were put under pressure. But, more that anything else, Black Britons were given a voice for the very first time.

Val McCalla died on August 22, 2002 of liver failure.

The Voice continues today and is now online www.voice-online.co.uk and also on Twitter @TheVoiceNews.

Professor David Olusoga OBE work to enlighten the public to truthful Black History cannot be understated. Through his TV work and writing, he has sought to make history inclusive, expansive and diverse. In his new role at The University of Manchester, he hopes to continue his mission, shedding a light on how history is viewed through the media.

Professor David Olusoga OBE is a familiar face to many through acclaimed history TV series such as Civilisations, Black and British: A Forgotten History and, most recently, A House through Time.

Now, as a new Professor of Public History in the Faculty of Humanities, he is turning his gaze back on programmes like these to critically explore how history is presented to the public through popular media, which he refers to as “the shop window of history”.

“The public historian’s job is to be the piece of circuitry that links the academic world – as the engine room of history – and public history, which I think is the showroom,” he explains, before laughing. “People like myself are the mannequins trying to make this stuff look good!”

Professor Olusoga’s unusual career trajectory makes him particularly qualified for this role. While he studied history to master’s level, he later rejected a PhD offer, which would have been his gateway into academia.

Instead, he “ran away to the circus”, opting to enter the TV industry, where he eventually worked his way out of production into presenting.

“I really just needed to get out of the academic environment and do something different,” he recalls. “Then I thought about what it had been that triggered my love of history.” So many kids decide that history is not for them or about them.

Growing up with a black Nigerian father and a white British mother on a council estate in northern England in the 1970s and 1980s, Professor Olusoga was exposed to the ugliness of racism at a young age. Dyslexia also led to what he calls a difficult education.

However, like many of his peers, he became obsessed with World War II through books, films and TV programmes. It was his mother who, crucially, encouraged his burgeoning interest, pointing out that Nigerians had fought in the conflict.

“I’m not entirely sure if I believed her at first,” Professor Olusoga says. “They certainly weren’t in the books or war films that I saw. It was a revelation.”

He started to read about the history of black people in Britain. Encouraged by an inspiring school teacher, he set himself on the path to studying history at university, focusing on slavery, race and empire.

Broadening history’s audience

Professor Olusoga’s early love of history TV documentaries – like those presented by fellow Manchester professor Michael Wood – triggered his move into broadcasting. Now, in “the worst escape act of all time”, Professor Olusoga has finally returned to the gateway that he turned away from all those years ago.

He believes there is still work to do to increase the appeal of history as a subject to young people from similar backgrounds to his own.

“The statistics aren’t great,” he says. “So many minority kids in Britain decide that history is not for them, about them or interesting to them by the time they’re choosing to go to university.”

The answer, believes Professor Olusoga, who’s also won multiple awards as an author, is for every part of the history ecosystem – including universities, publishers and heritage organisations – to take collective responsibility for the problem.

For public historians, Professor Olusoga adds, the challenge is to get those people intrigued by TV documentaries to continue engaging with history, whether this is by subscribing to a history magazine or visiting historic properties, and perhaps get their children interested too.

Returning to his metaphor, Professor Olusoga concludes: “The shop window has no meaning unless it is the conduit to a deeper part of our history.”