1027. Joe Williams
Joe Williams, from Leeds, is the founder and director of ‘Leeds Black History Walk’ and ‘Heritage Corner’, celebrating African history and diversity in Leeds.
Since 2009, ‘Leeds Black History Walk’ has shared otherwise untold African narratives in local and world history with members of the public. The two hour walk starting at University of Leeds explores African narratives and positive contributions to British history, such as connections Ethiopian royalty have with Queen Victoria. His ‘Heritage Corner’ project hosts educational workshops about the historic African presence in Yorkshire, using dance and poetry to share important historical narratives. He has worked with top artists and cultural experts to lead inclusive workshops at the British Library and the University of Leeds.
In a personal letter to Joe, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By establishing ‘Heritage Corner’ and the ‘Leeds Black History Walk’, you are encouraging your local community to learn from the past in order to understand the present and shape the future. You should be tremendously proud of celebrating African history and sharing previously untold stories which promote Britain’s rich diversity.”
“I am surprised to be honoured and humbled to be in the company of previous winners. African history is neglected in mainstream British society and I am indebted to many historians and educators who have empowered me to understand and promote a rich heritage that connects to Britain. ‘Heritage Corner’ promotes a shared heritage that seeks to find the best in all of us.”
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