Ansel Wong named chair of the London Black Cultural Archives

Ansel Wong

LONDON, England — Ansel Wong, a community leader, historian and political activist has been selected as the new chair of the Board of Trustees at the Black Cultural Archives (BCA).

Wong will work alongside the team to help realise its 2030 strategy.

The Trinidadian born CBE holder has been based in the UK since the 1960s. Formerly, he chaired the Notting Hill Carnival Trust and he was also a key figure in the establishment of Black History Month.

Currently, Wong chairs the Windrush Commemoration Committee. The cultural champion and academic also co-founded Elimu Mas Band.

Of his appointment, Wong said: “This year feels like a sea change in the development and momentum of Black communities in the UK.

“The BCA is part of this reawakening and I am both proud and delighted to have been entrusted with building on the foundation created by Dawn Hill and her directors and leading the BCA on its journey to achieve its mission and, for me, be the first port of call to access, learn and celebrate the Black presence in the UK.”

He will officially enter the role this month once Dawn Hill steps down.

Hill, who currently chairs the committee will stand down at the organisation’s annual general meeting this month.

She has been part of the Black Cultural Archives since 1981, and worked alongside founding chair Len Garrison becoming chair at the BCA in 2012.

Her greatest legacy at the organisation is the national heritage centre in the heart of Brixton.

Hill also currently leads the BCA initiative which helps victims of the Windrush scandal, providing them with pro-bono legal support in partnership with McKenzie Beute and Pope immigration lawyers.

Arike Oke, current managing director said: “From a strong field of candidates for the chair role, Ansel stood out.

“He is the perfect person to take BCA into the future, as a thriving community resource, an influential national archive, and on to international renown for our mission to preserve, document and celebrate the histories of people of African descent in the UK.

“Dawn Hill has contributed indelibly to BCA and I’m indebted to her guidance and support to date. I’m excited to work with Ansel in the next phase of BCA’s journey.”

Ansel is of African, Caribbean, Chinese and Spanish heritage.