We're launching a Black Lives Project to honour and celebrate the lives of black people. 

The Cotton Tree is committed to working closely with individuals to challenge racism and immigration injustices. Friendship and conversation are at the heart of our work, and it is in this spirit that we are asking our members (most of whom are from Africa) to tell us about a black person who is especially important to them personally.

We take our inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement, but ours is not primarily a political project. We want to honour and celebrate the lives of black people in the belief that this is a way to influence hearts and minds. Racism is fatally undercut when eyes are opened to the wealth and richness of human lives, and there is no place here for discrimination. In the Cotton Tree, we share personal stories in order to hear and understand each other better.

Members may choose a relative, a friend or someone on the world stage. George Eliot reminded us that the difference between ‘epic lives’ and lives that sink ‘unwept into oblivion’ may be an accident of fate. If our members wish to tell us about someone we don’t know and will never know – someone who led a quiet, selfless life, for example – that’s fine. We want to listen.

Get involved

We also want to hear from you. Tell us about a black person who is special to you. You don’t need many words. Maybe one or two hundred. Tell us a story that will help us to honour that person and celebrate their life...


We hope to turn these stories into an exhibition later in the year. Stay tuned for more!

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