Department of History

Archival Research Spotlight: Morgan De Lancy '22

In January 2022, Morgan De Lancy '22, a history concentrator with a focus on human rights and displacement, traveled to London to conduct archival research for her thesis on the Black Supplementary School Movement. In this spotlight interview, Morgan tells the History Department what it was like to transition from conducting research remotely to studying archival material first-hand at the George Padmore Institute.

Morgan De Lancy '22“My thesis examines the work of West Indian immigrant families from Britain’s Windrush generation who, in the 1960s, sought to provide their children with academically rigorous and culturally affirming education outside of the traditional British schooling system. I am interested in how this predominantly Black women-led movement countered the systemic racism that Black youth experienced in state schools and what their work can tell us about the often invisibilized political work of Black women. My project also explores how this community, rooted in the larger Black diasporic world, carved out a space of belonging for themselves within a hostile environment of British exclusion.  

Over winter break, I traveled to the George Padmore Institute in London, where I got to conduct research in archives created by members of the Windrush community. In doing so, I got to see first-hand the schoolwork of children within Black Supplementary Schools, grant applications that articulated the schools’ mission, and even individual correspondences between teachers and students. After a year of conducting research remotely, this experience offered an exciting opportunity to engage with primary sources not available digitally. It also had a profound impact on my understanding of the everyday experiences of families, teachers, and activists within the Black Supplementary School Movement.”

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