Portrait of Ignatius Sancho
Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729-1780), the first person of African heritage known to have voted in a British election. © The Trustees of the British Museum

There is today a move to restore Black and minority ethnic  people to their rightful place in British history.

Historical attention has primarily focused on the narrative of slavery and abolition, yet only a few Black and minority ethnic individuals involved in British political life, as members of parliament, candidates in constituency elections, and participants in local government or other political activities have been identified to date.

Focusing on the period 1750-2020 and drawing on a wide range of sources, this project will produce the first database of Black and minority ethnic people involved in British politics and political culture more broadly.