Multicultural History Project

How much do we know of the history of ethnic diversity in Dundee and the surrounding area? Previous initiatives have explored the experience of Polish immigrants but there has been little research done on the history of people of colour who have lived here or interacted with others from here. Joseph Knight’s story is well-known but what of other slaves and slave-owners, and to what extent did Dundee’s textile industry profit from slavery? Who were our leading anti-slavery campaigners? How were notable black visitors to the city received (Paul Robeson, Jack Johnson etc)? How has Dundee benefited from the culture and talents of migrants from different ethnic backgrounds coming to the city?

The Abertay Historical Society is keen to undertake a project exploring local black and minority ethnic history, aiming to gather together existing knowledge and material and uncover new information through further research. But we need volunteers to help us!

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact secretary Matthew Jarron on

Portrait of a black life model by Angus P Sturrock, 1932

Portrait of a black life model at Dundee College of Art by Angus P Sturrock, 1932