Culture Hubs: Record Stores, Black Music and the Windrush Generation

Culture Hubs: Record Stores, Black Music and the Windrush Generation

An archive photo of people in the 2funky Records store
An archive photo from the 2Funky Records store

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

2Funky Arts Ltd
2Funky Arts are documenting the role of independent record stores of black origin as cultural hubs, focusing on black, African and Caribbean experiences from the 1950s to the present day.

The early independent record store played a pivotal role in providing a space for the Windrush generation to shape society's relationship with black music.

Recognising the significance of this cultural phenomenon, this project aims to shed light on previously undocumented histories, focusing on music as a powerful means to express cultural identity and resistance.

Revealing hidden histories

Record stores scattered across the country became fertile ground for new music and vibrant cultural ecosystems. Places where people of African and Caribbean descent could discover, share, and celebrate music that reflected their experiences and heritage.

One of the key objectives of the project is to engage people with these hidden histories, ensuring that the stories and contributions of black musicians, DJs, shop owners, promoters and fans are acknowledged and celebrated.

The storefront of Punch Records, taken in 1997
Punch Records storefront in 1997. Photo: Ammo Talwar MBE

Reaching wider audiences

To engage with underserved audiences, 2Funky Arts is focusing on developing multi-media resources and materials that resonate with them  from secondary school resources and oral history interviews to a podcast series and a documentary film.

Building ownership and upskilling

Central to the project's goals is empowering volunteers to become active contributors. Volunteers will receive training to develop skills in conducting research, capturing oral histories and documenting the record store culture of the Windrush era.

Rebecca Wooster, Development Manager at 2Funky Arts, said: "We are thrilled to have been awarded funding to capture and preserve this vibrant heritage, which will allow volunteers and audiences to learn about themes such as racism and resistance in a previously unexplored context."