The project was the brainchild of Haringey filmmaker Veronica McKenzie, started collecting materials from the era while making a documentary about the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre and its activism in the 1980s. She teamed up with the London Metropolitan Archives and Bruce Castle to preserve this historyand create a permanent home for it in Haringey, making it accessible to the general public, researchers and subsequent generations of activists.
Historically, there has been a lack of interest in uncovering certain histories. This applies to BAME LGBTQ+ history affecting people of colour who have contributed to Britain’s progression, spanning women’s rights, combatants in the world wars, scientists, inventors and artists. Due to being either illegal and/or socially unacceptable LGBTQ+people’s histories have been deliberately clouded in obscurity, throughout history and even more so for people of colour.
Where documentation exists, it is often sidelined in archive collections, and not made widely accessible. Haringey Vanguard aims to increase and showcase the historical contribution of black LGBTQ+ people.