Post 55: The question of race
We are currently thinking in further detail some of the themes that we want to address. We don’t have much space and won’t be able to cover all we would want to (hopefully changing exhibitions will help a bit with that) but one thing that we think will be important in the permanent exhibition is the issue of race, and as you can imagine this won’t be easy. Not least because some people believe that Hendrix didn’t particularly suffer from racism in London. Now I am not sure that is entirely true surely being billed as the wild man of Borneo is in itself an insult?! However primary sources have told me that it wasn’t an issue in the niche artistic circles in which Hendrix moved, in London and perhaps to an extent this was true. But it certainly wasn’t the case elsewhere.
At one of my regular meetings with our Heritage Lottery Fund monitor (the person from the HLF who keeps in touch with the project and helps and advises us) told me the story of when Hendrix played Nottingham he was booked to stay at “The Black Boy” Hotel – Hendrix refused to stay there. I can’t really imagine that sort of thing was an isolated event. So we are giving this particular subject some serious thought.