On 31 May 2020, photographer Jake Hardy attended the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Piccadilly Gardens and around central Manchester that day, capturing the event with his camera. The 66 images that he took form an important slice of living history and have now entered the People’s History Museum’s contemporary collection, where they join other artefacts either donated to or acquired by the museum over the last few months as part of its efforts to document the coronavirus pandemic and life in the UK during lockdown.
A large selection of Hardy’s images is now about to go on display at PHM, which reopens on 1 September. The photographs will be accompanied by Hardy’s own account of the day and what it felt like to take part in the Black Lives Matter protests.
Located just down the road from where the thousands-strong marches took place during May and June, the national museum of democracy certainly seems a fitting home for these powerful photographs to now reside. After all, they tell an essential part in the story of Manchester and Britain’s ongoing journey towards equality for all.