The video above explores the importance of the Front Room in the houses of African Caribbean communities in Britain after WWII. It features people descended from the Windrush Generation talking about their experiences of the Front Room and what it meant to them and their family.


For African Caribbean families living in Britain, the Front Room was a focal point for respectability.  It would be fastidiously clean, ready for whoever in the community should visit.  It was a place used for formal entertaining, rather than casual use, and was filled with objects and ornaments, many of which would only be used on special occasions.

Over time, as generations of a family lived in the same house, the Front Room became a repository for a multitude of objects collected over time, each holding precious memories and cultural meanings.


Mostly, the Front Room was a purely adult space, and in some families it would even be locked. In general, children were only allowed in by invitation and then for only a short time. They often weren’t part of the conversations that went on in the Front Room and it was a ‘look, but don’t touch’ kind of space.

To view an interactive image of a typical African Caribbean Front Room, click here.

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