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Black History by boat: Cruise along the Thames celebrates Britain's hidden culture

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Nicole-Rachelle Moore, who plays Nubian Queen Amanirenas on the Black History River Cruise.
Nicole-Rachelle Moore, who plays Nubian Queen Amanirenas on the Black History River Cruise.   -   Copyright  Euronews
By Josephine Joly  with AP

Any cruise along the Thames will take you past some of London's most famous landmarks, but the Black History River Cruise and its group of historians will take you on another journey.

The three-hour-long boat trip focuses largely on the hidden history of Black Britain, with inspiring true stories from the Tudor period to modern-day Britain.

A key element of the tour, on board a double-decker boat, are the guides dressed as historical figures.

Nicole-Rachelle Moore plays Queen Amanirenas, a Nubian queen who ruled the Sudan region of Africa from 40 B.C. to 10 B.C.

"She was a Kushite queen, a Nubian queen, who ruled in what is now understood as Sudan, the Sudan region of Africa, who ruled from 40 BC to 10 BC. And was kicking proverbial derriere for the Romans," Moore jokingly said.

The trip starts by taking in an obelisk, influenced by Ancient Egypt, before looking at more recent history, such as when Britain's Houses of Parliament welcomed its first Black lawmakers, just over three decades ago.

Shakespeare's playhouse, The Globe, is a chance to reflect on the lives of Black Tudors, followed by London's Docklands and its links to the slave trade.

For too long, some have felt Black British stories have slipped under the surface. They think it is important for people to learn about Black History.

"It's important to teach even Black people Black history, but it goes beyond that. It's about every member of our society that should learn Black history," a cruise passenger noted.

Organisers hope that journeys like this could help forge a richer sense of national identity.