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CONTENTS: BHM 2018 7 WELCOME
50 WINDRUSH - THE BOAT THAT CARRIED SO MANY HOPES, PAIN AND DREAMS By Scratchylus
52 IN THE SHADOW OF ENOCH POWELL By Shirin Hirsch
Patrick Vernon OBE welcomes you to Black History Month 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn MP - Leader of the Labour Party; Vince Cable MP - Liberal Democrat Leader, David Lammy MP - Member of Parliament for Tottenham
54 AFRICAN STORIES IN HULL AND EAST YORKSHIRE By Gifty Borrows
12 THE LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA
56 EQUALITY: MAKING IT HAPPEN
14 LORD HERMAN OUSELEY WINDRUSH 70
58 WHY REMEMBRANCE IS IMPORTANT AND HOW WE PRESERVE THE LEGACY By Selena Carty
An interview with Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela
16 BHM MESSAGE
Raj Tulsiani - CEO of Green Park
18 BHM MESSAGE
His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, High Commissioner for Jamaica
20 WINDRUSH AT 70 YEARS
62 20 MOST INFLUENTIAL BLACK BOOKS By Robin Walker
22 1968 RACE RELATIONS ACT
64 REFLECTIONS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WINDRUSH DAY IN A POST BREXIT BRITAIN
Reflections of a Windrush Descendent by Dr Vivienne Connell-Hall PhD
25 50 YEARS ON FROM THE (SECOND) RACE RELATIONS ACT, AND THE RUNNEYMEDE TRUST By Omar Khan
30 IN REMEMBRANCE OF ALEXANDER PAUL 32 STAYING POWER: INTERVIEW WITH EARL CAMERON By Stacee Smith
Unit 4 , 2A Glenville Grove London SE8 4BP Tel: 0203 105 2161
www.sugarmediaandmarketing.co.uk www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk PUBLISHERS: Ian Thomas, Abdul Rob MANAGING EDITOR: Ian Thomas EDITORS: Patrick Vernon, Joy Sigaud DESIGNED BY: Becky Wybrow BHM RESOURCE PACK DESIGN BY: John Paul Daly ADVERTISING: Ayana Hussein LISTINGS EDITOR: David Ruiz
Interview with Actor Rudolph Walker
19 A LEGACY OF VALOUR
An interview with Prime Minister Theresa May
59 PROSTATE CANCER - TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT THIS 60 BLACK HISTORY MONTH - THIS MONTH REPRESENTS SO MUCH MORE... By Angie Greaves
By Lt Col Tim Petransky of The British Army
SUGAR MEDIA AND MARKETING LTD
By Dr Artemi Sakellariadis
34 WINDRUSH PIONEER: AN INTERVIEW WITH DAME JOCELYN BARROW OBE By Patrick Vernon OBE 36 BLACK WORLD CINEMA: 31 GREAT FILMS By Nadia Denton 38 THE WINDRUSH GENERATION, CHARACTER IS DESTINY! By Dr Donald Palmer and Dr Dwain A. Neil
40 A SENSE OF HISTORY? By Linda Bellos
42 CARIBBEAN WOMEN AND THE NHS By Linda Ali
44 THE WINDRUSH 70/50 PLAYLIST By Mykaell Riley
46 RED, WHITE AND BLUE FEATHERS IN THE SUMMER RAIN By Tola Dabiri 48 DIVERSITY CHAMPION CLLR CALLTON YOUNG OBE
Member of Parliament for Tottenham
By Trevor Phillips
67 THE WINDRUSH SCANDAL FAR FROM ABATED By Jacqueline McKenzie 68 LORNA HOLDER CHRONICLES 70 YEARS OF CARIBBEAN INFLUENCE ON BRITISH FASHION 70 THE BLACK HEROES OF SCIENCE By Dr Nira Chamberlain
73 BLACK HISTORY MONTH By Joy White 74 WINDRUSH: SIMPLY THE BEST
Seventy years of Black British Film & Television Excellence By Stephen Bourne
77 BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING IN TEACHING BLACK HISTORY IN ACADEMIA 78 FROM THE SS WINDRUSH TO CROYDON: THE LIFE OF ALEX ELDEN By Sean Creighton
80 “BLING BLING” A DATE AT THE PALACE WITH THE QUEEN By Rob Neil OBE
81 THE BLACK COMMUNITY AND THE BUSINESS SECTOR: THE CONTRIBUTION OF LEN DYKE AND TONY WADE By Rudi Page and Dr Dwain A. Neil
82 VOICES: WITH HIS EXCELLENCY SETH RAMACON JAMAICAN HIGH COMMISSIONER By Joy Sigaud BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 03
A LEGACY OF HOPE
An interview with Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry Director, Stephen Lawrence Research Centre
When Kennetta Hammond Perry heard De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) was looking for a director for its new Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, she was immediately interested. The opportunity to shape national and international conversations around tough, complex issues such as institutional racism and social justice was something she did not want to miss. It’s a journey that has taken her from the USA where she was part of the faculty at East Carolina University to Leicester, one of the most diverse cities in the UK. DMU is home to the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, which thanks to a gift by the university’s Chancellor – and Stephen’s mother – Baroness Lawrence, houses a collection of artefacts telling 00 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
Stephen’s extraordinary story and his legacy which changed the face of British history. It will also be the focus of research in areas which are currently under-researched and even neglected. “It’s a privilege and an honour to be the first director of this centre,” said Professor Perry. “There are all sorts of exciting possibilities to think about how we can drive the conversations that need to be had and to think about how we can put Stephen Lawrence’s legacy into action.” The centre will drive forward public engagement and research around four interdisciplinary themes: the history of West Indian communities in Britain; the practice and elimination of institutional racism; denials of justice and the psychology of racial violence.
It’s a privilege “ and an honour to be the first director of this centre
Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry Dr. Perry wants the centre to be “a voice speaking truth to power”, ultimately working to diagnose and explain key issues to a wide-ranging audience in an effort to improve outcomes and opportunities for BAME communities through its research. A published historian, her work has focused on the lived experiences of Windrush-era migrants and the ways in which they challenged the racism they found in Britain during the 1950s and 60s. She brings her historian’s focus to bear discussing the deep-seated processes behind the lack of BAME representation in UK institutions, including its universities, where there are just 25 black female professors: “There’s a role for us to play in highlighting these systems and barriers. Historical narratives allow us to pinpoint how some of the same outcomes occur over and over which can then prompt us to consider why that is the case and what we can do to unsettle these dynamics and move in a different direction.”
Stephen Lawrence’s shocking murder and his inspiring legacy – the latter created, guarded and guided by his mother Doreen Lawrence – have had profound effects on British history and society.
Her aim is for the centre to have an international profile, collaborating with scholars around the world and crucially, sharing its findings outside of academia – with policy-makers, advocacy organisations, and most importantly, the communities they serve.
Twenty-five years on, we know there is still much more to understand if we are to combat racism and make meaningful changes to attitudes and society. That mission will drive the work of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at DMU.
Dr. Perry is passionate about developing the careers of young academics and in particular encouraging more BAME students to consider careers in academia. She said: “I would not be in the academy without mentoring, without people telling me that this was an opportunity open to me. I’m hopeful that we can be a part of the way for others.”
The university’s academic strength and its commitment to the public good form the cornerstones of the centre and its work.
“The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre aims to become a hub of innovative thinking and impactoriented research so to launch the work of the centre at DMU, a university which is so diverse and committed to fostering a sense of public good is so exciting.”
THE STEPHEN LAWRENCE RESEARCH CENTRE AND ARCHIVE
Set within an inspiring research and exhibition space, the centre will also be home to a comprehensive archive, kindly gifted by Stephen’s mother, Baroness Lawrence, who is also the university’s Chancellor. The collection tells the story of Stephen’s life and death, the far-reaching impact of the inquiries and investigations into racism and police conduct, as well as the family’s fight for justice over the last 25 years. BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 00
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Rudolph Walker, 77, Actor
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Welcome to Black History Month 2018 On behalf of the Sugar Media & Marketing Team I would like to welcome you all to the 2018 edition of Black History Month Magazine. The magazine has a focus this year on the following key landmark dates which has an impact on Black Britons and our wider vibrant multicultural society in the UK: • 70th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush
• 70th anniversary of the NHS
• 60th anniversary of Notting Hill Riots • 50th anniversary of the 1968 Race Relations Act • 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s Speech Rivers of Blood • 50th anniversary of the Race Equality think tank, The Runnymede Trust. The various articles, features and interviews will capture the different elements of this watershed moment in Black History and its impact especially in 2018 with the Windrush Scandal and our departure from the European Union in 2019. In 2017 when we launched our last publication celebrating the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in the UK this lead to a debate within the community and in academic circles of the relevance and the importance of the BHM from its inception in 1987. As Editor, I tried to reflect the diversity of the different perspectives which again is picked by some of our contributors this year especially in the light of the government finally agreeing to a national Windrush Day from June 2019. As a Company we have been thinking of this regarding the branding of the concept of Black History Month and the fact that there are over 4000 events up and down the country start in September and finish in January as part of a season. From schools, universities, local authorities, museums, archives, various community
heritage projects and staff networks in the public and private sector they are all pushing the boundaries of Black History Month in timing and content. Whilst at the same time some local authorities and schools are either adopting a colour blind approach to all histories or because of austerity and cuts are reclassifying Black History Month and creating a one size fits all of multicultural history, which often is dumbing down and serves no real purpose for young people and the public. These authorities and schools are failing in their Public Sector Equality duty in promoting good race relations. Black History Month was established to cover the deficit in lack of historical content and representation of the achievement for African and Caribbean community in Britain. With no central coordination or consistent funding sadly Black History Month is derided and at times not valued by all.
‘We are committed to work in partnership with academics, activists, policy makers and the wider community to ensure Black History in taught at all levels from pre-school to doctorate level.’ It is very clear that in 2018 we are not in a post racial Britain with the issue of Anti-Semitism,Windrush Scandal, hate crime against migrants and LGBT community, over representation in mental health system, and rising stop and search against black people. I believe it is even more critical that we advance and promote the importance of Black British history and its connection to world history both past and present. Through our various publications and online platforms, along with the relaunch of 100 Great Black Britons in 2019, we will promote 365 days of Black History with our limited resources. We will work with various stakeholders to share and communicate events, features
and blogs which will add value to the publication and education beyond October. We are committed to work in partnership with academics, activists, policy makers and the wider community to ensure Black History in taught at all levels from pre-school to doctorate level. Also we want to support any campaign that will change how Black History and the experience of the African diaspora community is valued and respected as part of the national narrative of this country. Finally, I would like to thank our contributors, advertisers and production team in making this magazine a success. However, importantly we want to you as our readers and those who access our online version of the magazine to be part of a social movement to share promote, inform and educate so that Black History is one to be proud of and to defend to ensure it does not lose it instinctive value for all future generations.
patrick vernon obe BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 07
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY
MESSAGE FROM JEREMY CORBYN MP I’m honoured to support Black History Month Magazine in celebrating the extraordinary contribution that our African and African Caribbean communities make to the United Kingdom.
From Ignatius Sancho, the first black British voter and published poet; to Olaudah Equiano whose autobiography and experiences as a slave galvanised public opinion and became a key part of the abolition movement, the African presence in Britain is inextricably woven into the cultural history of our nation. Over many generations, Black British people have become part of the fabric of our country. Some – like Vogue’s editor-in-chief, British-born Ghanaian Edward Enniful, are well-known to us. Others are the little-known heroes, such as Sergeant William Robinson Clarke who, in 1914, left Jamaica and travelled to Britain to play his part in the war and would go on to become Britain’s first black pilot in 1915. While we’ve made great strides to improve equality of opportunity, I know there is still more work to be done to ensure our society works for everyone. That’s why, on becoming Prime Minister, one of the first things I did was commission the Race Disparity Audit to shine a light on how people from different ethnic backgrounds are treated across our public services.
We are the first country in the world to do this and I have been clear that if these disparities cannot be explained they must be tackled. A year on from its launch, last October, we have made a start with a £90 million programme to help tackle youth unemployment, a review of exclusions in education, and a commitment to take forward a number of recommendations in the David Lammy Review of the criminal justice system. I’m determined to deliver on my promise to root out injustices wherever they occur in our society. That includes the Windrush scandal earlier this year, which made many Commonwealth citizens feel unwelcome in this country - their home - for which I am genuinely sorry. We have pledged to do everything we can to fix this, but it never should have happened. We know that Britain today in the 21st Century is a diverse multi-ethnic democracy, and it is one that I’m immensely proud to lead. I’m determined to build on what we have already achieved to make Britain a country where everyone, regardless of who they are or what background they’re from, can get on in life. Once again, I’d like to thank Black History Magazine for taking this opportunity to mark the many ways in which Black British men and women make this country great – and for reminding us that Black history is British history, and belongs to us all.
I am proud to lead a party that puts equality at its very heart and has a rich history of championing equal rights and opportunity for all.
Labour made history by electing the first black MPs to Parliament over 30 years ago, including the first Black woman MP Diane Abbott. I am proud to say that Labour’s Shadow Cabinet is the most diverse front bench of any party in British history. As a lifelong campaigner for equal rights, I want to continue this legacy, so that we can build a strong and united society in which everyone’s contribution is valued whatever their background. We cannot let this month of engagement and education pass without acknowledging the Windrush generation. Seventy years ago, the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury and the contribution of these British citizens was indispensable. A modern Britain without them, their children, and their grandchildren is unthinkable. It has been deeply distressing for us to see the Windrush scandal unfold, our own citizens have been treated appallingly. Labour stands firmly with the Windrush generation. The Windrush generation and many other black communities enrich the UK socially, politically and culturally. Let’s make Black History Month this year an opportunity to put front and centre our rejuvenated admiration for the many who came here to help rebuild Britain. As a Labour party, we recommit our pledge to defending their rights and celebrate the strength and unity of our diverse country. Rt. Hon. Jeremy Corbyn MP Leader of the Labour Party
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 09
DAVID LAMMY MP Remembering our history should begin with the personal. My own father arrived in the UK in 1962. He was young and cocky as he boarded an old Dakota DC-3 warplane from his native Guyana to Trinidad, before embarking on a six week voyage aboard the SS Luciana steamship to Genoa. From there he made a winding journey across Europe to Southampton. He was able to immigrate to the UK thanks to an Assisted Passage Scheme which allowed him to become a taxidermist. For my mother, who arrived in 1971, the journey was simpler. A plane took her from Guyana to Gatwick. Yet told in isolation my parents’ stories, and those of all immigrants from the Windrush generation, do not make sense. What drew them to the UK? And why did schemes exist to link countries that were separated by thousands of miles? The reasons are buried in a much earlier period history than post-war Britain. The connection between Britain and the Commonwealth countries stems from Britain’s history colonisation, slavery and subjugation of proud peoples from across the globe. A history our schools fail to teach. The Caribbean was turned into a warehouse from which to extract profit. Even the century following emancipation was still built on exploitation, as Caribbean labourers expressed discontent at the abuse of the Empire.
After World War Two, the NHS was desperate for a workforce. Despite the abuses, despite the exploitation, and despite slavery, our forefathers heard the call. From 1948, with dignity and pride, our parents and grandparents worked for this country’s sick and injured. The Windrush generation did the low-grade and poorly paid jobs that kept Britain running – the jobs everyone else in Britain refused to do. This year the Home Office scandal highlighted that this sacrifice was not met with the gratitude it deserved. Members of the Windrush generation were made homeless, jobless, and destitute; split from their families and denied treatment in the NHS because of a cruel and inhumane government Hostile Environment policy. If you look closely, you will see that this disrespect to minorities permeates our society. Awkward questions linger. Would the 72 people who died in Grenfell Tower have had their concerns ignored for so long if they were white?
‘The Windrush generation did the low-grade and poorly paid jobs that kept Britain running – the jobs everyone else in Britain refused to do.’ This year marks 70 years since the passing of the 1948 British Nationality Act, but it also marks 50 years since Enoch Powell delivered his “rivers of blood” speech. To this day, Powell’s xenophobic rhetoric continues to haunt our public discourse. A YouGov poll in 2016 found that 44 percent of Britons are proud of our history of colonialism. Only 21 per cent regretted it occurring. No decent-minded person is proud of slavery and exploitation. The failure of our society to understand its past is due to a lack of education. History in British schools skips from the Henrys to Hitler, ignoring the shame of what goes on in between. Black history month has to be about addressing this failure in our curriculum. Curing Britain’s colonial amnesia, so that prejudice and racism can finally be pushed out. Rt. Hon David Lammy, Member of Parliament for Tottenham
MESSAGE FROM VINCE CABLE MP
Black History Month is an established, nationally recognised observance that honours the lives, experiences and history of Afro-Caribbean people. For over thirty years, it has reminded us of the extraordinary men and women who achieved incredible things often in the face of unimaginable injustice and inequality. Black History Month is more important than ever this year, as the country continues to contend with the ongoing challenges of the Windrush Scandal and the government’s brutal treatment of a generation that contributed so much to Britain. Let us use this month to thank those affected for their brave, generous and selfless efforts. It seems fitting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of both the arrival of Empire Windrush and the establishment of our National Health Service. Let us remember that BAME communities were key to the establishment of the NHS and have remained an essential part of all our public services for decades. This year, whatever your background and whoever you are, I hope that you will embrace Black History Month and everything it represents. Let us remember that black history is a part of British history and let us all work together to build and safeguard a Britain that is united, understanding and free of inequality.
Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary: As the Permanent Secretary and Race Equality Champion in the Home Office, I am pleased that the department is appearing for the second time in Black History Month (BHM) magazine and that we will be hosting our largest number of BHM events around the country this year. The Home Office’s longstanding race equality staff support group, The NETWORK, have worked hard to organise these events. BHM has long been a key moment in the Home Office Calendar. This year, as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the docking of the Empire Windrush in the UK, and simultaneously work to redress those people and communities affected by our role in the Windrush affair, our involvement is more paramount than ever. Multiple events will take place at Home Office locations around the country, culminating in the first ever cross-departmental BHM celebration with the Home Office, Department for Food and Rural Affairs and Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. They will focus on a range of topics from black history, race equality and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) role models, to question and answer sessions with the leaders from the departments involved. Presenters will include historians, artists, museum curators, senior civil servants and prominent BAME members of the community. With close to a quarter of our staff coming from BAME backgrounds, the Home Office is one of the most diverse government departments. We have an active Home Office Race Board and, of course, The Network to support the department’s aims for race equality in the department.We have recently published our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy:‘Inclusive by Instinct’ to make sure we continue to champion and encourage diversity and inclusion in everything we do, representing and reflecting modern Britain and the communities we serve, right up to the highest levels in the organisation. We have set out our ambition to tackle underrepresentation of women, colleagues with disabilities, lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual colleagues, and BAME staff across the Home Office. Championing race equality cannot stop here. There is always more to do, as Windrush
highlighted to us earlier this year. Windrush has been a deeply troubling affair for all involved and most emphatically for those who have been personally affected. We will make good our pledge to provide redress to those affected and we are working hard to rebuild the trust and confidence of those involved and their wider communities. The Windrush Lessons Learned Review will help us understand exactly what went wrong and make sure it does not happen again. The review is being led by Independent Adviser Wendy Williams and I encourage you to get involved, provide feedback and look out for details of upcoming Windrush review events in your local area. I was fortunate to attend several of the Windrush 70 celebrations across the Home Office earlier this year and to hear from colleagues who shared stories about their families’ personal migration journeys during the Windrush era. I recognise that there is still a way to go to becoming Inclusive by Instinct. We have made good progress but we have much more to do. I am working closely with staff and leaders in the Home Office to make sure we are doing all we can to achieve this ambition for the benefit of our employees and the diverse communities we serve. Celebrating and marking BHM in the way we are is just one part in making this happen.
Scott McPherson, Chair of the Home Office Race Board: “As the new chair of our Race Board, I know how important issues related to race are to both our staff and to the work we do to serve diverse communities across the UK. Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution made by colleagues from BAME backgrounds and to learn something new. The events are relevant to everyone, of every race - I’m going to attend as many events I can and encourage you to do so too.” Allison Francis, Head of Diversity and Inclusion: “The activities taking place as part for black history month, are a small but crucial part of a much broader, deeper movement towards creating a truly inclusive culture so that all staff can succeed at the highest levels regardless of background.” Wendy Williams, Independent Advisor, Windrush Lessons Learned Review: It is crucial that the Windrush review considers the experiences of those that have been directly affected. As such, I’ve been running a series of roadshows for members of the public. So far these have been in London, Nottingham and Bristol and I will shortly be going to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 00
THE LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA
Patrick Vernon editor of BHM, interviews Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela who is launching a major exhibition on the life and legacy of his grandfather in London in February 2019 as part of the centenary celebrations of Mandelaâ€™s birthday.
PV: What inspired you to create the exhibition that is coming to the UK in 2019? Are there any interesting facts and information that people will learn about your grandfather?
NZM: This is the centenary of my grandfatherâ€™s birthday, if he was still alive he would be 100 years old this year and thus the family felt it was important as an icon and Global leader to do something special to mark this occasion. This year in South Africa we had a major event in South Africa where the current Prime Minster of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa plus previous leaders like Zuma, leaders of other African countries plus faith leaders. We decided we wanted to have an exhibition with a strong focus on the roots of Madiba. We chose London as this was an important place for Madiba to visit and travel prior to his imprisonment in 1964 as part of his political campaigning for the injustice of the Apartheid and for freedom of our people. One of the key features that we will be exhibiting is the traditional head dress gifted to my grandfather by The King of Xhosa people, King Xolilzwe Sigcawu. This is significant in the history of our tribe and family. There will be a range of artefacts and family heirlooms, and of course a selection of his famous Madiba shirts.
PV: Tell us about the rural area Mvezo in Transkei where your ancestors came from? What is the significance of this part of South Africa as part of your family and tribal history?
families to live up to the values of grandfather, alongside media pressure and external scrutiny how do you and the family cope with this pressure?
PV: How would you describe the legacy of your grandfather in Africa and internationally?
PV: In Britain we celebrate every year since 1987 Black History Month. What is the importance of Black History to you? What can be done to promote the history and achievements of African and its diaspora in the West?
NZM: This area is an important part of our history my grandfather and his ancestors were born and raised by the Mehahu River in the village of Mvezo in Umtata which in in Transkei now part of Eastern Cape Province. We can trace our family history from 1200 which was codified in writing from 1600. The homeland and ancestry is linked to the Chieftainship which I had the honour to be enstooled in 2007.
NZM: Madiba dedicated 67 years of his life to public service and humanity and the best expression to describe this is ‘service’. Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated each year on 18 July, Madiba’s birthday is a way to promote and up hold human rights, justice and peace. PV: The Mandela family is one of the most famous and high profile family names alongside the Kings, Ghandi and Kennedy in the 20th and 21st century. There must tremendous expectations for you and other
NZM: It is very difficult to follow in the footsteps of Madiba in terms of achievements and standards. It is just too big shoes to fill. What we can do is to live our life and make the best contributions we can which can have a collective impact. This is what I am doing to preserve his legacy and my role as the Chief to help improve the conditions of local people in my Province in South Africa.
NZM: African Unity is critical and it is important in the context of our changing world that we still preserve and hold on to traditions and values for future generations. More work needs to done on research, education and promoting African history and its impact and contribution to the world. This is work is also important in the UK context too for Black History Month. BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 13
WINDRUSH 70 BY LORD HERMAN OUSELEY
ollowing the end of World War II, as the rebuidling of Britain gathered pace, the need for skilled workers and personnel prompted the British government to reach out to places like the West Indies to invite citizens from its British colonies to come and help. They duly and loyally responded to the “mother country”, many having served in the allied forces during the war. Thus they came, they saw, they served. They overcame most obstacles, they stayed and along with their descendants and dependants over the next seven decades, contributed to the change that is now modern Britain in 2018. The Windrush 500+ arrivees could not have been aware of the welcome in store for them as they stepped on to the shores at Tilbury Docks on 22nd June 1948. For a start, there was no accommodation available until last minute negotiations enabled many to settle in air raid shelters on Clapham Common in South London. One occupant of such accommodation, Rene Webb, a former RAF service person, became active in community and social work for deprived young people during the 1970s in Brixton.
He was a skilled engineer but had to take what was on offer and spent the rest of his time helping others, a pattern reflected among the lives of many others who settled in the UK from the Carribean. They had to experience the colour bar, which formally existed until the mid-1960s, when it became unlawful to display signs such as “Job Vacancies: No Blacks, No Coloureds, No Irish need apply” and “Rooms to let, No Blacks, No Coloureds, No Irish, No dogs”! Ruthless landlords offered access to slum housing in the private accommodation on extortionate terms and public housing was a no go area for “Immigrants from the New Commonwealth”, notwithstanding their classification as British subjects from the colonies. Having to face up to racism was not an unfamiliar experience for the new Black presence in Britain, as they had to cope with racism and exploitation in the colonies of the former British Empire. What was difficult for the indigenous population in responding to the arrival of Black families in their streets and neighbourhoods, was how to overcome their own bias and prejudices inculcated by the hierarchy in a society that denied them the truth and the knowledge they needed to overcome their ignorance about Black people and their historical contribution to Britain. The Black presence could be traced back to Roman times when, for instance, Hadrian’s Wall was guarded by a Garrison led by African Septimius Serverus. In Tudor England, towards the end of the 16th century, it was estimated that there were some 10,000 Africans resident in London. Even though they were largely successful self-contained and self-sufficient African communities, they drew the ire of Queen Elizabeth I, who proclaimed that there were too many “Blackamoors” resident here and they should be rid from these shores. Nowadays we are better informed with facts and recently were enlightened to learn that “Cheddar Man”, from 10,000 years ago,
was very dark-skinned, suggesting that the Black presence in Britain may have an even greater significance than previously understood. The obsession with dark skinned immigration therefore was as evident centuries ago as it is today. Coupled with that has been the journey for the Windrush settlers in having to deal with the race hatred and violence on the streets, discrimination in the workplace, biased and oppressive policing, institutional racism, and an unjust criminal justice system. The challenge to defeat racism and fascism required exceptional leadership from among the Black and Asian communities and necessitated the coming together of progressive white people with the power, influence and the political will to pursue justice for all. While recognising that racism was the main focus of injustices, it was necessary for the race, sex and class struggles to be intertwined to achieve equal access to opportunities for all and especially for those people who are most disadvantaged in society. The Windrush legacy, as we look forward to life in Britain beyond 2020, is of progressive and better educated multi-ethnic and multi-cultural communities facing up to prejudice, bigotry and ignorance; challenging inequalities and exclusion; and helping Britain to be an inclusive and fair society in which every person is able to live their lives without the fear of harassment, discrimination and exclusion and be able to see ethnic and cultural diversity reflected in all aspects of a modern cohesive society.
MESSAGE FROM RAJ TULSIANI Once again Green Park and I are delighted to be supporting this year’s annual Black History Month celebrations which take place throughout Britain during the month of October.
As a growing organisation we have made the important decision to place the promotion of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the heart of our business. The need to be credible and authentic in the specific area of race equality has never been so important than in this current climate of change and uncertainty. Green Park has been advocating and championing the acceleration of high calibre minority candidates into some of the most senior leadership roles in the UK’s top boardrooms across the Private, Public & Third Sectors. The team at Green Park are extremely proud of our record as change-makers. However, it’s not enough. Therefore, we will continue to invest time, effort, talent and money into valuable research to support the conversation for greater and more inclusive leadership reflecting the vibrant and multi-cultural society we are all fortunate to live in. October also sees the launch of our annual list of the ‘Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business’ in conjunction with our social enterprise DRIVE. The list showcases the talent, experience and expertise of ethnic minority board-ready leaders who are chronically underrepresented in most of Britain’s biggest organisations. The recognition and celebration of these role models, who lead by example, driving business change, is even more vital in light of political volatility. With Brexit drawing near, it is a timely reminder that although we approach the 50th anniversary of the Race Relations Act, there is still much to do to tackle and eradicate racial inequality in our society and institutions. RAJ TULSIANI CEO GREEN PARK
We are the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognized national statistical institute. We are responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels. We also conduct the census in England and Wales every 10 years. We are at the leading edge of Data Science and are developing a Data Campus at our Newport site. We know that excellent results can only be achieved by investing in and retaining the people who work for us. This is why our people count in more ways than one. Ensuring fairness and inclusivity for all is at the heart of our organization. Our role in this is twofold: firstly as an employer that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, and secondly, by helping to inform decisions that affect diverse communities. We have a strong ethos of equality and diversity and have been listed in the top 100 employers in Stonewall. We are members of Business Disability forum and have been awarded by them as disability confident. What makes us a great place to work is that we have set up networks that represent people from all communities such as BAME Culture and diversity group. We are committed to making sure that our people are able to meet their potential. But wider than this we believe and celebrate that everyone is unique, and all of us have something to bring to the table.
To find out more about who we are and what we do visit www.ons.gov.uk 16 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
THE OFFICIAL EXHIBITION A MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE INCLUDING PERSONAL STORIES AND ARTEFACTS FROM NELSON MANDELA’S LIFE AND WORK
PHOTOGRAPH: © PETER MOREY (www.petermoreyphotographic.co.za)
FROM 8 FEB 2019 26 LEAKE STREET LONDON SE1 7NN WATERLOO
OBJECTS ON LOAN FROM THE ROYAL HOUSE OF MANDELA
Black History Month Message from HIS EXCELLENCY SETH GEORGE RAMOCAN High Commissioner for Jamaica I warmly greet readers of this informative publication, as I welcome this opportunity to share with you some brief thoughts for Black History month 2018.
The month of October is very significant for the High Commission as it marks the commemoration of Black History month here in the United Kingdom, as well as Heritage month in Jamaica. During the period , the opportunity is used to highlight and celebrate the rich history and cultural heritage of the Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK, as well as the valuable contributions of our forefathers including Jamaica’s six national heroes and one heroine, Nanny of the Maroons. Black History Month 2018 fittingly coincides with the celebration of various important milestones this, year including the 70th anniversary of the docking of the SS Empire Windrush, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the National Health Service and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, UK, all of which are important links between Caribbean nationals and their contribution to the development of British society. Black History month has also taken on added significance this year, given the regrettable Windrush debacle which has served to highlight the injustices suffered by some of our nationals, many of them unsung heroes, who have played significant roles in the development of today’s multi-cultural Britain. The Government of Jamaica is pleased that some progress has been made in ‘righting the wrongs” faced by the Windrush generation and will continue to collaborate with its CARICOM family and UK officials, at the highest level, to ensure a satisfactory resolution to this regrettable situation. Jamaica’s first national hero the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah
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Garvey stated that “a people without a knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”. As such, it is very important that we celebrate the achievements of the many brave men and women who struggled for freedom, independence, equality, human rights and justice and from whose example we have been able to learn and progress. An important mission of the High Commission here in London therefore is to promote understanding of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage, as well as the significant contributions of the UK Jamaican community and its positive impact on British society. In this regard, the High Commission has initiated a project to honour the achievements of five hundred (500) Jamaicans who have contributed to the development of the United Kingdom. This will form the basis of a Legacy Publication to be officially launched later this year. This is important as we seek to educate and inspire current and future generations. You are invited to be a part of this important process. Please visit the website of the Jamaican High Commission - www.jhcuk.org for procedures and forms. Finally, as we commemorate Black History month 2018, I commend all the Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica who have supported the work of the High Commission over the years. Your goodwill has been invaluable as we continue to promote our beautiful island home. I am sure that like me, you are proud to be involved with a progressive country, blessed with natural beauty, warm and vibrant people, including a rich legacy of trailblazers and well-respected Jamaicans who have made an impact across the world in various fields. I encourage you to continue to support the High Commission as we strive to improve our services, to maintain contact with our well-appreciated Diaspora and as we continue in our efforts to build a better Jamaica, Land We Love.
BY LT COL TIM PETRANSKY
A LEGACY OF VALOUR
lack History Month 2018 coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice; a fitting time to reflect on the contribution of the heroic and inspirational deeds of Afro-Caribbean soldiers to Britain. As Armed Forces we champion recognition of the service of black servicemen and women and people from the Commonwealth and ethnic minorities. These examples are select but highlight the contribution of Afro-Caribbeans, underlining our shared heritage. They exemplify determination, professionalism, commitment and loyalty. The Victoria Cross (VC), the Armed Forces’ highest award for valour, has been awarded to four Afro-Caribbean service personnel. First in 1857, William Hall of the Navy, most recently Sergeant Johnson Beharry, from Grenada, in 2004. The first black soldier to win a VC was Samuel Hodge from the British Virgin Islands in 1866. Under fierce enemy fire, he hacked his way into a stockade where he Hodge and his Commanding Officer Colonel D’Arcy forced the gates, allowing its capture. D’Arcy cited Hodge “the bravest soldier in the Regiment.”
Hodge was seriously wounded in the action. Our medics who apply life-saving treatment to the injured, often under fire, are the embodiment of courage and selfless commitment.
In this mould were Major James Africanus Beale Horton and Mary Seacole. Horton, born to freed slaves in Sierra Leone in 1835, qualified as a doctor in Britain. He joined the Army as an Assistant Surgeon, one of the first Africans in the officer corps, participating in several wars. Army service helped him develop important medical theories, earning him acclaim and promotion. He is held as the Father of modern African political thought writing pioneering works to rebut ideas of scientific racism. Seacole supported the Army during the Crimean War from a sense of service to the wounded. Born in Jamaica in 1805 she achieved much before following the Army to Crimea in 1854. Here she set up an establishment caring for wounded soldiers, travelling to battlefields on several occasions to tend casualties and was nicknamed ‘Mother Seacole’ by soldiers for her compassion. Seacole is commemorated by a statue outside St Thomas’ Hospital. Walter Tull, a true role model, demonstrated patience, humility, fortitude and bravery, enduring racism and hardship but came out on top. A professional football player before World War One he joined the Army in 1914. Despite prevailing attitudes, his ability and strength of example saw him selected as an officer, the first black man to lead white troops. He was mentioned in dispatches for bravery but was killed on the 8 March 2018. These examples illustrate the valuable contribution of Caribbean and African people to the Army, even more remarkable considering the barriers they faced. The modern Army aspires to represent the society it serves. Diversity is a strength in today’s complex world and closely aligns to two of the Army’s core values: Respect for Others and Integrity. Serving today are people from many different ethnicities and colours who can be proud of their illustrious forebears, who would be immensely proud of them.
Windrush at 70 Years and 4 Months Exclusive Interview with The Prime Minister, Theresa May BY JOY SIGAUD When I went along last June to Downing Street in the midst of the Windrush furore, who would have known that our very own National Day was to be imminently announced. A strategic move placing the people of the Caribbean diaspora in the annals of the British Institution forever. National Windrush Day is here now, and not only for the descendants of the Empire Windrush voyagers but for every citizen of the United Kingdom. It serves as a portal to times long past, recent history and to the hope of the future, confirming that we all belong to a Kingdom that we have enriched and has equally enriched us in many ways. We acknowledge this recognition with thanks and look forward to the days when all issues are resolved and all ethnic groups of the United Kingdom can pick up the batons of hope with confidence thus securing a good future for themselves, their descendants and the communities in which they live. Thank you Prime Minister May. The first generation of Windrush arrivals were able to buy their own homes, enabling them to generate relative accumulative wealth, security for their children, and prosperity. What plans, and policies do you have in place for young people today to be able to do the same? On my first day as Prime Minister, I set out how I want to see this country working for everyone - a country where, regardless of where you live or what your parents do for a living, you have a fair chance to build a life for yourself and your family. Youth unemployment is down by 20% since 2010, more 18 year-olds are going to university than ever before, we’ve raised the amount people can earn before they pay back their student loan, and we’re introducing new T-Levels so people have gold standard qualifications whether they want to go to university or not. But I know that one of the biggest worries 20 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
for the younger generation is about getting on the housing ladder. We are building more homes, helping people with schemes like Help to Buy, and last Autumn we scrapped stamp duty for four in every five first time buyers to help people get a home of their own. In light of the recent Windrush scandal, there are many misunderstood conceptions about the right of abode in the UK as full British Citizens for the Windrush generation and their descendants. Are there now guidelines available for people from the Windrush generation who have had to return to their country of birth? What are the provisions in place to facilitate ease of return to the UK for these people? It should never have been the case that people from the Windrush generation faced problems proving their status, and I remain deeply sorry for the distress this has caused some families. We have let you down, and we will do whatever it takes to end the anxieties you face. In April, we announced further steps to enable the Windrush generation to acquire the status they should always have had – British citizenship – quickly, at no cost and with assistance through the process. Anyone who came to this country before 1973 will be able to apply, without needing to provide definitive documentary proof of date of entry and of continuous residence. We have also waived the fee for any children of parents from the Windrush generation, who are in the UK and not yet British citizens, and whowant to apply for naturalisation. Put simply, anyone from the Windrush generation who wants to become a British citizen will be able to do so – and this also includes children of parents from the Windrush generation. Commonwealth citizens who’ve left the UK can resume their residence here by obtaining a returning resident visa. And we’re making sure the visa rules are interpreted generously in respect of the Windrush generation, who have spent a considerable time in the UK and who may not have known they were forfeiting residence here when they left. Again, that application will be made available free of charge. Equally, there are those of the Windrush generation who
retired to another country but want to return to the UK temporarily as visitors to see friends and family. Those who qualify can apply for a visit visa free of charge, which is valid for 10 years. Will the Windrush Generation and their descendants now be issued with British Passports with all its rights and privileges? Yes - any Commonwealth citizen who arrived in the UK before 1973 and has lived here since then will be entitled to apply for British citizenship, free of charge. And the children of the Windrush generation who joined their parents before they turned 18 will also be able to apply for citizenship for free; and children born to the Windrush generation in the
UK will be able to get free confirmation of their existing British citizenship if they need to do so. The availability of Home Office’s micro centres and civil servants in key areas such as Brixton and Croydon as a facility for those wishing to regularise their right to stay in Britain is appreciated. Can we expect to see a comprehensive overhaul of the Home Office? Sajid Javid made clear when he started in office that his department could expect to see an overhaul following the difficulties some people from the Windrush generation have faced. The Home Office has now set up a dedicated team working with Commonwealth citizens who have lived in the UK a long time and are worried about their immigration status; and has also announced a Windrush Scheme to make it easier for individuals to access support and understand what is on offer. The department has also made sure that caseworkers are on hand to help individuals build a picture of their lives in the UK, and work with other government departments to find their records, if helpful. We have also announced a call for evidence on compensation for those, including the Windrush generation, who have faced difficulties in establishing their status under
the immigration system. This is an opportunity for anyone affected to tell us about their experience to help shape the compensation scheme – but people can also speak, in confidence, to Home Office staff and ask for help to resolve their case.
services by publishing data held by the Government. If these disparities cannot be explained they need to be changed. Britain has come a long way in spreading equality and opportunity, but there is more to do to build a country that truly works for everyone.
Historically, communications between the Windrush Generation and their descendants with the police have been tense. How do you propose to end this gridlock? I know that there is sometimes a lack of trust between many Black and minority ethnic communities, and the police. I want to help to rebuild that trust and I am committed to making sure everyone is treated fairly by the justice system. That’s why as Home Secretary I made changes to improve the use of stop and search, and we are working to increase the diversity of our police workforce, as well as strengthen the police discipline and complaints processes. All of this will help to build trust and drive up confidence in policing across all communities. More broadly, people from all communities need to have confidence that their individual needs will be understood and respected. I launched the Race Disparity Audit last October in order to shine a light on how people of different ethnicities are treated across public
What is your message to the Windrush generation? It’s very simple. I’m sorry for the distress that’s been caused and I am determined we will put this right. The Windrush generation are British. They helped to build a modern Britain. They are part of us and every aspect of our national life – from sport to business, to politics to music, literature and academia. This year marks 70 years since some of the first arrived in the UK aboard the Empire Windrush and we have a chance to celebrate the enormous contribution that people from around the Commonwealth – and their children and grandchildren – have made to Britain over seven decades. Our culture has been enriched and our society has been made stronger because of the people who travelled here to build new lives in the UK. I want to thank all those from the Windrush generation for their contribution and want them to know, Britain has always been – and will always be - their home.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 21
1968 RACE RELATIONS ACT: Reflections of a Windrush Descendant
y parents and extended family were among the group of immigrants in the 1960s for whom attempts were made to legislatively address the depth of racial discrimination and societal exclusion they faced; for example, being denied public housing, while at the same time being also denied a mortgage or the ability to purchase insurance, all because of the colour of their skin. The Race Relations Acts of 1965, 1968 and 1976 emerged, offered varying degrees of protection against racial discrimination, with each Act strengthening weaknesses in the preceding one. The Race Relations Act 1965 was the first Act but did not provide any relief to my relatives from any of the fundamental barriers that society had constructed for them (and others). Within months of its enactment, the defects and deficiencies of the Act were obvious; for example, the Act made discrimination in some limited respects a criminal offence punishable by a fine. However, people who discriminated, such as landlords and business owners were prepared to pay damages in civil cases, or a fine in a criminal case, as the price for continuing to subject a section of society to acts of indignity. It therefore could not have remained in place if racial inequality were to have been treated as a serious social problem. The pressure to address these shortÂŹcomings was immediate and extensive, which coincided with the Political and Economic Planning (PEP) report that was published in April 1967. The report documented multiple instances of racial discrimination and concluded that there was substantial discrimination in Britain against non-white immigrants in employment, in housing and in the provision of certain services, such as motor insurance and car hire. The report was largely responsible for the 1968 Act which followed but could also be seen as representative of the process of the changes taking place at the time, particularly in the United States. Consequently, Parliament yielded to pressure and the second Race Relations Act was passed in 1968, strengthening the provisions of the 1965 Act. The Race Relations Act 1968 prohibited discrimination in both public and private employment, housing and public facilities; this was crucial because these were the spheres in which discrimination against the newly arrived immigrants took place most frequently and had the most significant bearing on most aspects of their
22 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
D) DR VIVIENNE CONNELL-HALL (PH
ial History Sociologist and Visiting Lecturer in Soc
everyday lives. Additionally, discrimination within the terms of the 1968 Act later became known as direct or intentional discrimination. The Race Relations Act 1968 therefore began to prevent and even dismantle barriers blocking equal access to services, public facilities, housing and employment. However, the legislation being based on complaint system belied its weakness; thus, a new strategy became necessary, which was provided in the Race Relations Act 1976. Its significance was not only tightening up against race discrimination in employment, providing some protection from summary dismissals of black workers from their jobs, as often occurred, but also legislated against direct discrimination. It moved the problems of racial disadvantage away from being deemed to be one solely on the basis of interpersonal relations and laid the foundations for my family to become homeowners and later the more comprehensive Race Relations Act 1976 and consequent policies and regulations that have since advanced equality generally in the UK.
National Education Union: weâ€™re standing up for the future of education The contribution of immigrants to the UK is visible in all areas of society, from education, to politics and the arts. The Windrush generation have helped shape a multicultural society making the UK a better place for everyone. The National Education Union is committed to opposing racism, to building a culturally inclusive curriculum in every school and college, and to involving members in anti-racist campaigning in their workplaces and communities all year round, not just during Black History Month.
The NEU wishes everyone a fantastic Black History Month. To find out about our equality work email email@example.com and to join visit:
As the UKâ€™s largest education union, the NEU will continue to ensure that Black education professionals have a voice in the union, in the classroom and in broader society, through our Black member networks and conferences.
BLACK BRITISH HISTORY:
Black influences on British culture (1948 to 2016)
PAULA PERRY, BRITISH BLACK HISTORY BOOK
24 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
LACK BRITISH HISTORY: BLACK INFLUENCES ON BRITISH CULTURE (1948 TO 2016) is aimed at parents and teachers who would like solid information to teach their children Modern Black British History, and to exercise the historical skills required by the National Curriculum. It is an engaging, well-researched and comprehensive text that you can buy on Friday and put to work on Monday. The book is subtitled 32 HOURS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING MATERIAL FOR PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND TEACHERS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS. The classes follow chronologically from 1948 to 2016 dealing with politics and culture, and the role Black British people played. The book contains a Picture Appendix and a discussion of Black History in the most recent update to the English National Curriculum. The material is designed for children at Key Stage 3 Level (young people aged 11 to 14). The lessons can work with slightly older or younger people. We, for example, have profitably used this material with adults.
The book highlights Black Migrant, African American and Black British influences on the host community. However, cultural influences are always multi directional. Black Migrant culture has massively been shaped by being in the UK. Thus, Black Migrant culture evolved into Black British culture by adopting influences from the host cultures. Moreover, the book narrates how Black Britain gradually won acceptance as a part of British mainstream culture through boxing, athletics, football, art, textiles, literature, drama, and politics. To our knowledge, no other book aimed at schoolchildren carries this empowering content. All BHM readers can receive the book for £10 with £2 p&p instead of £12 with £2 P&P using the link: http://bit./ly/BHMOFFER For bulk orders please enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org where orders can be reviewed and discounts applied.
50 years on from the (second) Race Relations Act, and the Runnymede Trust
his is a year of anniversaries: the centenary of (partial) woman’s suffrage, of the end of the first world war, the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Empire Windrush and of the NHS, the 60th of the Notting Hill race riots, and the 50th of Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech. Of course Powell’s speech was itself a reaction to another important anniversary: the second race relations act, passed in 1968. When the first race relations act was passed in 1965, it was acknowledged even by its drafters as a weak piece of legislation, extending only to ‘places of public resort’. But whatever its weaknesses, the legislation was ground-breaking and important for three reasons: first, it established that antidiscrimination was a key principle, and one that government would legislate on. Second, it sent a message to the wider population that discrimination was wrong, a view that was probably in the minority. Finally, and importantly, it also sent a clear signal to black and minority ethnic people that the state realised that they were experiencing discrimination, and that this was wrong, and something the state would seek to remedy. The 1968 Act was in many ways an extension of these reasons to the areas of live that most affected black and minority ethnic people: housing and employment. It wasn’t until the 1968 act that the signs ‘no blacks, no dogs, no Irish’ were made illegal, and it’s important not to forget how weak common law was in protecting individuals from direct and explicit discrimination before it was passed. One of the authors of early race relations legislation, Geoffrey Bindman QC, has, however, suggested that few people got appropriate remedy even under the 1968 act. This highlights three issues that continue to resonate over the decades, and that sadly were apparent in the Windrush injustice. First, that race relations legislation would always be counterbalanced by restrictive immigration policy. In 1968 the Labour government also implement an immigration act, one that set in train the ‘partiality’ conditions of citizenship, fully deployed in the 1971 Act, that meant that people born in the Caribbean (and Asia and Africa) would have reduced access to British citizenship, but that would also affect their UK-born children and grandchildren. The Lords debate on the 1968 immigration act has very dated language, but many peers were clear and critical about the act’s intent and effects: ‘Broadly speaking, these people are, let us fact it, coloured… They are coloured people
and ipso facto it appears that this is a question of colour discrimination. Whether or not is to the point, that is what it looks like. It is going to be hard to convince anybody – the public at large, and particularly the coloured section of the public – that this same action would have been taken if all these people had been white’. (House of Lords debate on Immigration Bill, Hansards, 29 February 1968) A second lesson that emerged from the 1968 race relations act, and the ‘race relations board’ that was meant to enforce was: it is difficult to prove direct intent of racism. Bindman notes that all employers rejected accusations of discrimination, even when the outcomes were plain to see. For this reason – because the then-Windrush generation were unable to get appropriate remedies from discrimination, much less justice – the 1976 Race Relations Act introduced the concept of indirect discrimination. This better aligned UK legislation with the UN human rights treaty on racism (which the UK had signed a decade previously) and focused on abuses of human rights and the denial of access to public services in terms of outcomes. This leads to the second important development of what might be called a ‘British’ approach to race relations, namely the collection of data. Elsewhere in Europe data collection by ethnicity remains rare and controversial, but in Britain it was recognised that to implement race relations legislation – to determine if people were experiencing racism or discrimination – that we needed robust evidence on the relative outcomes of white British and black British people in a range of areas of public and private life, from housing to criminal justice to employment. Commemorating anniversaries brings reflection, not just celebration. As with previous Directors, I’m proud of our track record in gathering evidence, and of the commitment of so many colleagues past and present. But I also realise that evidence alone can’t change things. This was most obvious in the Windrush injustice. Runnymede and many others highlighted how the 2014 immigration provision would incentivise racial discrimination from landlords as well as employers and even public services, but our concerns were ignored. We’ve urged organisations to set a positive and strong anti-racist culture from the top if they want to see equal opportunity policies bring results, but the Home Office resisted the obvious point that setting out a
culture of ‘hostility’, encapsulated in the ‘Go Home’ vans would have wider effects on the 52% of BME people who were themselves migrants. It’s chastening to remind ourselves again that evidence doesn’t change minds or policy all by itself. It even more concerning that the government’s response to the Windrush injustice suggests it doesn’t understand the concept of indirect discrimination, of existing equalities legislation, or that the reason why the concept was introduced was because this very generation was unable to secure justice against discrimination in the 1960s and 1970s. When the Prime Minister or Home Secretary suggests it wasn’t the intent to affect people who arrived from the Caribbean, that of course doesn’t rule out the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts being racially discriminatory. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer says it isn’t the intent to hit the poorest black women most with the government’s budget, he’s demonstrating a failure to understand not just indirect discrimination, but the public sector equality duty that emerged after the institutional failures identified in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report. Fifty years on from the 1968 race relations act and the founding of the Runnymede Trust much has changed – and improved – in Britain. But we can’t just celebrate our past, we need to understand it, and learn from it, including of course the British Empire whose legacy lives on among the victims of the Windrush injustice.
BY OMAR KHAN
An inclusive culture is about making sure everyone can bring the best of themselves to work every day.
Whether this involves improving the ethnic balance of our organisation, or celebrating the different contributions people can make when they share their beliefs and experiences, we offer all our colleagues the same opportunities to grow and develop.
Chief Administrative Officer and Ethnicity sponsor
Head of Inclusion
I’m proud to be the RBS executive sponsor for our ethnicity agenda, supporting the bank’s ambition to become a truly inclusive organisation.
“Being part of an organisation that has a clear vision and identity, honest leadership, provides flexible growth for employees, promotes a collaborative culture and a fun environment is something I am really proud of.
The Royal Bank of Scotland is committed to our ethnicity agenda and I’m proud to support Black History Month. It’s an integral part of the calendar with our Multicultural Network and Leaders within our business organising events and educating our colleagues on what Black History Month is and why it’s important.
I’m also proud that we support Black History Month; our ethnically diverse agenda at RBS is incredibly important. Whether it’s about improving the ethnic balance of our organisation or valuing the different contributions people can make when they bring their beliefs and experiences to the table. There’s no doubt this plays a key role in helping to change the culture at the bank. In my role as sponsor, I’ve seen some fantastic activity across our organisation including reciprocal mentoring sessions, coaching for colleagues on being colour brave, not colour blind and a whole host of activities and commentary from across our Multicultural network on Workplace (our internal social channel). I am committed to doing what I can to raise awareness and push us forward as a bank in this space. I was delighted that we achieved Platinum rating this year, with Business in the Community’s Race Equality Campaign – building on our previous gold ratings to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to this agenda. Organisations benefit when they create an environment with a diverse range of skills and talents that support the physical and mental wellbeing of employees. I will continue to work on ensuring that RBS is an inclusive organisation that everyone wants to be a part of.
My experience in working for the bank has always been positive, due to the fact that the willingness to help is always there across teams, the teams are always customer focused, diversity within the bank is increasing, it is a safe space, staff are properly recognised across the bank when something amazing is achieved and career development is strongly encouraged and welcomed. This in-turn gives me a sense of satisfaction working for the bank. Working in different part of the business has been an integral part of my personal development. There is always a willingness to help and guide me through difficult task, also the trust amongst team members doubled my confidence which led to me yearning for more responsibilities. I believe the bank will achieve its 2020 vision sooner rather than later because of the day to day commitment and hard work put in by colleagues with senior leaders being very supportive and encouraging. I have also had some fantastic volunteering opportunities such as my involvement in Money Sense, were we went out to secondary schools to educate them on career opportunities, working with the local nature reserve in Lavendar pond and being a mentor for the RBS Future Leaders Group (FLG) annual competition.
We want to have more leaders from ethnic minorities in senior roles and in order to achieve this we have created a bank-wide positive action plan led by Simon McNamara as Executive Sponsor. A critical component of the plan is to develop a strong pipeline and ensure greater pull through rates of ethnic minority colleagues at the top levels of the bank. In January we introduced ethnicity targets, aiming to achieve 14% non-white leaders by 2025. We are in the second year of our positive action approach, which includes: reciprocal mentoring, cross-organisational mentoring and leadership development focussed on how to navigate careers as a minority in a majority culture. Progress is promising: 7% of participants who feed back tell us they have been promoted and 14% have changed roles. This year we’ve been awarded Platinum status for our Ethnicity work, making us the only UK employer, at the moment, to have this award. Perhaps, more important than the benchmarking results, however, is that the engagement of our Black colleagues is 2% higher than the general population in our annual Employee Opinion Survey.
At the end of the day, I can gladly say that RBS has not just been a place of work for me but a place I am proud to work in. We are truly what we do!”
ALEXANDER PAUL Alexander, a Warwick University undergraduate studying Politics and International Studies, collapsed in March 2016 and was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was a prolific poetry writer in his teens and eventually pursued his passion to become a spoken word poet. He wrote about many subjects such as, stop and search, street life, student life, family, faith and mental health. Alexander was a very athletic and sporty person and in his younger days was passionate about football. He played at county level and was scouted for a London team until he decided football was not a career he wanted to pursue. He was also a great fan of Michael Jackson and had perfected his moonwalk dance, showing it off whenever an occasion arose. He loved people and was a confident show person. Alexander met Theresa May’s former advisor, Nick Timothy in 2014 who later invited him to Parliament where he met Theresa May who at the time was Home Secretary. He shared his views about the injustices he experienced under abusive stop and search powers and was later invited to speak at the Conservative Party Conference that year even though he was not a party member. He gained some media interest because of this exposure including after he passed away in June 2017 and also when the book was launched in June 2018. Alexander was 21 when he collapsed and was subsequently diagnosed with a glioblastoma, the same as Dame Tessa Jowell. Theresa May as Prime Minister, paid a moving tribute to Alexander in her conference speech in 2017 and an Obituary appeared in The Mail newspaper as well as coverage on BBC London News and local newspapers. To fulfil Alexander’s desire to publish his poems and set up an organisation to help young people to freely express their pent up emotions, his mother, Joanna Brown collated his work and published the book “Climbing Clouds Catching Comets”, writing a short biography followed by a selection of his work. Alexander loved people and longed to see a more peaceful world. He would greet everyone with “Love and Blessing”. Afua Hirsch, author of “Brit(ish)” wrote a review on the back of the book “To read Climbing Clouds Catching Comets is to clamber inside the mind of a writer whose talent fizzes on the page; with love, pain, empathy and a wisdom far beyond his young years.” 30 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
Greatness never leaves. It is the energy that transfers from one being to another Just like traditions continue yet evolve; We used to worship the Sun and now we worship the Son. Time is a cycle that man will never understand completely. As I run towards the past I stare at memories of my future; I walk with the same spirit of Malcom Educating young brothers who sell drugs the same colour and consistency as talcum Powder. Power is inherent As I consistently aim to achieve beyond your expectations: I write with the vigour of a thousand Africans picking cotton. I am a slave to the talent my master has given me. I am blessed because Martin has forgiven me In my dreams. I have foreseen events that constitute a time where we are no longer In a desolate place. Conversations with Kinte and Kuti about how the motherland continues to be raped Leave the arteries of this dying African heart in disarray. But there is a beacon of hope Echoed by the words of Steve Biko: Black is beautiful. But sometimes beauty is not recognised Even by those that possess it. Garvey galvanised the mind of many; Stimulating black brothers and sisters To acknowledge their worth Even through stressful times For pressure makes diamonds. We are those diamonds. But our heroes and leaders were killed In the same cruelty Reminiscent to the gallons of blood spilled amongst the wooden Floors that held us captive. Captivate your own minds, I say The teachings of those before you lead to a future better than now. Sister, let no man diminish your worth! Use the life of Maya to inspire Yourselves to create women who do not burn or singe from The harshness of life’s fire But are reborn.
Let Angela remind you that although society cannot handle the Flame that keeps your passion burning You are not aggressive, obsessive, possessive Just Expressive. I urge you to never forget this: The warmth of your hands cultivate cultures sculptors could never create.
The everlasting presence of past figures caress your future. The fingers clasp onto the very essence of positivity But also guide you to a better now. I say do not burn the history that breeds you; never forget where you came from. The journey is not over It is a long walk to freedom.
25 Oct – 24 Nov Patience is running out, times have changed. And progress isn’t enough. Black British. African American. Here. There. Now.
ear for eye A new play by debbie tucker green
Tickets from £12 (Mondays all seats £12) 020 7565 5000 (no booking fee)
royalcourttheatre.com Sloane Square London, SW1W 8AS royalcourt Victoria Station
Sloane Square royalcourttheatre
Interview with Earl Cameron
Stacee Smith travels to the Caribbean and interviews Earl Cameron CBE actor and race equality campaigner on his life and passions. For decades the legendary British/Bermudian actor Earl Cameron CBE – who celebrated his 101st birthday on August 8th 2018 – graced the stage and cinema screens with his presence in films such as Pool of London (1951), Thunderball (1965), The Interpreter (2005) and Inception (2010). He journeyed along a path rarely trodden by black actors of his era, and this summer I had the honour (particularly as a fellow Bermudian) of meeting him and his wife Barbara in their English hometown of Kenilworth, Warwickshire. As we chatted over coffee in the Holiday Inn hotel lounge Mr. Cameron shared many interesting stories, including those of his early days in the U.K. He told me he arrived in London as a merchant seaman in 1939 at age 22, and that becoming an actor had never crossed his mind. In fact, he longed to return to the nice easy lifestyle in Bermuda, but due to the outbreak of the Second World War that unfortunately was impossible. It then became necessary for Mr. Cameron to find a job in the UK but racism was a blatant obstacle: “even the most menial jobs weren’t given to black people” he said. As a result, when an actor friend of his told him that a role became available in a play he was in (and one which Mr. Cameron had somewhat jokingly expressed an interest in joining), he seized the opportunity, and after a 32 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
“Acting becomes very real to black people I think. Maybe because the sort of oppression we have suffered has given us a deeper understanding of human life.”
brief introduction to the director he was on stage that same night. “Could you believe it?” he said reflecting on the spontaneity of it all. “I got through that first scene, and that was my introduction to show business.” He said it was not only a virtual accident, but it was like a means to an end: “It was a way out from washing dishes in hotels, kitchen portering and things like that.” Although Mr. Cameron said England has changed tremendously since those days, “I hardly ever come up against any racism at this stage of my life” and that there’s “no sense holding any grudge” about the past, he spoke about the fights that regularly broke out between black immigrants and racist American soldiers during the war years, the race-fuelled riots in London’s Soho and the hundreds of Englishmen who went on strike when a couple of Trinidadians were given jobs prior to the war. “The attitude then was: ‘send all the blacks back to their countries.’ That was the attitude of the average English person” he said. However despite it all Mr. Cameron, who is a devout member of the Baha’i faith with a peaceful and humble demeanour, said “God works in mysterious ways.” He explained that “during the war they needed us, so they brought many soldiers from Africa, the Caribbean, and even from little Bermuda. The attitude changed an awful lot and after the war there was a certain degree of respect for black people that England didn’t have before the war.” Mr. Cameron also met West Indians who came to England on the Empire Windrush ship: “The Windrush has quite a history for England because it was that particular ship that brought many people from the Caribbean to England, and a lot of them were ex servicemen who had gone home, couldn’t get jobs and came back. A lot of them came for the first time too. They were a great asset to England.” Whilst Mr. Cameron generally didn’t experience the same levels of prejudice in his profession as an actor as he did when initially seeking a job, there were roles he refused because they perpetuated derogatory stereotypes of black people. “One has a choice. You don’t have to do these things” he said. “Mind you I was quite prepared to sacrifice my whole career rather than do something so degrading.” In one particular instance a director, who had initially threatened to blacklist him as a result of his unwavering stance, ultimately gave in and adjusted the script until Mr. Cameron felt it was of an acceptable standard. He also noted that there were roles that weren’t even considered for blacks, such as Shakespeare’s Othello, from which Mr. Cameron theatrically recited lines, to my delight, and described as one of the greatest parts ever written for an actor.
Nonetheless, race relations were much worse across the pond in the United States, which is why he decided it was best for him and his family to stay in England rather than pursue acting opportunities in Hollywood. His dear friend and fellow actor Sidney Poitier had given him insight into the situation over there also:“Sidney said that when he first went to Hollywood the only other black person he saw in the studio was a shoeshine boy.” Mr. Cameron expressed his confusion as to why the U.S. has been unable to let go of “that terrible racial prejudice that still exists” despite the fact that “they’ve had many warnings.” Growing up in Bermuda he was accustomed to racism and said he never allowed it to hurt him: “no, no, I find it stupidity.” However Mr. Cameron stressed that “the difference of race must be annulled” in order for the world to achieve “a lasting peace, which we all greatly desire.” Upon reflection Mr. Cameron said “acting becomes very real to black people I think. Maybe because the sort of oppression we have suffered has given us a deeper understanding of human life. Suffering generally – nobody wants it and I don’t agree that people should suffer – but it has its compensations so to speak, and it tends to bring out the best in human beings.” Mr. Cameron thinks it’s wonderful that Black History Month is becoming universal. He commented on the excellent performances of two black British actors he said he’d like to meet: Chiwetel Ejiofor CBE in 12 Years a Slave (2013) and David Oyelowo OBE in A United Kingdom (2016), where he played the role of Botswana’s Seretse Khama, who Mr. Cameron said he knew personally, as well as Khama’s wife Ruth, when the pair lived in London. Whilst Hollywood lures many British actors Mr. Cameron said what’s needed are more brilliant and talented scriptwriters in the UK and over time the number of such opportunities here will gradually increase. Perseverance is key in this industry said Mr. Cameron, which is what his teacher Ms. Amanda Ira Aldridge instilled in him. He said he’d tell all aspiring actors: “don’t give up, don’t throw the sponge in. Stay with it if that’s what you feel you want to do and become. But work at it.” In 2012 the Bermuda City Hall Theatre was renamed the Earl Cameron Theatre in his honour, and whilst Mr. Cameron has enjoyed a fulfilling career as an actor he said he wants his legacy to do be: “nothing in particular, but I would like to be remembered for being a very strong Baha’i. To become spiritual, really spiritual, and that is my only hope. As far as career, acting and all – that is all passé now. That is small time stuff as far as I’m concerned. The most important thing is the spiritual part of our life.” BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 33
Windrush Pioneer: An Interview with Dame Jocelyn Barrow OBE by patric k v e r non Dame Jocelyn Barrow has had a long distinguished career covering 59 years in Britain with her tremendous achievements and her long term commitment and passion for race and gender equality, education and promoting the heritage of the Caribbean community. Early Days in the Caribbean
She was born in Trinidad on the 15th of April in 1929 of mixed race heritage, her father was from Barbados (grandparents were Scottish and French). Dame Jocelyn was the eldest out of fourteen siblings with only six still alive. As the matriarch along with her education and training this has shaped her to be feisty, maverick and astute which eventually held in good stead as a lifelong campaigner for race equality and social injustice. Dame Jocelyn went to St Joseph Covenant School and at the age of sixteen became one of the early members of the People National Movement working with the late Dr Eric William who became the first Prime Minster of Trinidad. She completed her training as a teacher but was still involved in politics and supporting the development of the West Indian Federation and her political party.
After working for several years she decided to move to Britain to complete her postgraduate teaching qualification at the Institute of Education. On the 1st of September 1959 she moved to London and thus became part of the Windrush Generation migration to Britain. When the West Indies Federation was dissolved in 1962 she was disappointed in a similar way to her current feelings about Brexit that nations were not working together for the common good. One of her mantra… ‘You can achieve more if we work collectively’. This is what Dame Jocelyn believed that Britain did with its Empire through colonisation using all the 34 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
talent and resources of its former colonies for the good of Britain. Thus she found it disappointing that people are not aware of this history and thus failed to understand why the Windrush Generation were here along with other parts of the Commonwealth. She talked in great detailed about the level of racism that she and others experienced in the 1950/60s in terms of jobs, housing and then the emotional and physical abuse. Although a lot of Caribbean people were educated and skilled they were treated at the bottom of the pile. Whilst she was studying for her postgraduate qualification in teaching she got involved in a project called ‘Each One Teach One’ in helping children of Caribbean heritage to do their homework and to provide advice to parents on the education system. She said white teachers did not know how to support the learning of the pupils and that parents were ignorant of the education system as they assumed the teachers had the best interest at heart like teachers in the Caribbean. However, instead the children were being left behind and also classed as educationally subnormal. A few years later Jocelyn was involved in another initiative called the ‘Caribbean Communication Project’ which was aimed at improving literacy for Caribbean adults based on the national literacy programme called ‘On The Move’.
Fighting for Race Equality and Against the Colour Bar
Dame Jocelyn’s life changed when she and a number of activists arrange a roundtable
meeting with Martin Luther King in December 1964. He did a stop over to London as he was going to Norway to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize. King shared his strategies and tactics around non-violence and holding the government to account around on race discrimination under Jim Crow in America. This meeting inspired Jocelyn and other activists to establish in 1965 Campaign against Racial Discrimination (CARD) with the main focus to establish race relations legislation against the colour bar and racism against African, Caribbean and Asian people in Britain. Dame Jocelyn became a founding member and General Secretary and later Vice Chair of the organisation. She was involved right up to 1970. CARD had a national committee with Anthony Lester, David Pitt, C. L. R. James, Dipak Nandy and Hamza Alavi. The organisation also had local branches around the country. Dame Jocelyn reflects on the hard work and campaigning particularly around the period between 1965 and 1970 in lobbying for the two Race Relation Acts with additional work of helping individuals to exercise their rights for racism discrimination claims. The 1965 Act had no real power as it did not look at employment or housing which was the biggest areas of discrimination. Thus the organisation working in partnership with The Observer newspaper undertook an employment survey one to capture the level of discrimination. A follow up survey was done for London Transport which provided further evidence of systematic racism in the labour market. The lobbying and evidence was critical to
influence MPs that the 1968 Act should be more robust. Despite her activism she was still working full time in teaching at a senior level and also as a teacher trainer in various roles at Furzedown College and at the Institute of Education London University in the ‘60s, she pioneered the introduction of multi-cultural education, stressing the needs of the various ethnic groups in the UK. In her interview she talked about managing open and covert racism and the strategy of self-care which people had to adopt for their mental wellbeing. This often meant at times not going key promotions or roles in public life as you got exposed with hate mail, verbal abuse, rejection and lack of respect. The glass ceiling was always present to you as black person she recounts. Other black women had similar experiences such as Beryl Gilroy who became one of the first Head Teachers in UK. Dame Jocelyn said: ‘maintaining my private life was critical to my self-care. However the more discrimination I faced the more determined and feisty I became’.
Rivers of Blood
Dame Jocelyn was strongly against Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968 which she believes gave the permission to far right organisations like National Front and Combat 18 to continued its campaign hate crime and violence against Black and Asian people In Britain. She also believes that Powell was a racist but he did this in sophisticated way. Dame Jocelyn states: ‘He did not mind us coming to Britain but only do to low skill jobs only as he did not want to us to be in positions of authority.’ The expression in his speech the “The Blackman having the upper hand of over the white man” reflected his attitude towards Black people and the use of immigrations control’. Dame Jocelyn recounts an experience with Powell which confirmed his racism and arrogance. She states: I was invited by the late Sir Robin Day the broadcaster for a television magazine TV programme after the main news in Birmingham to talk about the 1968 Race Relations Bill going through Parliament along with an Asian Psychiatrist and Enoch Powell MP. We found out that Powell refused to be in the same studio as us and the BBC arrange for him to be a neighbouring studio in the same building so we would not be allowed have a direct conversation with even though he could hear our responses through the radio mics. This clearly showed him a racist, coward and he knew that he lose any arguments on why he was wrong regarding the Bill and his speech’. When Dame Jocelyn became Governor at the BBC she made sure that the BBC journalism policy and practice would not allow for future racial segregation in television interviews in
the future. Also she played a role ensure more Black talent had roles as news reporters, presenters and more opportunities in light entertainment and drama.
A Career in Public Life
Despite all the above challenges she was successful in developing a career in public life with a number of appointments made by Conservative and Labour governments between 1965 to the 1990s.She was the first black woman Governor of the BBC and Founder and Deputy Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Council. Her equal opportunities and educational expertise is reflected in her many Government appointments to a variety of organisations and statutory bodies. Governor of the Commonwealth Institute for eight years, Camden Communing Housing, Council Member of Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Vice-president of the United Nations Association in the UK and Northern Ireland and Trustee to the Irene Taylor Trust providing Music in Prisons. She is National Vice-President of the Townswomen’s Guild and was instrumental in the establishment of the North Atlantic Slavery Gallery and the Maritime Museum in Liverpool. She was a Trustee of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside and a Governor of the British Film Institute. In 1972 she was awarded the OBE for work in the field of education and community relations. In 1992 she received the DBE for her work in broadcasting and her contribution to the work of the European Union as the UK Member of the Social Economic Committee.
Maintaining my private life was critical to my self-care. However the more discrimination I faced the more determined and feisty I became’. Windrush Scandal
With regards to the Windrush Scandal she feels very angry at how the government has treated people of Caribbean heritage and sees this as another example of racism based on her 59 years of activism in Britain. However, she also feels that as a community we should have done more around leadership and mobilisation. She was aware back in 2014 when the Immigration Act was passed that this could be an issue in the future. She asked a number of key people that they needed to help the community to sort out their paper work and educate the community based on her experience of CARD. She was concerned that organisations that supported
or represented the Caribbean community including the High Commissioners should have done more around lobbying and campaigning prior to the scandal compared to fallout now that we are dealing with like deportations and no financial support to the victims. Dame Jocelyn stated ‘if I was still active I would be putting pressure on the government to speed up the compensation payments and get people to do a sit in various governments departments and offices demanding where is our cheque?’ She believes that Theresa May was ill advised but her officials and political advisers were keen to develop and implement the hostile immigration environment which she probably now regrets. Sajid Javid is probably doing a better job as Home Secretary but he has no interest in support and protecting the Black community especially with the compensation scheme and not giving citizenship to the Windrush Generation who have a criminal record or ‘poor character’.
Top Tips for Leadership and Activism
Dame Jocelyn believes the Windrush Generation could have done more especially around economic and business development as a legacy compared to their peers from other parts of the Commonwealth who probably have more respect from the government because of wealth and economic influence. However she is very optimistic of third and fourth generation of young people of African and Caribbean heritage in Britain who are now learning some of the lessons of the Windrush Generation to become more business focus and self reliant. Her instincts as a teacher and educator are still present and strong and in our interview as she shared the following tips around activism and leadership for young people: • Stick to your brief and agenda on area of expertise Write this down so you reflect this on a regular basis • Learn from your mistakes and others as this will empower you • Have a conviction and strong belief in whatever you do as there will be times you need to stand alone • Be wary of gifts and or opportunities you are given as make you obligated or comprise your agenda • Find a couple of people that you can trust who can give your advice and help you out when required. Although Dame Jocelyn Barrow has mobility problems her mind is still active and she will be celebrating her 90th birthday on the 15th of April in 2019. She is still happy to share her experience and wealth of knowledge to the next generation of activist and leaders. I am looking forward to reading her memoirs as a champion of the Windrush Generation and to support engage more with young people. BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 35
BLACK WORLD CINEMA:
31 GREAT FILMS
ince the beginning of the twentieth century and up until the modern day, film has been one of the most effective mediums people of African descent have used to tell stories about who they are and to revision their history. The following is a list of titles that have made a creative and social impact over the last decade. In alphabetical order, they range from Oscar winners to first time Directors working across varied genres, languages and budgets. These titles in their content, language and style have widen the discourse about identity and also shown the extent to which the black experience is part of the human story. 1. 12 Years A Slave (Dir: Steve McQueen, 2014) 2. A Screaming Man (Dir: Mahamat Saleh Haroun, 2011) 3. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Dir: Terence Nance, 2014) 4. Besuro aka The Assailant (Dir: João Daniel Tikhomiroff, 2009) 5. Black Girl (Dir: Ousmane Sembène, 1966) 6. Black Orpheus (Dir: Marcel Camus. 1959) 7. Coming to America (Dir: John Landis, 1988) 8. Cuba, An African Odyssey (Dir: Jihan El Tahri, 2007) 9. Dancehall Queen (Dir: Don Letts, 1997) 10. Daughters of the Dust (Dir: Julie Dash, 1993) 11. Divines (Dir: Uda Benyamina, 2016) 12. I Am Not Your Negro (Dir: Raoul Peck, 2016) 13. Malcolm X (Dir: Spike Lee, 1992) 14. Moonlight (Dir: Barry Jenkins, 2016) 15. Nairobi Half Life (Dir: David Tosh Gitonga, 2012) 16. Osuofia in London (Dir: Kingsley Ogoro, 2003) 17. Paris is Burning (Dir: Jennie Livingston, 1990) 18. Pressure (Dir: Horace Ové, 1976) 19. Sankofa (Dir: Haile Gerima, 1993) 20. Set It Off (Dir: F. Gary Gray, 1996) 21. The Spook Who Sat by the Door (Dir: Ivan Dixon, 1973) 22. Straight Outta of Compton (Dir: F. Gary Gray, 2015) 23. Sugar Cane Alley (Dir: Euzhan Palcy, 1983) 24. The Figurine (Dir: Kunle Afolayan, 2009) 25. The Great Debaters (Dir: Denzel Washington, 2007) 26. The Harder They Come (Dir: Perry Henzell, 1972) 27. Timbuktu (Dir: Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014) Black History Month is still relevant, though 28. To Sleep With Anger (Dir: Charles Burnett, 1990) my own personal view is that the emphasis 29. Tsotsi (Dir: Gavin Hood, 2005) should be on activity throughout the year 30. Viva Riva (Dir: Djo Tunda Wa Munga, 2010) rather than just for one month. 31. Black Panther (Dir: Ryan Coogler, 2018)
BY NADIA DENTON Nadia Denton has been working in the film industry for over a decade primarily in the areas of curation and audience development. In 2016 she presented a second edition of BEYOND NOLLYWOOD as part of the BLACK STAR season at the BFI Southbank. She formally entered the industry running bfm Film Club a monthly platform for Black World Cinema at the ICA in 2004. She has written two books which include and The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success and The Nigerian Filmmaker’s Guide to Success: Beyond Nollywood. She has been featured as a speaker at the Houses of Parliament, The Battle of Ideas Festival, Sheffield Doc Fest and Cannes Film Festival. Most recently, she co-produced SHOOTING IN LIKE A WOMAN a BBC World Service radio documentary that looks at the fortunes of female producers in the Nigerian film industry. Nadia has a degree in Modern History from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is a member of BAFTA.
AWARD FOR COMMUNITY ACTIVIST
n Thursday 20th September 2018, the University of Wolverhampton presented Patrick Vernon with an Honorary Doctor of Letters. The award was made in recognition of Patrick’s contribution to the voluntary and public sector over a number of years and in particular his historical work around family genealogy and identity of migrant communities particularly African and Caribbean communities. Speaking at the presentation of his award, Professor Laura Caulfield praised Patrick as an “inspirational individual” who shared the University’s “commitment to reducing inequalities, improving mental health and wellbeing, and increasing the visibility of migrant communities”. Patrick said: “As a child of the Windrush Generation born in Wolverhampton along now with three generations of the Vernon family It is great to be honoured by the University of Wolverhampton to receive an honorary doctorate for my work over the years for advocating, campaigning and developing content and learning on the heritage of African and Caribbean community from family history, 100 Great Black Britons, Windrush Generation. Also, the recognition reflects my wider work on migration histories, race equality, mental health and wellbeing”. Patrick Vernon OBE was born in Wolverhampton and went to Grove Junior School, Colton Hills and Wulfrun College. He is Patron of ACCI mental health charity based in Wolverhampton and in 2017 guest edited this magazine. He is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, Fellow at Imperial War Museum, and former Associate Fellow for the Department of History of Medicine at Warwick University. He was the first Director of Black Thrive, a mental health multi agency tackling mental health in Lambeth, former Non-Executive Director of Camden and Islington Mental Health Foundation Trust, Health Partnership Coordinator for National Housing Federation, committee member of Healthwatch England, NHS England Equality Diversity Council, and Director of Brent Health Action Zone. He is a former
On Thursday 20th September 2018, the University of Wolverhampton presented Patrick Vernon with an Honorary Doctor of Letters.
member of the Labour and the Coalition Government Ministerial Advisory for Mental Health. Patrick was a Former Councillor in Hackney between 2006- 2014. He was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work in tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority communities in Britain. Patrick has a 25-year track record working in health and care, and anti-racism campaigning. This year he worked with the University of Wolverhampton and other community groups on the Many Rivers to Cross project, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech, by raising awareness of both the positive progress made in the city and the challenges that still need to be overcome. This year he campaigned against the illegal denial of residency to members of the Windrush Generation, and has long argued for Windrush Day to become a Bank Holiday, to ensure greater official celebration of the contribution that Black Britons have made to the country. He will be speaking about that, and the problematic history of the Black Country Flag, at the University of Wolverhampton’s Black History Month Conference on Thursday 18th October 2018. Will Cooling, Head of Equality and Diversity at the University of Wolverhampton, said, “I am delighted that the University has chosen to honour Patrick in this way. He shares with the University a commitment to celebrate Black History, to ensure that
the contribution made by Black people in Britain and the wider world is not ignored. We are proud sponsor of Wolverhampton Black History Month, and look forward to welcoming Patrick on the 18th October”. The University of Wolverhampton recently received Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework. It offers courses across over 70 different subjects, with over 4,000 students graduating from Wolverhampton each year. It invests heavily in our students, staff and alumni and in the local and international community. Our next Open Days are on the 13th October (Undergraduate) and 22nd November (Postgraduate). For more information about the University, please visit www.wlv.ac.uk or email email@example.com.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 00
or the Modern Black Community 2018 is a significant year. It is the platinum anniversary of the UK arrival of the first cohort of roughly 500 men and women from the Caribbean region, in response to the British governmentâ€™s invitation to the healthy, young adults to help in the post war rebuilding effort. During the 20 years, after the arrival of the first wave of Windrush pioneers in June 1948, several more people of Caribbean background responded to this call. The records show that almost 200,000 migrants from the Caribbean region responded and they proceeded to take up work in the brand new National Health Services (which also was formed in 1948) as nurses, doctors and ancillary staff. Some took up employment in the transport system in London and other urban centres. Others worked in factories helping to rebuild the manufacturing base; and others worked in the construction sector rebuilding homes and offices destroyed by Nazi bombs during World War II. These
The Windrush Generation, character is destiny!
00 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
are the people who came to the UK from the Caribbean region, to strengthen the local workforce; these are the people we are remembering when we speak of the Windrush generation. It is common knowledge that life in the UK was not a bed of roses in the time of the Windrush generation. They knew that work was scarce in the Caribbean islands of their birth, and many had children who were dependent on the money they could send back to family members who were caring for their children. Consequently, they had to make a success of their enterprise to the unfamiliar and distant “mother country”. The Windrush generation found that accessing work was not as challenging as accessing a place to live. For this reason the Windrush generation expanded the “pardner” system of group saving, which helped them to raise the money needed to purchase homes. It is common knowledge that the state schools were wrongly assessing the abilities of the children of the Windrush generation which resulted in too many being relegated to low sets which trapped them in pathways which led to second class qualifications, and low paid jobs. The Windrush generation responded to this assault on their children by developing thousands of supplementary or Saturday schools, which changed the academic trajectory for significant numbers of their children. It is also common knowledge that the workplace was another hostile environment for the Windrush generation, and the development and growth of churches led by ministers from the Black community provided places of refuge, and fellowship, and spiritual fortification. All of which helped the Windrush generation to become resilient, and hopeful of a better future. In 2018, some 50 years on from those tough and demanding two decades, we can state with a deep sense of pride and cultural esteem that the Windrush generation succeeded in the creation of a robust platform on which today’s Modern Black Community is built. Indeed, it is their fight for racial equality and justice that paved the way for legislation; thereby forming the basis of our
current Equality laws in the UK. Today it is clear to see that the descendants of the Windrush generation have found common cause with the descendants of migrants from several countries in Africa, and the Dual Heritage descendants from both Caribbean and African parentage to create the Modern Black Community. Members of the MBC may be seen in both Houses of Parliament (such as Lord Herman Ouseley and Lord Victor Adebowale in the Lords; and Diane Abbott, MP and Helen Grant, MP in the House of Commons); and in local government as both elected councillors and career professionals in social care, education, the Police Services, and National Health Services. Other MBC members are well placed in Civil Service departments, and in private sector firms (such as Sir Kenneth Olisa, who is also the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London). Some MBC members are millionaires from a variety of sectors such as Lewis Hamilton in F1 motor racing, Jessica Ennis-Hill in athletics, to Sir Damon Buffini in merchant banking; from property entrepreneurs like Fitz Thomas, to the high tech entrepreneurs like Piers Linney, the founder and CEO of Outsourcery. And some are medical professionals like Professor Frank Chinegwundoh, and university professors like Gus Johns. It is without doubt that members of the MBC are now contributing to virtually all aspects of life in the UK, including the aristocracy to which Emma McQuiston became the UK’s first marchioness from the MBC a few years ago. For these reasons, today’s MBC owes a debt of gratitude to the Windrush generation for their enterprising spirit, their fortitude, their creativity, and for their will to succeed against the odds. It is for these reasons why they rightly should be seen as the symbol of the start of the MBC in the UK, which now stands at more than 3 million British citizens; all of whom are proud to be contributors to the ongoing robustness and prosperity of the UK. An example of the resiliency of the MBC is the social enterprise known as Reach Society which was founded in 2010 by Dr Dwain Neil, Mr Rob Neil, OBE, and Dr Donald Palmer, and which also won the Queen’s Award for
Diane Abbott, MP
Voluntary Service in 2017 for its voluntary work. Its vision is to ensure that every young person in the MBC makes an emotional connection with at least one professional in their community, to be encouraged, motivated and be inspired to choose pathways to success, and to increase their sense of cultural esteem. Reach Society’s cohort of professionals have visited schools, colleges and community groups; and have led workshops and organised careers conferences in order to inspire young people. It has so far impacted more than 12,000 young people, and it is just one example of the confidence in the MBC. Other examples of MBC confidence is the Seventh Day Adventist Church which is managing more than a dozen schools and a theology college; the Excell3 organisation which is managing roughly two dozen mentoring franchises and the King Solomon International Business School for the development of young people, aged 5 to 19; also the Amos Bursary which prepares high achieving young Black men before they enter high value universities to successfully complete their studies. Wherever we look in the UK, there is evidence of the MBC taking responsibility for its affairs, which augurs well for the future; character is destiny! Dr Donald Palmer is an Associate Professor of Immunology at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Immunology at Imperial College London. He is co-founder/co-director of Reach Society, Chair of Governors of a school in North-West London and a Professional Mentor for Amos Bursary. Dr Dwain A. Neil is a co-founder of Reach Society and its chairman. He is the director of Leriko & Associates, a management consultancy. He is a co-author of 3 books published by Reach Society Publishing; and a father of four children, three boys and a girl, who have completed their studies in high value universities and are working.
Lord Herman Ouseley BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 39
A Sense of History? BY LINDA BELLOS
here has been a bit of a wrangle about who started Black History Month in the UK, with me on the one side (I shall explain later) and a worker in the Ethnic minority Unit of the Greater London Council. What is clear is that all people were agreed that last year was the 30th Anniversary of the event in the UK. Which means that the first event was in 1987 and that the GLC was abolished one year earlier and the successor body of the cutting-edge part of the GLC was called the London Strategic Police Unit. I was the Chair of that body which authorised Black History month in October that year and which many Labour Controlled Councils took up in the following years. In my view it does not really mater whose idea it was (but it was not mine) what does matter is was is seeks to achieve each year. A large number of dubious events have taken place in the name of BHM by well-meaning but ignorant teachers who have allowed isolated Black children to be bullied and abused because they are Black. But mainly there have been some excellent celebrations of our history in the UK over the last Three to Four Hundred years. What there is not is an acceptance of the positive contribution of Black men and women to British society and worse still any acceptance of that contribution and if occasionally names of Sportsmen and women or musicians are mentioned
40 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
they tend not to be written into the history of Britain and are soon forgotten. I wish to urge that we revisit the word Black and make it the political word it meant back in the 1980’s when it those of us working in solidarity with each other- both Africa (including Caribbean) and Asian peoples so that a racist Britain could be play the the usual game of ‘Divide and rule’. Otherwise I wish to see those of us of African heritage identify ourselves as African thereby referring to a place or places with history and heritage.
I wish to see those of us of African heritage identify ourselves as African thereby referring to a place or places with history and heritage.
Black History Month or African History Month should have a small committee to decide the theme for each year, and the allocation of small grants throughout the UK. Governments within the UK could provide modest but realistic funding
for the Committee to allocate and oversee. But what is more important than bureaucracy and accountability is the reflections of the positive contribution Black peoples have made in the development of Britain. I used to think that it was sufficient to have created a programme or exhibition of Black people who have achieved something significant within their field, but unless those people are White and Upper Class they are likely to be written out of history until they and their peers are long dead so that the story what is told may be slanted or manipulated. Now as I look back on the history of Black history month I see a similar pattern evolving to that which I say when looking at Womens’ history in the UK. That is a history largely of the doings of Upper middle-class White women, and now even that that generation are all dead. Who will collect the recordings and manuscripts of the Pastors, Trades Unionists, Community activists of the last 70 years and make sense of the contents in terms of their social class as well as the colour and their fights for justice and equality? These are my thoughts when I consider who much our younger generation do not know. But as I speak to others like me nearing or in their 70’s and 80’s I am heartened that our grandchildren have a sense of history and will, I hope, be proud to be Black.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust with our multi-ethnic local population to deliver accessible, fai prehensive interpreting and translation service, a full range of strong tieshas witha local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic organis Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust long history of working
with our multi-ethnic local population to deliver accessible, fair care all. WeWindrush have a comIn the 70th yearfor marking and the formation of the N prehensive interpreting and translation service, a fullthanks range and of support services and have recognition to working our staff from around the world, pas Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust has a long history of Brighton Sussex Hospitals (BSUH) NHS strong ties withand local Black, AsianUniversity and Minority Ethnic organisations and community groups. worked tirelessly to care for with our multi-ethnic local population to deliver accessible, fair care for all. We have apatients com- and support our work. BS byof with heritage in over different countries; they wo Trust has amarking long history ofthe working with our multi-ethnic In theinterpreting 70th year Windrushservice, and the NHS, we are honoured to give prehensive and translation aformation full range ofpeople support services and have70 ethos past of equality, diversity and inclusion. thanks and recognition to to ourand staff from around the world, present, have stronglocal ties with local Black, Asian Minority Ethnic organisations community groups. population deliver accessible, fairand care forwho all. worked tirelessly to care for patients and support ourOur work. BSUH NHS Trust is represented Department of Equality, and Inclusion, headed b In the 70th year marking Windrush and the formation of the NHS, we are honoured to Diversity give by people with heritage in over 70 different countries; they work side by side and uphold our Our Department of Equality, Diversity have a com-prehensive interpreting and translation leads on have training, research, forging ties with co thanksWe and recognition to our staff from around the world, past and present, who and Inclusion, headed by Barbara service, range of support services have strong ties ethos aoffullequality, diversity andand inclusion. vice and guidance, celebrating the diversity of worked tirelessly toAsian careand forMinority patients and support our represented (Babs)is Harris (left), leads on training, with local Black, Ethnic organisations and work. BSUH NHS Trust more. You can contact us at Equality@bsuh.n Our with Department and Inclusion, by by Barbara (Babs) Harris (left), by people heritageofinEquality, over 70 Diversity different countries; theyheaded work side side and uphold our research, forging ties with community community groups. www.equalityhub.org or to us at the Depa groups, providing ad-vice and guidance, leads and on training, research, forging ties with community groups, providing ad-write ethos of equality, diversity inclusion. celebrating theand diversity of NHS staff and In the 70th year marking Windrush and the celebrating formation of the diversity of staff and and Inclusion, BSUH Trust, St Mary’s Ha vice and guidance, patients much Our Department of honoured Equality,toDiversity Harris patients and much(left), more. You can the NHS, we are give thanksand and Inclusion, recognition headed by Barbara (Babs) BN2 more. You can contact us atwho Equality@bsuh.nhs.uk Brighton or through our5JJ. website contact us at Equality@bsuh.nhs.uk or to our staff leads from around the world,research, past and present, on training, forging ties with community groups, providing ad- www.bsuh.nhs.uk www.equalityhub.org writeour to us at the Departmentthrough of Equality, Diversity our website www.equalityhub. have worked tirelessly to care for patients and or support vice and guidance, celebrating the diversity of staff and patients and much org or write to us at the Department of Equality, Diversity and work. BSUH NHS Trust represented by peopleNHS with Trust, heritageSt Mary’s andis Inclusion, BSUH Hall, Main Building, Eastern Road, more. You canthey contact us at Equality@bsuh.nhs.uk orNHS through our website Inclusion, BSUH Trust, St Mary’s Hall, Main Building, Eastern in over 70 different countries; work side by side and Brighton BN2 5JJ. or write to us at the Department of Equality, Diversity Road, Brighton BN2 5JJ. uphold our www.equalityhub.org ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion. www.bsuh.nhs.uk and Inclusion, BSUH NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hall, Main Building, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 5JJ.
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ONE NIGHT AT THE PALACE
with our multi-ethnic local population to deliver accessible, fair care all. WeWindrush have a comIn the 70th yearfor marking and the formation of the N A female composer of Jamaican mixed prehensive interpreting and translation service, a fullthanks range of support services andstaff have and recognition to our from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trustheritage, has a long working herhistory worksofare performedaround by the the world, pas strong ties with local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic organisations and community groups. tirelessly to care forapatients and notable support our work. BS Philharmonia Orchestra, choirs and with our multi-ethnic local population to deliver accessible,worked fair care for all. We have combyof people with heritage inmusic over different countries; they wo classical singers. fuses Western In theinterpreting 70th year marking Windrushservice, and theaformation the NHS, we are Her honoured to give prehensive and translation full range of support services and have70 classical with the drums of her African ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion. and recognition to ourand staff from around world, past and present, who have strongthanks ties with local Black, Asian Minority Ethnicthe organisations community groups.
heritage and theTrust offbeats so synonymous worked tirelessly to care for patients and support ourOur work. BSUH NHS is represented Department of Equality, and Inclusion, headed b In the 70th year marking Windrush and the formation of the NHS, we Caribbean. are honoured to Diversity give with the by people with heritage in over 70 different countries; they work sideleads by side and uphold our on have training, research, forging ties with co thanks and recognition to our staff from around the world, past and present, who ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion. TRACKS: vice and guidance, worked tirelessly to care for patients and support our work. BSUH NHS Trust is representedcelebrating the diversity of more. You can contact us at Equality@bsuh.n Our with Department and Inclusion, by by Barbara (Babs) Harris by people heritageofinEquality, over 70 Diversity different countries; theyheaded work side and uphold our(left), 1. Peoples - Aside stirring, people on the move www.equalityhub.org or to us at the Depa leads and on training, research, forging ties 2. with community groups, providing ad-write ethos of equality, diversity inclusion. Belle - The Contemplation - Do I go, what lies ahead? andpatients Inclusion, BSUH NHS Trust, St Mary’s Ha vice and guidance, celebrating the diversityThe of Lagoon staff and and much - A placeHarris in Africa where the journey Our Department of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, headed3. by Barbara (Babs) (left), Brighton BN2 more. You can contact us at Equality@bsuh.nhs.uk or through our5JJ. website started 300 years ago leads on training, research, forging ties with community groups, providing ad- www.bsuh.nhs.uk www.equalityhub.org or write to us at the Department of Equality, Diversity Bluefields - A place Jamaica vice and guidance, celebrating the diversity of4.staff and patients in and muchthat was home for and Inclusion, BSUH NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hall, Main Building, Eastern Road, 300 years more. You can contact us at Equality@bsuh.nhs.uk or through our website Brighton BN2 5JJ. 5. Les Danseurs - Joy at the prospect of a new life www.equalityhub.org or write www.bsuh.nhs.uk to us at the Department of Equality, Diversity 7. London Rhapsody - A great place, at times lonely and Inclusion, BSUH NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hall, Main Building, Eastern Road, even hostile but filled with hope. Brighton BN2 5JJ. www.bsuh.nhs.uk
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 41
Caribbean Women and t
he NHS was established in post-war England to tackle the major social and economic problems of the day, including ill-health and disease. Following the destruction caused by the Second World War and labour shortages in England, it was critically important for hospitals to recruit staff from the Caribbean to work in the new NHS. In response to recruitment drives in the Caribbean, many people responded and arrived in this country to help the NHS establish itself. Aneurin Bevan, the post-War Labour Minister of Health, believed that society should collectively contribute, through a National Insurance scheme, to provide free health care for all. In July 1948 the National Health Service Act was born, heralding the birth of the Welfare State. Until then, only the well-off and those in work were catered for. The National Health Service (NHS) would address the inequalities that left vast number of Britons suffering through lack of money to pay for healthcare. The government became caretaker of Britain’s 2,688 hospitals in England and Wales. Resourcing this venture was problematic from the outset. The cost of administering the service, researching new cures and maintenance of hospital buildings was far greater than the government had first thought. But the most taxing concern of all was the chronic shortage of nurses. Britain found itself with a new expanding health service which it was unable to staff. Why were British people unwilling to train as nurses? In the wake of the post-War boom, men were reluctant to work long hours, in poor conditions, for low pay. Single women, with their newfound freedom, were being more selective about their career choices, opting for occupations such as secretaries and journalists. In the 1950s and early 1960s married women’s place was still considered to be in the home.
The authorities embarked on a two-pronged plan to relieve the shortfall. One scheme was an aggressive national campaign, with central government funded exhibitions, lectures and gimmicks to attract recruits in the regions from London to Liverpool. The campaign was not especially successful. The Tottenham Hospital Management Board reported that ‘such energetic campaigning deserves better results’, when, for example, there were just 17 enquiries for 737 vacancies. Out of this number, only two potential students and one qualified nurse came forward. 42 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
The other scheme was devised by the Ministries of Health and Labour in conjunction with the Colonial Office, the General Nursing Council (GNC) and the Royal College of Nursing. From 1949, advertisements were placed in the Nursing Press encouraging candidates from the colonies to come to Britain to apply for work as auxiliaries and trainee nurses. The advertisements featured interviews with nurses, who confirmed that across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom ‘jobs could be found easily’. Recruitment campaigns were extensively and energetically pursued with senior British nurses visiting commonwealth countries for this purpose. Local selection committees were set up in 16 British colonies. Trainee nurses were drawn from all over the world, including Ireland, Malaysia and Mauritius, but at this time, the majority were recruited from the Caribbean Islands. Colonial women interested in training as nurses came from diverse educational and economic backgrounds. From 1955, the British government had devised various schemes to assist with fares to Britain, but many recruits ended up funding their own journey in whatever way they could. One said:‘My mother borrowed the money and sent me up here. I had to pay it back when I began to work’. Another said: ‘A friend sponsored me, the bank paid my fares...it wasn’t free.’ The great majority, however, had high
expectations from their period of training in Britain. They imagined they would train for three years and, after a further two years gaining vital work experience, they would then return to help the Nursing corp in their various islands. At the same time they felt they would be relieving Britain’s staffing problems. These expectations mirrored the plans negotiated between the GNC, Colonial Office and Colonial Governors, that Caribbean women, trained to the highest level in Britain, would return to take up responsible nursing posts. In the 1950s and 1960s, such posts were almost exclusively held by expatriate staff (British women). General hospitals and teaching hospitals were already relatively well staffed, but there were major shortages in hospitals caring for the chronically sick, disabled and the elderly. Post-war trauma had also greatly increased the numbers of people admitted to psychiatric hospitals. It was in these hospitals that the great majority of young Caribbean women found themselves placed as resident trainees.
Until 1986, there was a two-tier system of nursing training: staff and pupil. The ‘Staff’ or State Registered Nurse (SRN) qualification included training in ward management, while the ‘Pupil’ or State Enrolled Nurse (SEN) qualification concentrated on the clinical
the NHS BY LINDA ALI
side of nursing. Most Caribbeans, like other Black nurses, were placed on the two-year SEN course. Due to racial discrimination few were accepted on the SRN course despite possessing the requisite qualifications. One recruit recalls: ‘This (difference) wasn’t explained to us. I was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Cheshire, when I really wanted to do general nursing’. Like most others, her ambition was to work in general hospitals. After their two year basic training, most of the women found they could not get onto the higher level course, and certainly ‘couldn’t get promoted at all’. Yet many accepted night duties, to enable them to fit in with family commitments, and found they were ‘wholly in charge’. As one nurse remembers: ‘We had to get on with all the drugs, the drips, whatever treatment...but our pay remained the same.’ Once they arrived in Britain, young recruits were dispersed to their appointed hospitals all over the United Kingdom. Some were met at the train station, but many had to find their own way, dressed more for the sunshine they had left behind than the cold and gray weather
and bracing winds they now encountered. The new trainees lived in the Nurses’ Homes attached to the hospitals, and worked alongside other Colonial trainees. They provided an important support network for each other, as many felt isolated and far away from home. ‘When anyone new came and brought food, the girls got together, sitting on the floor, [or] anywhere like a big family. We would eat whatever, dividing it up between all of us’. At that time, there were few Black people in Britain, particularly in smaller towns. As a result, many nurses moved to large centres like London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol, with existing African, Asian and Caribbean populations.
Many Caribbean women who had come to Britain did not return home afterwards, as they had intended to do. They all held British passports, a requisite until 1962, when they were granted leave to remain here indefinitely. But why did they stay? There were a variety of reasons. Some felt unable to return to their islands. The Enrolled Nurse (SEN) qualification was not recognized in the Caribbean, and they would not qualify for the senior posts. Most remained in Britain, however, because, at some point in their career, they became wives
and mothers and found themselves settled with a family in England. Experiences were varied. Caribbean nurses were well respected by the patients they cared for but there were also examples of abuse and accusations. Overall they gained a great deal of knowledge and satisfaction from looking after sick people, often in specialities which the indigenous population refused to occupy.
‘We contributed to the NHS. We have built the NHS because we were committed to our work and our nursing careers.’ Caribbean nurses made a choice to come to Britain, and made a choice to remain here, but all agree that: ‘We contributed to the NHS. We have built the NHS because we were committed to our work and our nursing careers.’ Anonymous quotations are taken from interviews conducted by Linda Ali with Caribbean nurses for her thesis, West Indian Nurses and the National Health Service in Britain 1950-1968.
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 43
The Windrush 70/50 Playlist Where do you start a narrative about music and migration? My thought is, it really depends on what you’re trying to say. In this instance, in the spirit of celebration, I’m suggesting songs for a playlist I’ve titled the ‘Windrush 70/50. The aim is to recognise the 70 years since the arrival of Windrush, through 50 years of reggae music as experienced in the UK. My start point is the music most probably on board the SS Windrush in 1948, as it docked in Tilbury, Essex. Significant to my playlist is the musician, that in a chance encounter with a journalist, summed up the feelings of many on board - with a rendition of his newly composed song “London is the place for me”. He was calypso Artist Lord Kitchener, and like many musicians to follow, he gave voice to the aspirations of the community, whilst introducing new perspectives to Britain’s cultural life. Back then food, calypso, cricket and Soundsystem culture, were key conduits that connected Caribbean’s in England’s green and often, not so pleasant land. Sometimes music was the only escape and connection with back home, some 4271 nautical miles away.
00 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
BY ELL MYKA RILEY
The Southlanders In the late 50s early 60s turntable favourites in UK homes could include but was not limited to artists like: Luis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillesby, Elvis, Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke, to Russ Conway, Fats Domino, Aretha Franklin, Val Doonican, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole. Favourites reflected hits from the island’s, the UK and the US. Suggestions for my playlist might include: “I Did it My Way” Frank Sinatra, “Moon River” Andy Williams, “Boogie in My Bones” Laurel Atkins, “What a Wonderful World”- Luis Armstrong, “Oh Caroline” The Folks Brothers, “Chain Gang” Sam Cooke, “Green Green Grass of Home” Tom Jones, “A Night in Tunisia” Dizzy Gillesby, “Madness”/ “One Step Beyond” and “Al Capone” Prince Buster. We should also consider early top 20 UK hits like, ‘Alone or I am a mole and I live in a hole’ by The Southlanders, a Jamaican/British vocal group in late 1950s, Emile Fords self-produced cover of “What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?”, that made number 1 in the UK Singles Chart and
stayed there for six weeks. These are just some of the songs, that provided the occasional beacons of success, in an otherwise hazardous aspirational landscape. By the mid 60s Britain’s love affair with Jamaican music was visible to all. The hit Ska song ‘My Boy Lollipop’ by 14-year-old singer Millie Small, made the top 5 position in the national charts, and stayed there for four weeks. Technically this was the first hit for Chris Blackwell’s island Records. But more importantly, this was evidence that in spite of the often negative, social and political backdrop, the music of Jamaican independence was now breaking down barriers and building bridges. An import label was Trojan records and songs on the playlist from this period might include: Desmond Dekker’s “Israelites”, “Rudy, A Message
Millie Small to You” by Dandy Livingstone, “Monkey Man” by The Maytals and “One Step Beyond” by Prince Buster. The mid 1970s saw first generation Black British born individuals, both recoiled from, and embraced their Britishness. Lost between conflicting ideas of home, identity and community - and let down by an educational system, that failed to inspire confidence or meet aspirations, music would again offer an escape. In 1972, the now iconic film ‘The Harder They Come’, provided not just a big screen visual representation of up town and down town Kingston Jamaica, but a banging soundtrack with Rocksteady hits that still sound great today. So, a must on the playlist is: “You Can Get It If You Really Want”, Jimmy Cliff, “Rivers of Babylon” by The Melodians and “0.0.7/ Shanty Town”, Desmond Dekker. The music resonated with biblical and ghetto references in equal measures providing inspiration and salvation. By the mid 70s, Roots reggae and dub became the dominant genres in Britain. Signposting the love affair was not just still on, but set to explode. The UK was soon to become the international capital of Jamaican music - and now perfectly equipped to introduce its own genre Lover’s Rock. Britain’s first indigenous black music genre. Sir Lloyd Coxson says the genre was underpinned by an established network of Soundsystems, that numbered almost 500 as UB40
we hit the 1980s. The seeds of multiculturalism might have already been sown, but the impact of Jamaican culture and music was now a key catalyst in moving black British Culture into the mainstream. Not to mention Rock Against Racism that widened access and increased profile. Possible additions to the playlist: “I shot the sheriff”-Eric Clapton - Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Burning Spear “Caught You in a Lie”- Louisa
Mark, “Warrior Charge”- Aswad, “Silly Games”Janet Kay, “Klu Klux Klan”- Steel Pulse, “Police and Thieves”- Clash, “Ghost Town”- The Specials. With the 1980s came the death of Bob Marley, the rise of Dancehall, the birth of Ragga and a new generation of Jamaican DJs and MCs. This was a time of transition. The Windrush generation was now more inclined to look back at a glorious musical past, whilst their British born children, now adults asserted themselves in the reimagining of Jamaican music, from British perspective. Ska was now The Specials “Rudy Don’t Fear”, Reggae was now UB40 “Kingston Town” by Lord Creator. There was also Pop and rock responses to what was now almost four decades of Jamaican music in Britain. The Police’s “Beds to Big”, and Police and Thieves” by the Clash and Blondie’s “The Tide is High” by the Paragons. 1983 would also see Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell, release Hot Hot Hot, become one of the most recognized soca songs. This year marks fifty years of Trojan records. So, as we look back at UK reggae labels like Jet Star, VP, Green Sleeves records were the tip of a challenging but flourishing music industry – the 1880s also marks the tail of what was a golden period for reggae in Britain. I’ve barely scratched the surface of songs that should be listed so please feel free to add your tracks.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 00
Red, white and blue feathers in t The Windrush generation have reinvigorated the annual summer Carnival season in the UK. Over the past 50 years of growing community integration, Carnival has it has become something uniquely British. Caribbean Carnival is a vibrant, annual, reminder of the contribution that Caribbean migration has made to Britain. Carnival has become not only a celebration of Caribbean culture, but over the years it has come represent Black British culture, and more recently the cultural diversity in British society, as more and people from outside of the Caribbean community take part in Carnivals across the country. In fact the development of
46 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
Caribbean Carnival is also the development of multicultural Britain, and British Caribbean Carnival heritage is taking its place in the national story. Often misinterpreted as an excuse for a party, Caribbean Carnival stores the culture and heritage of the Caribbean community. Although Carnival has a long tradition in the UK, in many areas annual Carnival processions had gone into steep decline by the 1950s and 1960s, a result of the rapid post war social changes. The Caribbean Carnivals which have developed were not simply an extension or replacement of these; the founding Carnival pioneers saw an opportunity for the new Caribbean communities to combat homesickness and respond to the distressing levels of racism and exclusion which were encountered every day, through their masquerading
traditions. Carnival became a means of political resistance to this hostile environment in cities across the UK such as Leeds, Derby, Huddersfield and London. For Arthur France, Ian Charles and the founders of Leeds West Indian Carnival, Carnival was a way for the Caribbean communities to demonstrate to a sceptical city Council and West Midlands Police that a Black led organisation was able to deliver a large outdoor event and had the abilities to make a successful contribution to the city. The Carnival street parade is now the biggest one day street festival in Europe. Derby Caribbean Carnival was begun in 1975 by the members of Derby West Indian Community Association, as a way of promoting community cohesion in the city. Over the past 42 years, this nationally recognised annual event is highly valued by the city. In Notting Hill, the Carnival activities began in response to a racist murder, and took to the streets as an expression Black of resistance. In British popular culture, Caribbean Carnival has displaced existing Carnival traditions in many areas. Such notable exceptions of surviving traditional English Carnivals such the centuries old Bridgwater Carnival and Southend Carnival, now regularly invite
Caribbean Carnival groups to take part in their events. Over the past 50 years, Carnival has come to symbolise Caribbean, Black British, and now multicultural British culture, even to the extent that Clary Sandlyâ€™s design was included in the current British passport. Carnival has become an opportunity for everyone to celebrate their culture and masquerading traditions. Bolivians, Brazilian, South Asian and Polish groups have become regular sights in Caribbean Carnivals across the country, and Luton International Carnival and Northampton Carnival actively encourage participation in the procession from communities across the community. In these times of shifting identities and uncertain futures, the ability of Carnival to unify communities will become even more important. However, Carnival has always had an uneasy relationship with authority, and is becoming increasingly under pressure as traditional routes become gentrified, security and policing becomes more restrictive, and the cultural importance of Carnival becomes increasingly undermined by commercial exploitation. It is how Carnivalists and the Caribbean community respond to these challenges, which will determine whether Carnival
Escape is only the beginning...
the summer rain thrives or simply survives in the next 70 years. But the value and importance of Carnival is beginning to receive wider recognition. Like many other areas of Black history and culture, Carnival is now beginning to attract serious academic attention. Researchers include Emily Zobel Marshall at Leeds Beckett University and my own PhD research into the oral tradition and intangible heritage of Caribbean Carnival. This work builds on that of Ruth Thomsett and Celia Burgess Macey. There is also a growing collection of Carnival archives, including the
digital archive at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, the Ruth Thomsett and Ansel Wong collections at Black Cultural Archives, and the Cy Grant collection at London Metropolitan Archives. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Windrush, we should also celebrate the wonderful contribution that Carnival has made to British culture. Carnival continues to embody the resilience and resistance of the Black community in Britain, whilst remaining a store of Caribbean culture and heritage. British Caribbean Carnival has become a place where we can all belong.
Available in all good bookshops & online
Tola Dabiri has worked in the cultural sector since 1995 and is currently a PhD researcher at Leeds Beckett University, looking at the oral tradition and intangible heritage of Carnival. Tola managed the HLF funded Carnival Archive Project, which developed a digital archive about carnival in the East of England (www.carnivalarchives.org.uk) A long standing interest in Black History research began in 2002, when Tola developed and wrote The Spark!, an exhibition and accompanying booklet about Black inventors, scientists and doctors for Brent Libraries childrenâ€™s service. Tola has worked at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, The National Archives and library services across London. Along with her PhD, Tola also a consultant in the cultural sector, specialising in project management, partnership development and fundraising.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 47
One of the most straightforward pieces of advice I ever gave as a Senior Civil Servant was about race equality policy. Cllr Callton Young OBE
aving been drafted into the Home Office in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry I was asked to prepare an outline White Paper on this challenge. Following research, my advice to the then Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, could not have been simpler. If we change the date on the cover of the last White Paper on Racial Discrimination, from 1975 to 2000, the job would almost be done. My point was that many of the policy interventions necessary for public bodies to improve race equality had been written 25 years earlier. The shortcoming was not good policy ideas for achieving race equality but implementation. This is the nature of institutional racism. At the time I was head of a Parliamentary Bill Team tasked with amending the Race Relations Act 1976 to extend it to the police, as recommended by the Inquiry. The Bill proved a timely opportunity to spur public sector bodies, such as local authorities and Whitehall departments, into action. The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, including an enforceable public duty to promote race equality, was the culmination of that effort. It became the last amendment Bill to the series of race relations acts going back over 50 years. In my view race relations legislation in this country has had a positive impact but there is still a long way to go. Signs saying ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’ have long disappeared and jobs and services have better opened up to BAME people. However, not a week goes
by without some new report being published about ongoing racial injustice. Battling across Whitehall to secure the public sector duty to promote race equality was personally challenging for me as it was character building. My learned experience meant that I was not surprised by the ‘hostile environment’ against the ‘Windrush’ generation when it hit the news earlier this year. Nor was I surprised by the findings of a review I led into the ‘ban on Bashment music’ in Croydon. It exposed a Council licensing policy, introduced by a Conservative administration ten years ago, as the principal culprit. No wonder Croydon’s West Indian population, which is among the largest in London, was baffled by having fewer Black clubs and Black music events to enjoy year-on-year. This was a ‘slow burn’ approach to the hostile environment. The victims of gentrification in Brixton, many now resettled in Croydon, were being set up as victims again! So while race discrimination laws and a duty on public sector bodies to promote race equality have had a positive effect overall, legislation does has its limitations. As the hostile environment has shown, public bodies can be a law unto themselves. They can detain, deport or drive Windrush communities out of their places of settlement. In my view, it is only when we have more descendants of the Windrush generation among our politicians and senior officials walking the corridors of power, that the development of hostile policies towards us will be properly curtailed. Black History Month can help to highlight the need for change. 48 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
Our vision, values and behaviours
“I just got promoted to a band 7 role! I was so inspired after attending a career development programme specifically designed for women and BME staff. It helped me to focus on how to present myself, my skills and my abilities to best effect.” ––– Paulette, The Royal London Hospital.
SHAPE YOUR STORY
Windrush – The boat that carried so many hopes, pain and dreams Artist Scratchylus born in Harlesden London whose parents came to the UK in the 1950s as part of the Windrush generation. His mother Gwendolyn worked as a nurse in the NHS for all her working life. She inspired Scratchylus in education and music. Some of his earliest memories of music was listening to his mum playing Reggae classics on a Sunday morning while making breakfast- reciting songs by artists such as Dennis Brown, John Holt, Bob Marley and Ken Boothe.
After all the pain there has been and the pain we have seen and after all that is said and done, it’s time to put a smile on their face and justice be seen and done. These people helped, yes built the bridges and roads in the UK. Worked as nurses and doctors, on London Transport, the GPO (Royal Mail), Jobs the locals refused to do and housing locals refused to live in. From can’t see in the dark in the cold mornings until can’t see on nights cold. We gave you spices to flavour your food, music to lighten your mood. we extended love, humbleness, manners and received hate, but because we recognise this insecurity. and blaten denial That’s why we are on the mission to RESET THE MINDSET
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Problems aren’t one-dimensional. By collaborating we can find the answers. We are committed at the highest levels in all that we do. This is what makes NTU a highly effective learning environment for our students and staff, characterised by fairness, equality of opportunity, and the valuing of diversity. Principles of dignity and respect underpin all that we do, and the University has very clear expectations around how all members of its community treat – and are treated by – others. Students: As the destination of choice for an increasingly diverse group of students, we are keen to ensure that individual needs are met and that a sense of value and belonging is nurtured. Colleagues: Colleagues can access our learning and development programme, find out about staff networks and information and source advice and resources to support their working life at NTU. Contact: Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ Tel: 0115 941 8418 Visit us: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/about-us/visit-us About us: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/about-us
50 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
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In the shadow of Enoch Powell
racist attacks emerged out of the supposedly refined remarks from the Conservative politician. This year the shadow of Enoch Powell has been cast over political debate in Britain once again. At the height of the Windrush scandal the BBC decided to mark the 50th anniversary of ‘Rivers of Blood’ with the first broadcast of the speech in full. Meanwhile in Wolverhampton a debate emerged earlier this year after a proposal was submitted for a blue plaque to mark Powell’s service to the city. Supporters of the plaque suggested that Powell was a harmless and intriguing contribution to the heritage of Wolverhampton; he had, after all, served as MP for Wolverhampton South West for 24 years. Less coded remarks in support of the plaque illuminated the centrality of
BY SHIRIN HIRSCH
ifty years ago Enoch Powell made a speech which shook British politics. In what would become known of as his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, Powell’s words launched a ferocious and calculated attack on black people in Britain. The speech combined old fashioned racism (‘wide grinning piccaninnies’) with new forms of racism against those from a different culture, calling for stricter immigration controls on these apparent alien elements (‘numbers are of the essence’). And while Powell complained that his arguments were silenced, his speech was given the upmost media attention, his words amplified and reverberating across the country. ‘Send them back’ became a phrase now given respectable legitimacy, and a tidal wave of
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Powell as a cornerstone of far right ideology. A plaque for Powell served then as a sort of shrine for his twenty first century followers. Thankfully, however, a campaign against the plaque proposal was launched by local anti-racists and was able to draw in a range of voices including all three Labour MPs, the Bishop of Wolverhampton as well as trade unionists and local academics. Finally, and under pressure from anti-racist campaigners, the local Civic and Historical Society announced that they would not be proceeding with any plaque for Powell. This year has been not just the anniversary of Powell’s speech, but has also marked 25 years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. Despite the decades apart, Powell’s words were still able to weave into the actions of the murder. In the BBC documentary this year, it showed secret film footage of Stephen Lawrence’s suspect murderers. In the comfort of their own home, they were filmed extolling the great Enoch Powell. Powell’s eminence as an establishment politician alongside his academic and military credentials, clearly
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continued to providence an ideological anchor to far right violence, pushing forward and giving confidence to what Paul Gilroy has described as ‘free-lance implementers’ of Powell’s words. The history of Powell and his most infamous speech cannot be blocked out or forgotten then. Powell’s memory is persistently returned to by a wide range of powerful voices professing varying degrees of attachment to his politics. Instead of ignoring this reality, we need to directly confront the racism of the past and reflect on how this history has shaped where we are today. My book is about Enoch Powell’s most infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech but particularly it is concerned with how the speech impacted on black and Asian people within Powell’s constituency in the industrial town of Wolverhampton. I look particularly at how these new forms of racism influenced not only the public protests and street attacks, but also everyday experiences within the schools and the workplaces. Those who suffered from the words of their MP were not, however, passive victims. Anti-racist resistance also came to the fore in this period, pushed on by the reconfiguration of racist politics in Britain. Rather than a blue plaque for the MP who attempted to divide and rule his constituency, in a desperate bid to lead his party and the country, we should remember all those who stood up to the racism unleashed. They were,
in 1968, sometimes in a minority in their workplaces and neighbourhoods, but their determination laid important roots for a mass anti-racist movement which would develop in the late 1970s. Black and Asian people were forced by people like Powell to fight for their rights in Britain with their very belonging in Britain challenged by those at the top. Rights were never given passively, but were won by struggle from below and in my book I try to draw out some of the stories of local people who fought against Powell’s nightmare vision. 50 years on and it might be worth returning to this history to think through the lessons of how we fight racism and the ‘hostile environment’ today. In the Shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, locality and resistance by Dr Shirin Hirsch is out next month
AFRICAN STORIES IN HULL AND EAST YORKSHIRE PROJECT BY GIFTY BURROWS
experienced History in school as a narrow subject. I was told of a triumphant Britain celebrating its successes over the centuries with events focussed on the contributions of mainly white men both here and overseas. In recent years however, other histories have started to emerge, and it is pleasing to realise that our African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire project has been significant in encouraging this change ever since we gained funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016. Of course, the passion for British Black history is not a new phenomenon and I have been privileged to have known some of the experienced voices who have been trying to raise its profile for eons. For me, my journey started relatively recently when I was pointed in the direction of Peter Fryer’s Staying Power and Kathleen Chater’s Untold Histories. Here, the presence of Black people in Britain’s history wasn’t hidden. Several findings in such texts, for instance the revelations of a presence beyond the Windrush generation, spurred me on to wonder what I could find about my own area. I wanted to bring a more inclusive history to my doorstep.
Photo caption to go here
By then, I had lived in East Yorkshire for over 20 years. I knew that it wasn’t the most diverse of regions relative to other counties, certainly not in the towns; even Hull, the biggest city, had only just started to become more diverse - mainly as a result of its university population. I also knew that Hull was best known for being the birthplace of William Wilberforce which to my mind made it even more relevant to appraise Black presence in this region given the City’s tendency to reference its African connection. This shaped the idea of what became the African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire project - a desire to bring Black history into the region and demonstrate that if Black presence could be found in East Yorkshire, a Black history is likely to exist in other regions. It was also a means of giving this region a chance to hear the stories of the lives of people of the African diaspora, given its unique relationship to the story of the slave trade. With this in mind, the aim was to look for stories of people of African descent who had lived, stayed or visited the region from 1750s to 2007, following the Wilberforce timeline of birth to the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. The idea was innovative and untested, and given our region 54 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
there were many sceptics questioning whether we would find sufficient material, but it was an exciting challenge to contradict perceived wisdom. Being a first-time applicant, I had no notion of the difficulties in applying for an HLF bid but the plan was strong, the timing right and I’d eventually gathered enough support for the application; after all, Hull was then on the cusp of becoming the UK’s City of Culture. I was not immune to the initial fear of not finding enough material (especially when considering the current regional demographics) but this was soon dispelled as the project got underway. Our team was tiny and there were many volunteer hours and favours to call upon, but we have achieved a considerable bank of resources which is free to access. We have over 100 stories, 30 oral histories, and have completed two exhibitions to date with a third scheduled for February 2019 in Goole. We have lent our expertise and advice in answering plenty of enquiries from the media, academics and the general public. The website has been used as a source for educational purposes as well as to inspire others to look within their own communities to find their hidden stories. Most pleasing of all however has been giving a platform for families to share their stories, have their presence acknowledged and foster many conversations within family members; a journey of self-discovery for many. It is my hope that the success of this project reaffirms the strong belief that history should be told in its entirety without any selective amnesia, so that everybody’s contribution is acknowledged. The project has shown that, rather than being erased and brought out for novelty value, examples of Black presence can be seen in all histories in the everyday and should be part of the common narrative. Laureen Sylvestre – one of over 100 stories featured (image courtesy of Cleo Sylvestre)
With a vast number of diverse communities across Greater Manchester, ensuring they are reflected within the policing workforce is something Greater Manchester Police (GMP) remains committed to. Through regular community engagement events, GMP actively demonstrates their commitment to building trust and confidence within all the communities of Greater Manchester including our vibrant African and Caribbean communities. GMP want the African and Caribbean communities to feel confident to join GMP as a first choice of career. They will have an opportunity to improve the lives of their neighbourhoods and local communities while having a fulfilling, rewarding and stable career. GMP’s commitment to improving diversity and representation has been recognised nationally and last year won the Guardian award for Diversity in Recruitment. The Positive Action Team and wider recruitment team are rightly proud of their achievements during the last few years. GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and National Police Chief Council lead for Workforce Representation and Diversity said: “The policing of this country is based on consent and we have overhauled our recruitment processes to ensure we bring people in to better reflect the communities we serve. There is a gap between the representation of black and Asian minority officers in GMP and the wider local population; so we have been working positively and over the last two years to address this. As a result, of the thousand new officers we have recruited over the last two years, 22 per cent have come from a black or Asian minority ethnic background. Building the force
Manchester is the principal city of the metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. Greater Manchester is the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a population of more than 2.55 million. Manchester also has the third largest economy in the United Kingdom together with a population density of 11,439 people per square mile and is the 9th densest city in the UK.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and members of the GMPs Positive Action Team having been awarded Guardian Diversity in recruitment award
Greater Manchester Police, (GMP) was formed in 1974, serving more than 2.5 million people and covering an area of 500 square miles. GMP is split into 11 districts, which includes a specialist district based at Manchester International Airport.
in this way is one of my absolute top priorities, and it’s great that we’ve already seen how communities want to support us by being a part of policing and keeping everybody safe.” If GMP are successful in their drive to increase diversity inclusion and representation; they are confident that this will help them deliver the very best policing service they can. GMP have a fantastic benefits package including a competitive salary. If you are interested in joining please email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote ref BHM.
Chief Supt Arif Nawaz and Elaine Clarke- Williams Head of GMPs Neighbourhoods Confidence and Equalities working with the Positive Action Team in Cheetham Hill
Greater Manchester Polices Positive Action Team
Members of GMPs Positive Action Team working in Rochdale Greater Manchester
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 55
Equality: Making it happ Deeply-rooted prejudice is still apparent in today’s society and schools have a vital role to play in teaching young people about equality, diversity and social justice.
It appears that the Brexit vote of June 2016 has led many people to believe that they no longer need to conceal prejudice, aversion or hate. Recent evidence suggests that bullying in schools, like hate crime in society, is increasing. The government’s hate crime action plan clearly states that schools have an important role to play to reduce hate crime in society: unless prejudice is challenged and young people are educated away from it, the action plan states, hate crime will continue. An increasing number of people – children as well as adults – do not feel welcome, visible or respected in some schools; for example, people from minority ethnic or cultural backgrounds, those who may challenge conventional ideas of gender or those who have impairments and/or learning difficulties. It is important to remember that we all have multi-faceted identities and, therefore, these groups are not mutually exclusive. In other words, we all have an ethnic or cultural background, a gender identity, a sexual orientation, a religion or belief (or no belief) and may be (or may one day become) disabled. The risk of cumulative discrimination is not to be underestimated. A report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner suggests that the current system of school exclusions is in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and of UK legislation. It identifies disturbing variations in exclusion rates between children with different characteristics and flags up the compounding effect of this: Black boys with labels of SEN who are eligible for free school meals were shown to be 168 times more likely to be permanently excluded than white girls from middle class families and no labels of SEN. Schools in England previously had a duty to record and report racist incidents to their local authority, but this requirement was removed in 2012. As a result, there is no information available at national level on racist or religiously motivated incidents in English schools since 2010/11. A recent report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission states that racist incidents are under-recorded and under-reported in schools, partly due to a lack of leadership on the issue and partly due to a lack of staff training in some schools. The report also suggests that racist language is still commonly used/heard in primary and secondary schools, and that such language sometimes relates to religion. The most recent report from Childline on bullying in schools says that there has been an increased call for their services in relation to racist/faith-related bullying following high profile terrorist attacks. A 15-year-old girl is quoted as saying: “Ever since the Paris attacks, I have been getting bullied really badly at school. I wear a headscarf and the bullies think that just because I am Muslim that I support ISIS. It’s gotten so bad that I have started to miss school, which I never do. The teachers can see what’s happening but they don’t seem to want to get involved or do anything about it. I just want to be treated like a human being and the same as everyone else.” Young people who contacted Childline during these times talked about bullying in and out of school that has made them feel increasingly isolated and withdrawn. The report also says that some children are contacting Childline because they are afraid to speak out or because
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they have seen that speaking out can make things worse in school. A recent report from the British Youth Council warned that racist incidents are covered up in schools to protect their Ofsted ratings. Racism and religious discrimination, the report states, remain an issue and a cause for concern in schools today. The report goes on to say that racism and religious discrimination are dismissed as “banter” and teachers need better support to have the confidence to deal with these issues. Last year the Race Disparity Audit confirmed that prejudicebased bullying continues to be rife in schools and that its impact can be detrimental. All of this means that there is a pressing need to transform current attitudes and practice in education. The Equality Act protects young people from harassment and discrimination, but education often lets them down. Bullying and discrimination can take a toll on young people’s physical or mental health, reduce their self-esteem, hinder their learning and, therefore, limit their life chances. Schools are under considerable pressure to ensure high exam results and often feel unable to devote time or energy to promoting equality and protecting children’s rights. This means that in some schools bullying continues to be rife, and its impact can be detrimental. National and international legislation and guidance stipulate every child’s right to a good education without discrimination. In practice many schools, local authorities and academy chains discriminate
DR ARTEMI SAKELLARIADIS Director Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE)
against people from minority groups and are rarely being challenged. In response to all this, CSIE now offers a range of services for schools, including equality workshops, equality audits involving the whole school community (pupils, their parents, staff and governors) and a practical and user-friendly toolkit to help reduce bullying, address prejudice and promote equality holistically. Equality: Making It Happen – a guide to help schools ensure everyone is safe, included and learning was created in collaboration with schools, sponsored by teachers’ union NASUWT, has won an international award (Innovative Practice Award from the Zero Project, for a world with zero barriers) and is being translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Welsh, with more translations in the pipeline. Equality: Making It Happen is relevant to children and staff in primary and secondary schools and places pupils at the heart of protecting children’s rights. It is made up of succinct reference cards which offer: key information, practical advice, suggested activities, examples of good practice, equality audit tools and links to further information and support. Materials can be used for teaching and learning activities, assemblies, peer mentoring, school council, staff training, equality policy and whole school development. The toolkit has been highly praised by teachers and school leaders (“An absolutely amazing resource that is easy to use and extremely well designed”) and a recent independent review concluded: “This should be on every school’s bookshelf”.
Transforming lives through inspired teaching and research
gre .ac .uk/courses
Equality: Making It Happen is available for only £30 +p&p if bought directly from www.csie.org.uk/resources (RRP £75). The Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE) is a national charity, founded in 1982, working to promote equality and eliminate discrimination in education. CSIE seeks to transform education so that everyone can be safe, included and learning in school, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, culture/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, religion or belief. Activities include: equality audits; equality workshops for pupils, educators, parents and governors; talks, training & consultancy nationally and internationally; and a wide range of resources for schools, local authorities, academy chains, parents and students, including student teachers.
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Why Remembrance is important and how we preserve the legacy
ur histories are a time that has past. What was done yesterday is to be used as a method to help us to make the necessary changes in the present to impact the future. Since the 1600’s Europeans have continued to carve up the world amongst themselves, this is a fact. 1884/5 at The Berlin Conference, Africa found itself under siege. Great Britain & France had claimed most of the continent (Remember the 100-year war 1337 – 1453). This war saw the development of weaponry and so much more which supported their claims at the meeting and allowed them to acquire much more of the continent than the rest). Not even 50 years after this conference a world war started. Wars do not start overnight! We are taught the war was sparked by the assassination of the heir to the former AustriaHungarian throne, but when you look deeper the reason for the entire world being involved becomes clear. (Minus the countries who remained neutral) World War I came to an end 11th hour, on 11th Day of the 11th Month 1918, after 4 years 3 months and 1 week. The war is remembered, however, the contributions made by all are not well known. Living within England; Great Britain, we should know a lot more about the contributions made by all within the Empires time of need. Today history continues to inspire and influence many actions made, without the full picture how can real change ever be made?
African/Black Families ranging from men, women & children, students, university graduates, doctors, nurses, healers and herbalists, factory workers, field workers, miners, labourers, musicians, porters, volunteers, workers on land and the seas all gave their lives on all sides of this war. Even in the face of adversity and despite mankind’s most abhorrent treatment and atrocities we still fought, contributed and sacrificed all 58 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
over the world. The ignorance of how African/ Black communities live and how we should be treated caused millions of unnecessary losses of lives, ancestral homes, generations, cultural continuity and land. Growing up it feels you are supposed to just know what it means to be African/ Black, whether is from your parents, family or wider society. Education is subject to the individual interpreting it. Within the African/Black/West Indian communities our histories are extremely extensive, so how can we be expected to learn about it all to understand who you are? As an Afro Centric Genealogist, I felt it was important to tie personal history with the extensive history that can be found within the African/Black communities! When you can see and understand how you and your descendants have contributed to the world, it starts to develop a new level of thought. This has given birth the remembrance on a broader platform. History is a subject that is deemed unimportant to many as they feel:
BY SELENA CARTY Founder of the BlackPoppyRose Cultural & Ancestral Consultant: Afro Centric Genealogist Email: email@example.com Website: www.yiwae.org
‘What can I do to change what has happened?’ ‘If I were there, I would have done something different!’ ‘They shouldn’t have done that!’. ‘Ashamed to be connected’ We are taught that the children are our future. The future is supposed to grow on top of the foundations laid by their communities. When you are not taught your own history & culture you find your future building on top of someone else’s foundation. What are we preserving? We are preserving the memory of our strengths and weaknesses. By remembering all aspects of our history, we can steer away from actions untoward and develop newer methods to accomplish results we can now see. Showing respect to those who made choices they felt were best, taking risks to try something new has given rise to many changes made in the world today. History continues to provide the foundation for it all. Preservation requires visibility and healing. The BlackPoppyRose is a symbol of preserving legacies. A tool to start an overdue conversation about how we start to value our history and new cultures using the past as a reminder of how we have got here. We WILL Remember!
Order your pins and wreaths today at: www.blackpoppyrose.org To learn more about the African involvement and contributions to WWI and more emails us: firstname.lastname@example.org Start that conversation towards healing and erasing ignorance.
Together we can beat this
1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men, who have a 1 in 8 chance of getting prostate cancer. Actor Rudolph Walker tells us about his Caribbean roots and passion for the cause.
What do you know about prostate cancer? My awareness of prostate cancer is really something very close to home, my uncle died of prostate cancer, I was very fond of him. It was a very painful experience for me, so when I was approached quite a few years after to be involved with Prostate Cancer UK, I just didn’t hesitate. I also encouraged Eastenders to do a storyline about prostate cancer, which they did in 2014 with the character Stan Carter played by Timothy West - that raised quite a lot of awareness. Where do you draw your strength from? I draw my strength from knowing I have a contribution to make, and continue making, in society. I also draw my strength from older members of my family, including my aunties and my mother. They guided me when I was younger and I could always go and speak to one of them. My mother, although she was very, very strict, was an awfully strong woman – and I mean very, very strong – she brought up three kids, me and my two sisters, on her own. So there isn’t just one thing that has given me strength, there’s quite a number of things that put together give me a lot of strength. Why do you think black men tend to ignore prostate cancer? One in four black men will get prostate cancer - those statistics are not encouraging. My background, coming from the Caribbean, we have a mentality where we don’t talk about anything to do with our private parts. It’s to do with our pride and being macho. Prevention is better than cure and if you capture something like prostate cancer early, then you stand a better chance of beating it.
Why are you supporting the stronger knowing more campaign? I’m supporting the campaign because prostate cancer has affected my family and friends around me, including friends I grew up with in Trinidad. So it is extremely important that we spread the word. What is prostate cancer? Prostate cancer can develop when cells in your prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Prostate cancer often grows slowly and may never cause any problems. But some prostate cancer grows quickly and has a high risk of spreading. This is more likely to cause problems and needs treatment to stop it spreading. What is the prostate? The prostate is a gland. Only men have a prostate. The prostate is usually the size and shape of a walnut. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube men urinate (pee) and ejaculate through. The prostate’s main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm. Does prostate cancer have any symptoms? Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms. So, even if you don’t have symptoms, if you’re a black man over 45, speak to your GP about your risk of prostate cancer. Some men with prostate cancer may have difficulty urinating. Men with prostate cancer that’s spread to other parts of the body might have pain in the back, hips or pelvis, problems getting or keeping an erection, blood in the urine, or unexplained weight loss. These symptoms are usually caused by other things that aren’t prostate cancer. For example, if you notice any changes when
you urinate or have trouble controlling your bladder, this could be a sign of an enlarged prostate or prostatitis. But it’s still a good idea to talk to your GP so they can find out what’s causing them. Why are black men at higher risk? We don’t know why black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men. But it might be linked to genes. Genes are sets of instructions inside every cell in your body and are inherited from your parents. What is the risk for men with mixed black ethnicity? If you have mixed black ethnicity, you are likely to be at higher risk of prostate cancer than men who aren’t black. But we don’t know your exact risk because we don’t have enough information on prostate cancer in men with mixed black ethnicity. And we don’t know whether it makes a difference if it’s your mother or father who is black. You may also be more likely to get prostate cancer if: You are aged 45 or over – and your risk increases as you get older your father or brother has had it. If you’re overweight or obese, you might have a higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer that’s aggressive (more likely to spread) or advanced (spread outside the prostate).
If you’re a black man over 45, speak to your GP about your risk of prostate cancer BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 59
BLACK HISTORY MONTH This month represents so much more… BY A N G I E G R E AV E S
LACK HISTORY MONTH... Three words that start brewing around late August, pick up momentum in September and then come October we are overloaded with events, whether comedy, exhibitions, dramas, or music events. There is still a need for Black History Month, but change as in all things must take place. Whereas I learnt about Martin Luther King, Garratt A Morgan, Charles Drew, Septimus Severes, Madame C J Walker, Harriet Tubman, etc etc the picture of promote those icons to today’s youth has somewhat altered, the historical roots to keep historical people and events alive aren’t as deep in today’s schools. The world has experienced a black President, and God Bless him, but with media, social and otherwise, taking on a different and higher power level, Black History has developed in its meaning - a new meaning.
This month represents so much more...
Usually, Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate prominent Black people who have inspired and overcome. I believe that Black History Month needs to be more than the history of the black experience. It is the history of race relationships in the UK, which started well before WWII. It’s a complicated history spread across three continents.
KENDRICK LAMAR Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com
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STORMZY Ben Houdijk / Shutterstock.com
It’s beautiful, it’s difficult, and it’s so worthy of our time and attention.
The aforementioned black historians are still very much celebrated in the USA and Africa where the demographic of African Americans/ Africans is naturally much larger in numbers than in the UK. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the UK has become extremely diverse and cosmopolitan, and black “culture” has very much risen especially in terms of music, food, fashion, art and even television. Having access to US TV shows with more black images has become the “norm” here in the UK (Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, Blackish OWNTV). On a music tip you can’t ignore grime artist Stormzy and how much he has closed the gap and has created an audience who envelope him - not his colour - him, and so a whole new generation has been socially exposed to black culture, the same can be said of Kendrick Lamar in the USA and also Jay Z..... which rap artist can you think of who donates millions (sometimes silently) to support many causes and also had the direct of the then President of the United States on speed dial?. These music makers are embracing this conversation and leading the way for the rest of us to continue the conversation. This month needs to be more than looking at our heroes, no matter how inspiring they may be. It’s an opportunity for a dialogue with people of ALL colours. A chance for the majority to realise the privilege they take for granted. So Black History Month needs, to continue, in schools, socially, in our churches etc etc. History is history, and will always be history for every generation. Ignoring culture, chips away at the life experience of that culture and its generations. It eventually leaves that culture and generation feeling unwanted and invisible. It’s on our shoulders to strengthen and develop the next generation. We NEED to celebrate our history and keep open the conversation for our children. To learn and grow from our past, to create the very best future we can. It’s up to us to keep the dialogue open.
The Extension of Music
Each generation holds on to historical facts in the same way that we treasure experiences that musical memories give us. I’ve told this story before but one specific musical memories that will never leave me goes back to when I had my first car, I was driving along the Edgware Road in West London listening to Kiss at the time, it was a pirate station. It was a scorching hot day, and just when the opened the window Roy Ayres and Everybody Loves The Sunshine came on. My immediate reaction was to pull over and savour it because I didn’t know when I was going to hear it on radio again.
JAY Z Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
The vibe that came through the car speakers when I least expected it was a completely different vibe to when I chose to play the tune in the comfort of my home. Such is the power of music. So ....... here are some of my favourites (in no particular order) that have put a smile on my face over the years, have given me reason to go back into a dance when I was ready to leave, and have either had me clapping my hands in church or have just touched my soul. Happy Black History Month, how ever you choose to celebrate, just make sure you celebrate. 1) Roy Ayres - Everybody Loves The Sunshine 2) Lattimore - Sweet Vibrations 3) Shalamar - Sweeter as the Days Go By 4) Barbara Mason - Another Man 5) Cheryl Lynn - Got To Be Real 6) Soul Survivors - Land of Brotherly Love 7) Jacksons - Heartbreak Hotel 8) Phyllis Hyman - You Know How To Love Me 9) Bobby Glover - My Turn 10) Isley Brothers - Highways of Life/Here We Go Again 11) Luther Vandross - Bad Boy Having A Party/The NIght I Fell in Love/See Me 12) Alex O’Neal - If You Were Here 13) Whispers - I’m The One For You 14) Cameo - Candy/Love You Anyway 15) Sounds of Blackness - Black Butterfly/Stand/I Believe 16) Marvin Sapp - Over and Over Again/Perfect Peace 17) Hezekiah Walker, Karen Clark, Donald Lawrence - Don’t Give Up 18) BeBe and CeCe Winans - Addicted Love 19) The Winans and Michael McDonald - Love Has No Colour 20) Carl Anderson - Buttercup 21) David Joseph - You Can’t Hide Your Love/Joys of Life 22) Gap Band - Outstanding 23) Jones Girls - This Feeling’s Killing Me 24) The Controllers - Stay 25) Chaka Khan - Ain’t Nobody/Sweet Thing 26) The Futures - Ain’t Got Time for Nothing 27) The Foster Sylvers - Misdemeanor 28) Vernon Burch - Lovely Lady 29) Maze - Before I Let Go/Joy and Pain/Twilight/Silky Soul 30) Arnold Blair - Trying to Get Next To You 31) Sylvia Striplin - Can’t Turn Me Away 32) Paris - I Choose You 33) The Vibrations - Shake It Up 34) Leon Ware - Rocking You Eternally 35) Keni Burke - Risin to the Top 36) Lowrell - Mellow Mellow 37) Patrice Rushen - Feel So Real/Forget Me Nots 38) Natalie Cole - I Wanna Be That Woman/This Will Be 39) J Blackfoot - Taxi 40) Gladys Knight - The Best Thing That Ever Happened/ Take Me In Your Arms and of course the Queen... 41) Aretha Franklin - Respect
Angie Greaves Angie Greaves is a British Radio presenter who’s career started in an admin capacity at Capital Radio in 1987. A cheeky conversation moved her from admin to production where she produced and worked alongside names such as Richard Allison, Pat Sharp, Mick Brown, Tim Westwood, Alex George and Chris Tarrant. A micky taking voiceover lead her to the studio where recording became a natural, and during a holiday to Barbados she presented live shows on Liberty Radio, and caught the bug. Her first show in the UK was Breakfast on Spectrum, followed by Breakfast on Choice FM, London’s first Urban/ Caribbean radio station. Moving from Choice FM she went to BBC London and BBC Three Counties Radio. A short break and 2 daughters later, Angie re-entered the radio industry in a freelance capacity and covered many shows on Smooth FM, and being a passionate speech broadcaster took an opportunity to present on LBC where she freelanced in different slots for two and a half years. Angie can currently be heard on Magic FM, her first show there being Weekend Mellow Magic, followed by a promotion to Drive Time where her listening figures at times overtook BBC Radio 2 and she now presents the much loved Afternoons with Angie. With the development of digital radio and the extension of the Magic network an additional radio show on Magic Soul was a natural choice. She has returned to her Breakfast roots and can be heard 7am to 10am each week day morning Alongside Afternoons with Angie and Magic Soul Breakfast, you can also hear Angie on British Airways Radio and she has stood in for Clare Balding on BBC Radio 2.
20 most influential Black H istory in its broadest sense contains all knowledge not acquired in the present. Therefore, all the subjects studied at school have history as their base, be they in the social sciences, the natural sciences, or the arts. All of them (mathematics, chemistry, English literature, religious education, even physical education) contain accumulated knowledge collated over many years, i.e. not in the present. History is thus the foundation of all of them. This raises the question: What is Black history? Many scholars regard Africa and its heritage as the CENTREPIECE of Black history. Africa and its civilisations show what Black people were capable of building in all African settings. This raises another question: Who researched African history and heritage and what did they discover? African American historians in the nineteenth century began mapping the history of Africa. Great strides were made in the 1920s with the work of Mrs Drusilla Houston. Her pioneering Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire told the story of civilizations such as Ancient Kush and Egypt, but also of Negro civilizations that used to exist in Western and Southern Asia. Unfortunately, her work was too far ahead of its time to gain the mass acceptance that it deserved. Professor DuBois penned the landmark The World and Africa. Published in 1946, he told the story of Negro civilisations in North, South and West Africa. Like Houston, before him, he also told of ancient Negro civilizations
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that used to exist in Asia. Professor DeGraft-Johnson, a Ghanaian historian, wrote African Glory. Published in 1954, it advanced the state of knowledge by including a strong account of the civilisation of the Moors in Spain and the Kongo Kingdom in Central Africa. It also had a very detailed account of the vast West African desert super states of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Like DuBois before him, however, DeGraft-Johnson was weak on the civilisations of East Africa. Englishman Basil Davidson plugged this gap with his classic Old Africa Rediscovered, issued in 1959. Davidson, and later English scholars, alerted historians to the growing wealth of archaeological material available on the African past. Introduction to African Civilizations, the classic by Professor John Jackson, was a 1970 synthesis and update of DuBois, DeGraftJohnson, and Davidson, together with research Jackson conducted with Willis Huggins, a colleague from the 1930s and 40s. In particular, Professor Jackson shows that humanity was of African origin. Moreover, the early civilisation of Sudan, Egypt, Sumer, Elam, and India were Negro. He further demonstrated that Africans voyaged to America well before the time of Christopher Columbus. This was the most complete synthesis before my When We Ruled appeared in 2006. It was also the biggest influence on my work. The methodology of researching and writing about the African heritage was much advanced by the examples set by Cheikh
Anta Diop and Yosef ben-Jochannan. With the publication of Precolonial Black Africa in 1960, Professor Diop, a Senegalese scholar, demonstrated the importance of reconstructing the social, political, economic, intellectual, technical, and aesthetic elements of the old African civilisations. This brings colour and vividness to those remote times totally lacking when history is presented as dry dates and dusty kings lists. His 1974 classic African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality? was concerned with a single question: Who were the Ancient Egyptians? In addressing this controversy, Diop presented an invaluable masterclass of how to interpret primary and secondary source material. Moreover, he demonstrated the key importance of confronting problem areas in Black history rather than retreating from them. Professor ben-Jochannan, author of the 1971 tome Africa! Mother of Western Civilization, also teaches how to interpret source material. Moreover, Dr Ben introduces his readers to long forgotten works on African history written since the late eighteenth century. He empowers his readers to examine these works for themselves and to follow the leads that they give. Professor Chancellor Williamsâ€™ The Destruction of Black Civilization also of 1971 is another classic. Influenced by DuBois but augmented using oral tradition and a team of researchers working with him, this remains one of the finest and most influential pieces of research out there.
History books Readers should also consider the following 10 books that filled in this or that piece of the African jigsaw: Charles S. Finch, The Star of Deep Beginnings, US, Khenti, 1998 Runoko Rashidi ed, African Presence in Early Asia, US, Transaction Publishers, 1995
J. A. Rogers, World’s Great Men of Color, Volume I, US, Macmillan, 1972 G. T. Stride & Caroline Ifeka, Peoples and Empires of West Africa, UK, Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1971 John E. G. Sutton, A Thousand Years of East Africa, Kenya, British Institute of Eastern Africa, 1990 Ivan Van Sertima ed, Black Women in Antiquity, US, Transaction Publishers, 1988 Ivan Van Sertima, Early America Revisited, US, Transaction Publishers, 1998 Ivan Van Sertima ed, Egypt Revisited, US, Transaction Publishers, 1989 Ivan Van Sertima ed, Golden Age of the Moor, US, Transaction Publishers, 1992 Jan Vansina, Kingdoms of the Savanna, US, University of Wisconsin Press, 1966
B Y R O B IN WA L K E R Robin Walker ‘The Black History Man’ attended the London School of Economics where he read Economics. In 1991 and 1992, he studied African World Studies with Dr Femi Biko and later with Mr Kenny Bakie. Between 1993 and 1994, he trained as a secondary school teacher at Edge Hill College (linked to the University of Lancaster). In 2006, he wrote the seminal When We Ruled. It is the most advanced synthesis on Ancient and Mediaeval African history ever written by a single author. Since then he wrote When We Ruled Study Guide, Blacks and Science Volumes I, II and III, Blacks and Religion Volumes I and II, The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street, The Black Musical Tradition and 19 Lessons in Black History. He also wrote three books in collaboration with others: Everyday Life in an Early West African Empire, African Mathematics, and Black British History.
VALUING THE DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTIONS THAT THE TALENTED PEOPLE WHO VISIT, WORK AND STUDY WITH US BRING SITS AT THE HEART OF WHAT MAKES THE UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH SO SPECIAL. Located on the idyllic South Devon coast, we are one of the largest universities in the region, continuing to grow our international reputation and increasingly diverse community of staff and students.
Join us and be part of the journey www.plymouth.ac.uk/jobs
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 63
TREVOR O PHILLIPS:
n June 22, it will be exactly 70 summers since an iconic group stepped off the military transport ship, the Empire Windrush, at Tilbury Docks in London, to launch an adventure that would transform their own lives and the future of Britain. They were not to know they were also walking into the pages of history, the first recorded mass migration to this island. Their story would come, in many ways, to define what it means to be British. And, contrary to much that has recently been said and written about these men and women, the past three score years and ten have not proven that we are a nation of small-minded bigots. Quite the opposite. The Windrush story shows Britain to be a country which, in its embrace of people who share our values, can claim to be a model to a world roiled by ethnic and racial tensions.
Reflections on the importance of Windrush Day in a post Brexit Britain Trevor Phillips is Chair of Green Park
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Courageous That is why, along with the historian Patrick Vernon, my brother Michael and I are renewing the call we first made 20 years ago, for June 22 to be declared ‘Windrush Day’ in perpetuity.
Our book, written to mark the 50th anniversary in 1998, was entitled Windrush: The Irresistible Rise Of Multi-racial Britain. There were several reasons for this. Yes, we wanted to recognise the group of men and women of our parents’ generation who made this epochal journey.
But we also wanted to celebrate the character of the nation that, time and again, has proven ready to welcome, accommodate and integrate people prepared to play a part in making our country a better place. Indeed, when I had the original idea for the book (and a BBC TV series), I was inspired by the role of those early voyagers in defending Britain’s very existence. For the fact is that scores of the men on the Windrush had volunteered in 1940 to travel thousands of miles to fight in the Battle of Britain; many saw their comrades from the Caribbean die in combat. Of the 250 men who came from Trinidad to volunteer for the RAF, for example, one in five perished in action.
‘What made the Windrush voyagers so special was that they went looking for something better. They believed they would find it in England.’ The late Ulric Cross, a Trinidadian who would go on to become a High Court judge, flew 80 missions as an RAF navigator, crash-landing seven times. He was one of the lucky ones: of half-a-dozen classmates who joined up, he believes he was the only one to see out the war. Most of the 492 men and women who arrived on the Windrush have now run their race. Yet their footsteps still echo through our nation’s story, telling us much about ourselves as a people.
We Brits are now often sneered at, not least by our European neighbours, as a nation of small-minded Brexiteers. Yet the fire of indignation that erupted recently at the Government’s woeful treatment of some of the children of the Windrush generation, fanned by campaigns by this and other newspapers, revealed a nation that remains passionately committed to the fair treatment of people who work hard and play by the rules, irrespective of race or colour. It’s hard to imagine a similar popular reaction in France, Germany, Italy or even Sweden, where each poll sees a remorseless rise in support for anti-immigrant political parties. Here, both the BNP and Ukip are yesterday’s news. Of course, none of the young travellers could have foreseen that they would become a symbol for that touchstone of the British character - ‘fair play’. For the most part, they were lively, courageous spirits, who wanted more out of life for themselves and their families than could be found in a colonial backwater. The choices available to Caribbean men and women ranged from the drudgery of peasant farming, through the daily humiliation of domestic service for colonial masters, to dawn-to-dusk days cutting sugar cane in blazing heat.
What made the Windrush voyagers so special was that they went looking for something better. They believed they would find it in England (no one spoke much of Britain in those days). They may have been dazzled by tales of pavements paved in gold; when Aldwin Roberts, the ‘king of calypso’ better known by his stage name, Lord Kitchener, strummed
You can go France, or America, India, Asia or Australia,
But you must come back to London City’
London, this lovely city,
g tin oo ui s cr les Re ro e or
‘London is the place for me,
his most famous song, dreamed up in thepassage over from Jamaica, I am sure he half-believed the words:
We mentor people from ethnically diverse backgrounds who want to join Surrey Police whether on the frontline, or behind the scenes. And we’ll continue to support you once you’ve joined. Drop us an email with your career aspirations, and we’ll let you know how we can help you fulfil them! PositiveAction@surrey.police.uk BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 65
Passion It wasn’t easy, of course. The Windrush voyagers found that the society they had entered was cold in every sense or, in Kitchener’s words, not ‘very much sociable’.
Nonetheless, they buckled down and worked hard. They got on with any neighbours who’d talk to them, mainly other recent immigrants: Jews (who were themselves ostracised) and the Irish. Later, some married natives; and their descendants have integrated more fully than any other group in modern immigration history.
Given the choice, any person of colour would prefer to live in the UK than in any of the other EU countries. During the past 70 years, not every migrant community has managed the task of social integration so successfully as the Windrush generation and their descendants. Many South Asian communities still live what have been called ‘parallel lives’ to the rest of the UK population.
The first migrants settled in poor areas of big cities, but the impact of the Windrush generation quickly spread well beyond the working-class.
I, for one found it intensely irritating to listen to commentary around Prince Harry and Meghan Markel’s wedding, suggesting that this would have been the first time the royals had encountered black British people in numbers.
One reason that the Windrush story has gained traction with the public over the years is because of the Queen’s avowed passion for the Commonwealth, its citizens and those of them who choose to make their home here.
Support In 1998, she held a reception at Buckingham Palace for the Windrush survivors - attended by virtually every major member of the Royal Family.
Post-Brexit, we will be out in the world, helping to create new relationships and to rekindle old friendships.
We have something to be proud of and from which the rest of the world urgently needs to learn. Elsewhere in Europe, racial hostility is so entrenched that our racially mixed football teams routinely encounter the despicable barracking and banana-throwing that, thankfully, vanished from British grounds long ago.
There is a high likelihood that, in Putin’s Russia, the country’s deep racial prejudice will show its ugly face at some stage during the football World Cup.
My brother and I believe that the Windrush people have been a beacon for anyone in the world who holds out the hope of a world free from racial antagonism and division. And, despite our stumbles, self-doubt and self-criticism, we are global leaders in the business of managing social diversity.
Lorna Roberts / Shutterstock.com
Back in the Eighties, the Prince of Wales made sure his charities worked assiduously to support black teenagers in places such as Brixton and Handsworth and insisted the committees that ran his programmes were representative of the Britain that was coming into being. Of course, Britain’s attitude to race is not perfect - but there’s a reason why the camps along the French coast are full of Africans desperate to get to London, rather than Paris, Berlin or Rome.
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‘My brother and I believe that the Windrush people have been a beacon for anyone in the world who holds out the hope of a world free from racial antagonism and division.’
Everywhere we look, cultural, religious and ethnic frictions constantly threaten to flare into full-scale conflict. There are hundreds of millions of people on the move across the globe. Integration is the great challenge of the 21st century.
The commemoration of the Windrush won’t, by itself, bring harmony. But a century ago, the great American preacher William L. Watkinson wrote: ‘It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.’ Shouldn’t there be at least one small flame lit for the virtues of old-fashioned tolerance, social harmony and the ability to get along across the lines of ethnic difference? After 70 remarkable years, it’s time to light the flame of hope again.
Let’s make June 22 every year our Windrush Day.
The Windrush scandal far from abated BY JACQUELINE MCKENZIE
s we mark Black History Month 2018, a defining moment of the Black experience in the UK this year must be that of the Windrush Scandal. The revelation that men and women who came to the UK from Commonwealth countries between the late 1940s and early 1980s, clutching a myriad of passports describing them as British subjects, British citizens or citizens of the UK and colonies, had their claims to citizenship or settlement questioned, was shocking. It illuminated however, a system which immigration lawyers had long found woefully inadequate and cruel. Lawyers saw increasing numbers of British people struggling to prove their status due to a lack of documentation but the media expose of the phenomenon in the spring of 2018, with story after story of victims, brought to the fore of the nation’s consciousness, how the hostile environment ensnared innocent men and women. To date, no one, least of all the government, knows the full extent of the numbers of victims or of the damage done to them and their families. And as if this story wasn’t bad enough, news that people had been wrongly detained and deported and that there have been deaths linked to the scandal, heightened the outrage. The background to the Windrush Scandal is steeped in history and complex law but the catalyst for the current scandal was a declaration of war on migrants, albeit termed illegal migrants, by Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary in 2010. But the diminution of citizenship rights of those caught up in the current scandal includes those affected by the 1971 Immigration Act, which came into force on the 1 January 1973, when only Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given the right to remain indefinitely, thereby affecting their descendants. Moving on, long-standing residents, including those in the UK before the January 1973, were protected from enforced removal by a specific exemption in the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act but this clause was removed by legislation of 2014, surreptitiously. It was from around 2014 that we started to see those caught up in the Windrush scandal lose their right
is an immigration lawyer and the founder of the Organisation of Migration Advice and Research.
to work, receive benefits, rent properties, hold bank accounts or board flights for return journeys to the UK, without holding biometric residence permits or contemporary British passports. The Joint Committee for Human Rights concluded that “Policy choices and political decisions in the Home Office led to a hostile culture and callous system so alarm bells didn’t even ring in the department about locking up a grandmother who has lived here for decades, or when longstanding lawful residents lost their NHS treatment and were met with a wall of bureaucracy in response.” That said, it remains unclear whether there was a deliberate attempt to improve immigration statistics by removing safeguards to the Windrush Generation and their descendants. But there’s one thing we do know? Those senior officials in the Home Office and in government clearly assessed the levels of those affected by the Windrush Scandal to respond. They perceived that the victims, mostly black people, had no meaningful level of organisation, activism or resistance amongst their ranks by which to seek redress from the government. They underestimated the outrage that would come from across the country but rightly assessed that any community response, political, diplomatic or otherwise, would be short lived. Emboldened, it’s no surprise therefore that the government
is seeking to deprive citizenship papers to British people with criminal convictions, though not any old British citizen, just those of the Windrush Generation. It is almost impossible to imagine any other group in society being treated with such disrespect or declining opprobrium. The Windrush Scandal is horrendous but there are other significant issues to be addressed. There is an increase in the numbers of non-visa nationals denied entry at British ports for frivolous reasons causing them to spend days sometimes weeks in immigration detention centres, the pernicious and vile practice of deporting people who have spent all or most of their lives in the UK to countries they have never been to or don’t know and an increase in the numbers of families kept apart, sometimes for years, because of the onerous income requirements needed to bring a spouse or partner to the UK. It is early days in the Windrush Scandal as there is compensation to come and a government commissioned Lessons Learnt Review to be published. The legacy of the Windrush Scandal must be a movement which makes sure that the contribution of those erstwhile men and women, who left the countries of their birth to help develop post war Britain in almost every industry, be given the respect and protection they deserve and be celebrated in a meaningful and memorable way. BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 67
LORNA HOLDER Chronicles 70 years of Caribbean influence on British Fashion
In Celebration of Black History Month 2018
orn in Jamaica but raised in Nottingham, Lorna has more than 35 years’ experience at executive level in the fashion and retail industries, cultural events, visual and performing arts. She graduated in 1975 from Nottingham Trent University, with BA Honours in Fashion & Textiles. She went on to work in the Middle East, New York and London in fashion and retail. She worked as a designer for the Birmingham-based design company House of Lerose and was head of fashion during the 1970s and 1980s for Davies & Fields, one of Britain’s largest dress manufacturing companies. Lorna’s latest book, Style In My DNA, was launched at the V&A earlier this year and it captures the very essence of urban Caribbean fashion in the UK from the 1940s to this day.
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MAIN Late 1970s - fitted high waist leather pants bold print scarf © Root Magazine TOP 1966 A Brixton possie © George Fowokan Kelly MIDDLE LEFT Mid 1990s Natural weave extension - Bold crystal clustered earings with matchin braclet - Lapaz Shop MIDDLE RIGHT Late 1950s soft tailored suit Nottingham © Vida Harris BOTTOM Late 1950s bride groom and wedding table display © Marsha McDermott BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 69
The Black Heroes of Science The recent released film, Hidden Figures, is based on the true story of a group of Black female Scientists that served as the brains behind the momentous launch of NASA astronaut, John Glenn, into orbit. However, these Scientists of colour are not the only ‘Hidden Figures. In this article, we will discuss other inspirational men and women, who overcame obstacles to prove that ‘Science is truly for everyone!’
DR NIRA CHAMBERLAIN
Vice President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications First Black Mathematician to feature in the Who’s Who since 1849
70 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
DR MAGGIE ADERIN-POCOCK MBE Space Scientist
PROFESSOR CLIFFORD JOHNSON Theoretical Physicist
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE is Space Scientist and science educator. She is an Honorary Research Associate in University College London’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Since February 2014, she has co-presented the long-running astronomy TV programme The Sky at Night. Born in London to Nigerian parents in the late sixties, she moved between 13 schools during her childhood, struggling to show her potential in the face of what she later recognised as dyslexia. It was her dream of space travel that provided the ballast in those difficult years and, she is adamant that no one should write themselves off for want of a little inspiration. After graduating with a BSc in Physics, and later a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, from Imperial College London, she worked for the Ministry of Defence on projects ranging from missile warning systems to landmine detectors, before returning to her first love: building instruments to explore the wonders of space. Alongside her academic work, Dr Aderin-Pocock has relentlessly pursued a schedule of school visits – setting up her own company in the process – to give children a whistle stop tour of the universe as well as offering a glimpse of the excitement, the wonder, the sheer joy of prodding away at some of the biggest questions we humans wrangle with. The hightlight of her career has surprised many, including the Queen. “When I got my MBE, the Queen asked me what I did in life. When I told her that I was a space scientist, she was physically shocked… it’s a curve ball for some people because they expect me to say something different”.
Clifford Johnson was born in London but is now a Physics Professor at the University of Southern California. Growing up, Johnson spent ten years on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. Johnson decided at an early age he wanted to become a scientist. He went on to receive his BSc. degree in Physics from the Imperial College at London University in 1989 and his Ph.D. degree in Physics from Southampton University in 1992. In 2005, Professor Johnson was awarded the Institute of Physics’ Maxwell Medal and Prize for his work on string theory and quantum gravity. He has also been listed in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education as the most highly cited Black Professor of mathematics or a related field at an American university or college. Professor Johnson other passion is science outreach particularly to children of colour. In an interview Professor Johnson stated: “There’s plenty of positive imagery telling him [and her] to be a basketball player. Or plenty of positive imagery telling him [and her] to be a rap musician or some kind of entertainer. But no one expects [them] or encourages [them] to be a scientist,” he continues …. “So most of those kids don’t even know that they’re allowed to be scientists. In fact, if they were to believe what they see in the media, the media’s actually telling them that they can’t be scientists that they’re not smart enough, or it’s not part of their background or culture, which is of course is nonsense.”
PROFESSOR KATHLEEN ADEBOLA OKIKIOLU - Mathematician
DR MARK RICHARDS Atmospheric Physicist
Kathleen Okikiolu is a renowned British research mathematician who has won many prestigious awards. After completing an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Cambridge, she went on to become the first female Black Mathematician to obtain a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles. Kathleen is from a highly mathematical family, with her Nigerian father George Okikiolu also being a research mathematician who is thought to have written more mathematical papers than any other African citizen. One of the highlights of Professor Okikiolu’s career was when she was the first black person to receive a Sloan Research Fellowship. This is an award which is only given to promising researchers who are in the early stages of their careers. As an indicator of the importance of the award, 43 former Sloan Fellows have gone on to win Nobel Prizes and 16 Sloan Fellows have gone on to win the Fields medal which is the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Professor Okikiolu is currently a Professor of Mathematics at John Hopkins University in the U.S.
Dr Mark Richards, born in Nottingham of Jamaican parentage, is an atmospheric physicist and Lecturer at Imperial College London. His main research interest is in the area of remote sensing of trace gases in the atmosphere, with particular emphasis on air quality and urban air pollution. He also co-founded a technology business (Duvas Technologies) that develops instrumentation to monitor and map air quality in real time (a bit like a weather map but for air pollution). Dr Richards has a BSc in Chemistry (Manchester) and a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London. After working in finance for a while, Dr Richards returned to Imperial in 2002 as a Post Doc. As a Black Scientist, Dr Richards found the lack of role models in his early years (particularly during his PhD) unsettling. During this time, he discovered a book called ‘ Blacks in Science’ by Ivan Van Sertima. Dr Richards was inspired by many in this book, particularly Imhotep, the Egyptian (Nubian) polymath who excelled in so many areas, including engineering, architecture, medicine, astronomy, and music, to name a few. Although he existed thousands of years ago, it was enough for Dr Richards to know that somebody like him had done great things in science and inspired him to pursue his potential in this area in a more uninhibited way - knowing that others before him had achieved much more.
Dr Richards is currently Head of Physics Outreach, and through this he has shared his experiences with many young people from all walks of life, to help them prepare for further study and eventual careers in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering , and Maths]. Of particular note was when Dr Richards organised and hosted an event with Charles Bolden Jr of NASA. Through this initiative, Charles Bolden Jr was able to share his journey, as an African American from humble beginnings, to how he became a pilot, an astronaut, and eventually Head of NASA with hundreds of young people from all over the UK. Dr Richards has since been involved in several other initiatives in the UK, US, Caribbean, and Africa that all aim to inspire the next generation of STEM thinkers.
DR MELROSE STEWART Chartered Physiotherapist & University Lecturer
PROFESSOR FRANK CHINEGWUNDOH MBE Consultant Urological Surgeon
Dr Melrose Stewart was born in Jamaica, entered grammar school in the UK and qualified as a physiotherapist at the Bristol School of Physiotherapy. She received her Masters in Education in curriculum studies and PhD for research in cultural competence from the University of Birmingham. Her longstanding interests have been in achieving equity in health and social care and in promoting physical and mental health and well-being. These have been at the centre of her role as a practitioner and educator. She is Vice President of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), founding member of the Black and Minority Ethnic Group of the CSP, a Member of the Health and Care Professions Council and Higher Education Authority, external examiner for the University of the West Indies and Glasgow Caledonian University, and a panel member in Her Majesty’s Judiciary for Disability and Employment Tribunals. In 2017, Dr Stewart was selected as one of three experts in the hugely successful Channel 4 production, ‘Old people’s Home for 4 Year Olds’, which saw viewing figures reach over 2.5 million. Readership of her jointlyauthored paper based on the programme and issued in The Conversation reached nearly 10k within its first week of publication. It has since been republished in the iNewspaper and the World Economic Forum.
Professor Frank Chineqwundoh, of Nigerian descent, is the first ‘Black British’ urological surgeon. He qualified in medicine from St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London in 1984. Since completing specialist training he has had over 21 years’ experience working as a Consultant Urological Surgeon. He completed specialist urological training in the West Midlands and Cleveland, Ohio in 1996. Professor Chinegwundoh is the senior urological surgeon at, Barts Health NHS Trust and since December 2014 an honorary visiting Professor in the School of Health Sciences, City University of London. In November 2011, Professor Chinegwundoh was invited to take part in a Sky TV comedy vehicle to raise awareness of prostate cancer. This has been acclaimed by the charities Prostate Action and Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK for the use of humour to get across a serious male health message featuring Karl Pilkington and Ricky Gervais. Most recently, Professor Chingwundoh has been involved in new three-year project, called ‘Changing Lives
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a – engaging Black African and Caribbean men at risk of or affected by prostate cancer”. For 20 years he has chaired the UK registered charity Cancer Black Care. He has a Masters in Medical Law degree from Glasgow University and has wide medical legal experience of report writing and appearing as an expert witness in Court. One of the challenging aspects of being a Black Scientist was not obtaining jobs in the NHS in his earlier days, for reasons that he did not consider due to his qualifications. Also generally, research funding is always a challenge. Amongst Professor Chinegwundoh greatest achievements were; Publishing the first UK data on the incidence of prostate cancer in Black men relative to White men (a three fold increased risk). This kick started the focus on prostate cancer in Black men. Also the award of a MBE in the 2013 Queen’s birthday honours list.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Joy White is an Independent Researcher. She received her PhD from the University of Greenwich in 2015. In 2015/2016, she held the Independent Scholar Fellow award from the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF). Joy is the author of Urban Music and Entrepreneurship: Beats, Rhymes and Young People’s Enterprise (Routledge: Advances in Sociology). It is one of the first books to foreground the socio-economic significance of the UK urban music economy, with particular reference to grime music. Joy writes on a range of themes including: social mobility, urban marginality, youth violence, mental health/wellbeing and urban music.
BY JOY WHITE
Black History Month (BHM) is in its 31st year. Is it needed? Of course it is. In the late 1960s, when I was at primary school, we were ‘coloured’ not black and there was certainly no black history taught in schools. Back then ‘Little Black Sambo’ was a standard reading book. In the 1970s, the Black and White Minstrel Show and Love Thy Neighbour were popular Saturday night entertainment. Thirty years since the inception of BHM, the landscape has changed considerably; equal opportunities and diversity policies meant that, for a while at least, everyday racism was less in evidence (in speech at least). In its 31st year, does BHM need to change? Of course it does. In school settings, it is not enough to list role models past and present. What is needed, in my opinion, is a detailed understanding throughout the year and throughout the curriculum that black history is British history and vice versa. It should be an embedded learning for all, that explores the nuances and challenges the assumptions that black history started and ended with slavery. The recent furore regarding whether there were black Romans in Britain is a clear indication that something more wide ranging is needed. The recent TV series Black and British is a good foundation to build on. The UCL project on the legacies of British Slave ownership is another useful resource. I’m sure there are many others. So a resounding yes to BHM, as long as it’s all year round!
The University of Reading has a proud history of diversity and inclusion and is committed to rapid progress as part of our vision for a thriving and vibrant community of staff and students. We have developed an ambitious action plan taking us towards race equality. Our priorities are to ensure that: We have a diverse range of people employed across all roles, including leadership roles
Our teaching, learning, assessment and student support engages students of all races and ethnicities, and helps them excel.
We are looking forward to celebrating Black History Month in October 2018 with events including a seminar on Whiteliness and Institutional Racism, film screenings in association with Reading Film Theatre and a joint RUSU/University cross campus exhibition, highlighting the role of people of colour across our disciplines. However, our commitment to race equality goes beyond Black History Month – for more details please visit www.reading.ac.uk/diversity
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WINDRUSH: SIM T
Seventy Years of Black British
o commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the African and Caribbean presence in post-war Britain, STEPHEN BOURNE, author of the award-winning Black in the British Frame – The Black Experience in British Film & Television (2001), lists his personal “bests” from popular British film and television drama since 1948. All images are courtesy of Stephen Bourne’s private collection.
BEST FILM: PRESSURE (1975)
In Pressure the Trinidadian director Horace Ove movingly portrayed the reality of being a black youth in Britain in the 1970s. Horace Ove told the journal Film (BFFS) in August 1978: “I didn’t make the film sitting in my room: I went out with Samuel Selvon and researched it. I was aware of the political situation. I know what’s going down. So, when it was made, and people started saying, ‘That’s not true,’ I knew that either they didn’t know what they were talking about, or they didn’t want to admit to things. Pressure has had a lot of pressure. It’s a touchy film, about something that’s happening here.” Honourable mentions: Ten Bob in Winter (Lloyd Reckord, 1963) Jemima and Johnny (Lionel Ngakane, 1966) Burning an Illusion (Menelik Shabazz, 1981) The Passion of Remembrance (Sankofa, 1986) Playing Away (Horace Ove, 1986) Dreaming Rivers (Martina Attille, 1988) Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien, 1991) Who Needs a Heart (John Akomfrah, 1991) We the Ragamuffin (Julian Henriques, 1992) Flight of the Swan (Ngozi Onwurah, 1992) Bullet Boy (Saul Dibb, 2004) Kidulthood trilogy: Kidulthood, Adulthood & Brotherhood, (Menhaj Huda & Noel Clarke, 2006-16) Gone Too Far! (Destiny Ekaragha, 2013) A United Kingdom (Amma Asante, 2016).
BEST FILM ACTOR: NORMAN BEATON (BLACK JOY, 1977 & PLAYING AWAY, 1986)
In Black and White in Colour – Black People in British Television Since 1936 (BFI, 1992), Norman Beaton says: “My own view is that what
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you’ve seen me in are the only roles that are available for black men in this country, and they don’t really reflect our views, our understanding of life, our intelligence, or where we are coming from. In that respect, I would say that Caryl Phillips’s scenario for Playing Away did get around that particular hurdle. It lived up to nearly all the expectations that black people ought to be living up to…what I find difficult to come to terms with is the absence of a heroic figure like Paul Robeson in all the work I’ve done… There is no writer writing on that scale, or in those grand, magnificent terms for film or television about a black figure who we all admire or aspire to be like.” Honourable mentions: Earl Cameron (Pool of London, 1951) Johnny Sekka (Flame in the Streets,
1961) Paul Danquah (A Taste of Honey, 1961) Paul J. Medford (Black Joy, 1977) Brinsley Forde (Babylon, 1980) Victor Romero Evans (Burning an Illusion, 1981) Jaye Davidson (The Crying Game, 1992) Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things, 2002 & Kinky Boots, 2005) Ashley Walters (Bullet Boy, 2004) Noel Clarke (Kidulthood trilogy, 2006-16) John Boyega (Attack the Block, 2011) David Oyelowo (A United Kingdom, 2016).
BEST FILM ACTRESS: CASSIE MCFARLANE (BURNING AN ILLUSION, 1981)
Outside the ‘mainstream’, in the critically acclaimed Burning an Illusion, writer/director Menelik Shabazz successfully articulated the black British experience through the events in a young woman’s life. In February 1983 the film’s leading actress Cassie McFarlane told Staunch magazine:“The responsibility that the black writer has to the black actor or actress is the same one that he or she has to the community (the black audience). He or she has to be able to reflect the truth. With the film Burning an Illusion we all developed together. We spent a lot of time just talking and reasoning about the roles. I feel that the black actor/actress and the black writer have to develop together.” Honourable mentions: Shope Shodeinde (The Sailor’s Return, 1978) Anni Domingo (The Passion of Remembrance, 1986) Cathy Tyson (Mona Lisa, 1986) Corinne Skinner-Carter
MPLY THE BEST
h Film & Television Excellence
production transfers to the West End
a new play by Natasha Gordon
Limited season begins 1 December | Trafalgar Studios NineNightWestEnd.com | ATGTickets.com
Design: National Theatre. Photography: Sorted.
‘Remarkable. Captures the ‘My beloved Caribbean heritage humour of everyday life.’ showcased from a place of love.’
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 75
(Dreaming Rivers, 1988) Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets and Lies, 1996) Anjela Lauren Smith (Babymother, 1998) Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, 2013).
BEST TELEVISION DRAMA: STORM DAMAGE (BBC2, 2000)
Storm Damage came from the childhood memories of its writer, Lennie James. A hard-hitting drama, it starred Adrian Lester as a young teacher who finds himself on the receiving end of a threat by an armed youth. The teacher then seeks to make sense of the youth’s damaged life. Lennie James told Untold magazine (March-April 2000): “If you write something like that, a lot of energy goes into making the ‘Yes or No’ people understand why things in the script are important, because it’s like a foreign language. They don’t get nuances, why ‘innit though’ on its own is different to when it comes at the end of a sentence. Or why, if someone kisses their teeth to their parents or their friends, it’s different. We always have to educate them. But it’s worth making that effort, because the film industry owes you nothing. The only thing you can hold onto and be sure of is yourself.” Honourable mentions: Black Christmas (BBC2, 1977, Michael Abbensetts, writer) Play for Today: A Hole in Babylon (BBC1, 1979, Jim Hawkins & Horace Ove, writers) Elphida (Channel 4, 1987, Tunde Ikoli, writer) Big George is Dead (Channel 4, 1987, Michael Abbensetts, writer) The Final Passage (Channel 4, 1996, Caryl Phillips, writer) The Murder of Stephen Lawrence (ITV, 1999, Paul Greengrass, writer) Elmina’s Kitchen (BBC Four, 2005, Kwame Kwei-Armah, writer) Shoot the Messenger (BBC2, 2006, Sharon Foster, writer) Small Island (BBC1 2009) Damilola, Our Loved Boy (BBC1 2016, Levi David Addai, writer).
BEST TELEVISION ACTOR: JOHNNY SEKKA (Z CARS: A PLACE OF SAFETY, BBC1 1964)
In Z Cars: A Place of Safety the West African actor Johnny Sekka gave an outstanding performance as the tormented Sadik Adigun who loses control, attacks a bailiff and barricades himself into a room with his family. Writer John Hopkins did not shy away from exposing the racist attitudes of the police in this emotionally charged episode of the popular but gritty drama series. Hopkins later described A Place of Safety as “the most completely realised episode of Z Cars that I wrote.” Sekka’s British career lasted until the end of the 1960s but, when offers of work dried up, he decided to move to America where he continued his career until his death in 2006 at the age of 72. In 1969 Johnny Sekka told The Times: “Sean Connery, Terry Stamp, Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, John Hurt…I started out with these people. Today they are 76 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
stars – and alright, why not? I’m not jealous. But why the hell not me? I have the same talent and ability. But here am I. There is anger in me. I started out with tremendous hopes.” Honourable mentions: Errol John (A Man from the Sun, BBC 1956) Lloyd Reckord (Armchair Theatre: Hot Summer Night, ATV 1959) Edric Connor (The Avengers: The Gilded Cage, ABC 1963) Earl Cameron (Drama ’64: A Fear of Strangers, ATV 1964) Alfred Fagon (Shakespeare Country, BBC2 1973) Norman Beaton (Black Christmas, BBC2 1977 & Empire Road, BBC2 1978-79) T-Bone Wilson (Play for Today: A Hole in Babylon, BBC1 1979) Larrington Walker (Play for Today: Waterloo Sunset, BBC1 1979) Thomas Baptiste (Play for Today: King, BBC1 1984) Rudolph Walker (Black Silk, BBC1 1985) Hugh Quarshie (The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, ITV 1999) Adrian Lester (Storm Damage, BBC2 2000 & Undercover, BBC1 2016) Eamonn Walker (Othello, LWT 2001) David Oyelowo (Shoot the Messenger, BBC2 2006 & Small Island, BBC1 2009), Idris Elba (Luther, BBC1 2010-2018) Babou Ceesay (Damilola, Our Loved Boy, BBC1 2016).
BEST TELEVISION ACTRESS: CARMEN MUNROE (BLACK CHRISTMAS, BBC2 1977)
In Michael Abbensetts’s brilliant comedy
drama Black Christmas, Carmen Munroe gave a magnificent star turn as a feisty West Indian wife and mother who is determined that her family will enjoy Christmas. However, throughout the day, she finds her living-room turned into a battlefield as members of her family clash. When Carmen Munroe was interviewed by Brenda Emmanus on stage at the Museum of the Moving Image in 1996) she said: “If you’ve got something you feel you want to do, something you want to create, stay with it. You have to have a sense of self as opposed to being self-centred. You have to have goals. Sometimes you will be thrown off course. I’m an eternal optimist. I harness all that I’ve learned, and take it with me on the road, because things will change.” Honourable mentions: Cleo Sylvestre (Some Women, BBC1 1969) Angela Wynter (Elphida, Channel 4 1987) Dona Croll (Screen Two: Hallelujah Anyhow, BBC2 1991) Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, ITV 1999) Mona Hammond (Storm Damage, BBC2 2000) Ruth Negga (Shirley, BBC2 2001) Naomie Harris (White Teeth, Channel 4 2002 & Small Island, BBC1 2009) Cecilia Noble (Danny and the Human Zoo, BBC1 2015) Wunmi Mosaku (Damilola, Our Loved Boy, BBC1 2016) Sophie Okonedo (Undercover, BBC1 2016).
Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Teaching Black History in Academia
Margot Finn, President of The Royal Historical Society
ecent research in Black history, histories of migration and ethnicity, and histories of race, imperialism and decolonisation have transformed our knowledge and understanding of the past. The high calibre of UK contributions to historical research in these areas was conspicuous at the Public History Prize award ceremony sponsored by the Royal Historical Society (RHS) in January 2018. Projects that illuminate Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) histories won three of the five categories. David Olusoga’s Black and British: A Forgotten History (BBC2) won the TV & Film category; the Runnymede Trust’s Our Migration Story: The Making of Britain (won the Online Resources category; and Partition Voices, presented on Radio 4 by Kavita Puri, won both the Radio & Podcast category and the overall Public History prize. In sharp contrast to this vibrant backdrop of increasing diversity in public history, the racial and ethnic profile of students and staff in UK university History departments remains overwhelmingly White. Both the experience and attainment of BME students and staff in UK History persistently lag behind those of White peers. The taught curriculum for secondary school pupils and university students often fails to incorporate the new, diverse histories produced by UK and international academic and community-based researchers. These problems within university History have distinct origins and pathways. But they are also intertwined. Individually and cumulatively, they diminish the quality of teaching, learning and research in History in the UK. Addressing and rectifying these systemic problems is essential if schools and universities are to fulfil
their mission of fostering excellence. More broadly, these changes are vital to enhance public understandings of the past in Britain. The Royal Historical Society is committed to working for equality, diversity and inclusion in the practice and study of History. Its Race, Ethnicity & Equality Working Group has been meeting regularly since 2017. The Society is launching a report entitled Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History: A Report & Resource for Change on the 18th of October 2018. This report identifies major obstacles to racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in UK university History, tracing underrepresentation from secondary-school level through undergraduate study, postgraduate training and postdoctoral employment. It documents substantial levels of bias and discrimination experience by historians in UK universities, and recommends pragmatic steps to enhance the representation and experience of BME students and staff. The limited attention paid to race and ethnicity in UK History curriculums, it argues, is also a key barrier to the inclusion and achievement of BME students and staff in History departments. Key findings of the report include: • Students who study history at university are overwhelmingly White, and this BME under-representation increases further at postgraduate (MA and PhD) level; • History academic staff are even less diverse than History students: less than 5% of university historians are BME and many History departments have no Black academics; • 32.6% of BME historians who responded to the RHS survey had witnessed
discrimination or abuse based on race or ethnicity in their university workplaces; • Efforts to diversify the History curriculum are widespread in UK universities, providing new opportunities for change: 86.3% of respondents reported that their department had recently sought to widen the curriculum beyond Britain and Europe. The RHS report offers practical recommendations for change to university staff, as well as guidance for secondary school and university teachers on accessing additional information, resources and support. A generous donation from the Past & Present Society will fund a 2-year postdoctoral Research Fellow to work with the RHS to improve BME equality and inclusion in History in schools and universities in 2019-2020. Pioneering efforts by many individuals and groups have inspired this RHS initiative. The Black and Asian Studies network; the History Matters group and annual conference led by Professor Hakim Adi of the University of Chichester; the Runnymede Trust’s diverse portfolio of projects on race equality; and the interventions of the professionals who belong to Museum Detox - to name just a few - have created fertile ground for future transformation. If, together, we can get this right - diversifying both the content and the personnel of History in UK schools and universities - the study of the past in and beyond Britain will be enriched and strengthened. The impressive, dynamic portfolio of activities, speakers and performances showcased each October in Black History Month provides an essential reminder of why this matters so much for 21st-century Britain.
The team of the Runnymede Trust’s Our Migration Story: The Making of Britain, winners of the 2018 Royal Historical Society Public History Prize.
FROM THE SS WINDRUSH TO CROYDON: THE LIFE OF ALEX ELDEN The late Alex Elden made a rich contribution both to London’s black community and Croydon
lex Elden, a member of the Royal Airforce from 1944, and a passenger on the SS Empire Windrush on its famous voyage to England in 1948. Alex was born in Jamaica on 9th July 1926 and baptised Emanuel Alexis as a Roman Catholic. His father was a civil engineer who was responsible for most of the buildings constructed in the country at that time, and he later learnt that his great-grandfather had been a pirate who retired in the Bahamas. Alex was educated at Calabar School and St. Simon College. Young Alex was captivated by aircraft, and particularly inspired by watching movies with Errol Flynn flying and shooting down jets’. His enthusiasm led him to enlist in the RAF in Kingston on 29th September 1944. He travelled to Britain for training, arriving in Glasgow on the SS de Cuba, where he was warmly greeted and a reception was held in his honour. He then trained at Filey and Yatesbury, becoming a runway controller at RAF Cramwell. The women stood up for the black men and fought with their stiletto heels.
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According to the valuable record available in the book The Windrush Legacy: Memories of Britain’s Post-War Caribbean Immigrants: “promotion in the RAF very much depended on the officer in charge, but also Alex did well in his exams and won promotion. The white officers behaved as if they were superior, but Alex always met these aggressions head-on. On some occasions the officers resorted to sarcasm and intimidatory antics, but he always confronted the issue which gained him much respect”. “There was not much of a social life and the black servicemen tended to organise their own. Caribbean servicemen met up in London and enjoyed the limited night life available. Black men could dance and swing their hoops which the white women loved. This caused jealousy and fights. The women stood up for the black men and even fought with their stiletto heels. Without the support of these women, the black men would have suffered more harassment and humiliation.” “Most of the outings in London while on leave ended at Clapham Common air raid shelter, where they stayed for protection from
the bombs.” When black cinema goers were told that they could only watch from the back, a big fracas broke out. When the war ended, Alex joined a specialist team looking for deserters. In 1948 he supervised the return of servicemen to the Caribbean on board the Lady Rodney. Not being able to find work in Jamaica, he then came back to Britain on the SS Windrush. When the ship stopped in Bermuda, some of the passengers, including ex-servicemen, wanted to watch a movie at the cinema. They were informed that they could only do so from the rear of the complex. An argument ensued, and Alex remembers that a big fracas broke out. They were eventually allowed front seats. The efforts of the Windrushers, supported by the Windrush Foundation, have ensured that its voyage has become the symbol of the West Indian migration to Britain to assist with rebuilding the country after the war. The Windrush is also symbolic of the defeat of Nazism, to which so many men and women from the empire contributed. The ship
had originally been built by a businessman to provide Baltic holidays for members of the Hitler Youth. It had been captured during the war by the British and used as a troop ship, then afterwards as a passenger ship. Alex Elden married Joan, his first wife, in 1949. He was officially discharged from the RAF in January 1950. He and Joan lived in Carshalton and had three children: Bonnie, Denise and Glen. Having trained in scientific glass blowing and glass technology, he worked for J. Arthur Rank at Crystal Palace until 1952, making TV tubes and other laboratory equipment. Then, in 1956, he became the second black person ever to gain the famous ‘knowledge’ and work as a London cabbie. He played cricket for Carshalton, the West Indian Student Union and the Caribbean Cricket Club. As a supporter of the League of Coloured Peoples, his children took part in its celebrations. From 1970 he helped the Melting Pot Foundation, for example by teaching driving skills to young underprivileged adults. For the last twenty-two years of his life, Alex became a Croydonian. Having met her in the 1960s, he married his second wife Jayne in 1976. They had two sons, Gary and Don. In 1980 he set up the Green Badge Taxi School at the Windrush Foundation
and received grants from Lambeth Council and then the government to train unemployed young people. The school also gave training in literacy and numeracy skills, in acquiring the ‘knowledge’, and in helping the community. Hundreds successfully qualified. As a member of the West Indian Association of Service Personnel (as it is now called), he was its vice-chair in 1995. Alex’s Croydon connection began the same year when he and Jayne moved to Norbury, and he spent the last twenty-two years of his life in the borough. They were rich and rewarding years: by 1998 he had six grandchildren, and in 2016 saw his son Gary awarded the OBE for achievement and service to diversity in business.
Written by Sean Creighton A former employee of and freelance project worker with community and voluntary organisations, Sean is active with Croydon Assembly, and Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committee. He is Chair of the Norbury Community Land Trust. He is a historian of Croydon and South-West London, and of British black, social action and labour movement history. He co-ordinates the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks.
StopWatch is a coalition, which works to: • Promote effective, accountable and fair policing • Inform the public about the use of stop and search • Develop and share research on stop and search and alternatives • Organise awareness raising events and forums • Provide legal support challenging stop and search Since forming in 2010, StopWatch led wide-ranging campaigns against the disproportionate use of stop and search, the increasing use of exceptional stop and search powers and the weakening of accountability mechanisms. This includes legal and policy analysis, media coverage and commentary, political advocacy, litigation, submissions to national and international organisations and community organising. The unique mix of academics, activists, young people and lawyers has proven effective at challenging the current use of the tactic as well as drawing attention to the realities for those on the receiving end of police powers. To find out more please get in touch, details below:
2 Langley Lane, London SW18 1GB M: 07496 829 936 T: @StopWatchUK www.stop-watch.org BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 79
A Date at The Palace with The Queen “I am half way through my fourth decade as a civil servant and I have enjoyed a wide range of truly memorable experiences. So, after getting over the utter shock of being nominated and awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to Race Equality across the civil Service and in the Community, I thought I had a handle on the pomp and ceremony one could expect at the investiture thereof. I was wrong. Following a series of posh letters and my confirmation by reply, I was summoned to Buckingham Place on Friday 4th May 2018. I was accompanied by my mum Sislyn, my wife Donna and my daughter Rhianne, who was even more excited than I was. We had decided to drive to the Palace, well, three pairs of high heels was always going to be a BIG ask. Upon arrival at the gates we were met by a large crowd of sightseers, all of whom seemed excited just to observe cars rolling onto the grounds of Buckingham Place. My mum responded with a regal wave of her own and a funny comment about whether or not they thought she was Meghan’s mum! Anyhow, after the obligatory checks we were informed by one of the officers on duty that we “have the Queen today”. Our smiles only grew wider. I was ushered into a palatial waiting room, along with Dame Darcey Bussell and Sir Paul McCartney, both of whom were extremely talkative, if not a tad nervous, like the rest of us. All sixty six of us were then prepped to receive our awards. Where to stand, how to stand, when to bow/curtsey and, of course, how to address Her Majesty. It was all very slick and super disciplined, yet still quite surreal. Meanwhile, my family of ‘guests’, were led to their seats in the exquisite Palace Ballroom, complete with live orchestra, where the award ceremony took place. The handing out of gongs itself took about one hour. The Queen looked wonderful and when my turn to receive arrived her smile was every bit as infectious. Her Majesty asked “how are we were doing on Race Equality at the MoJ?” I replied “Well Ma’am, we are turning a few corners, but we do still have a long way
heart with deep joy. No, I shall never forget this experience because the entire day has left an indelible mark pinned to my heart. My investiture will serve as an eternal reminder that my career as a civil servant, together with my work in the community via The Reach Society and Relate as a Trustee, has been decorated with a rich network of friends all of whom have enabled me to do what I do and now inspire me to do more. I shall enjoy the BLING of that realisation for the rest of my life!”
to go”. At that, my OBE was pinned to my lapel, we shared a warm handshake and, with a bow, I was on my way all blinged up. The additional and unforgettable bonus for me on what was already a truly memorable day, was to then have my mother join me back at MoJ 102 Petty France. This was the very first time my mum had ever been to my place of work since I began in 1983!!! My mum met my entire team at Project Race, a variety of my MoJ colleagues and our Permanent Secretary also popped along for a cuppa and some cake. The entire experience was one I shall never forget. Not simply because I met the Queen, as lovely as that was. Not only because I now know that a group of determined colleagues nominated me to receive such a prestigious award, though that does fill my
In October 2018 Rob will be celebrating his 35th year as a Civil Servant. Rob’s efforts via the Ministry of Justice remain dedicated to culture change and a transformation in the way services are delivered. Rob believes that the UK’s Civil Service is on a committed journey in becoming a brilliant employer. Rob is currently working with the Civil Service Race Forum and the Cabinet Office to help deliver a step change across the Civil Service to become one of the UK’s most inclusive employers by 2020. Rob has recently been shortlisted for the Investing In Ethnicity Workplace Hero Award and the ceremony takes place on 1st November at the Hilton Waldorf Hotel. Rob Neil OBE, Head of Project Race Rob.Neil@justice.gov.uk On Twitter: @ProjectRaceUK and @ReachSociety10 and @CSRaceForum
The Black Community and The Business Sector: The contribution of Len Dyke and Tony Wade BY RUDI PAGE AND DR DWAIN A. NEIL
lack History Month is a timely occasion to reflect on the relationship between the Black community and the business and commercial sector over the last seven decades, since the arrival of the 492 Windrush pioneers in June 1948. Records show that in the first two decades, between 1948 and 1968, many people in the Black community focused on the acquisition of property for dwelling and for rental. In so doing, the community overcame barriers to decent accommodation. Black landlords offered a choice of housing to the community, and these property entrepreneurs were the first wave of wealth generators in the Black community. Over the next 30 plus years, between 1965 and 1998, a commercial revolution occurred. The Dyke and Dryden business enterprise in Afro hair and beauty products became a reality. Guided by Tony Wade’s vision for meeting the needs of the Black community for hair and beauty products, Dyke and Dryden became a multi-million pound enterprise that manufactured a range of new products that were made available across the UK, and in many West and East African countries. Their annual Afro Hair and Beauty Exhibition & Showcase, rolled out in Alexandra Palace, North London became a focus for hundreds of hairdressers from across the UK who built viable business relationships with Dyke and Dryden Ltd (or D&D) that helped to transform and enhance their business offerings to their clients. Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Tony Wade, the directors of Dyke & Dryden Ltd, were men of vision and action. They saw a gap in the hair care market and chose to fill it. These three Black men were “social entrepreneurs” long before it became a popular term in the UK. Their business model was designed to meet the social needs of the Caribbean community. In so doing, D&D quickly became the largest provider of trade credit to a large segment of the Black business sector, which encompassed the hair and beauty salons, retailers, wholesalers, beauticians and self-employed stylists. Lord Bill Morris observed that:“The spin-offs from the Dyke & Dryden experience are many - not least of which is the message of trust. For too long Black people in
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Britain have been held back through lack of trust in each other. The Dyke & Dryden model demonstrated a positive recycling of effort and resources within the community. The community supported the company and purchased its products. In return, Dyke & Dryden promoted their social, equalities and economic needs such as the opportunity for people to start and grow businesses (in the Afro hair and beauty sector). The biggest gains of all were in the field of employment and skills development where many opportunities were created within the Black business community.” Beyond the D&D business, Tony Wade helped to embed and expand the enterprise culture in the Black community as the chairman of the North London Business Development Agency (or NLBDA) which he led for roughly 12 years.
‘Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Tony Wade, the directors of Dyke & Dryden Ltd, were men of vision and action. They saw a gap in the hair care market and chose to fill it.’ The Dyke and Dryden experience and legacy are a template for self-reliance, and many entrepreneurs in the next generation (the so called children of the Windrush generation) have done their best to apply these lessons, and in so doing, are makinga significant contribution to meeting the needs of the Black community. There is also evidence of Black entrepreneurs applying their expertise, from their chosen professions and employment, to providing coaching, mentoring, career advice and community development programmes. Rudi Page, a former Dyke and Dryden sales and marketing manager, who was responsible for co-ordinating the very first Afro Hair & Beauty Exhibition and Showcase (in Grosvenor House, London, March 1983) played a leading role in
organising the Dyke & Dryden 50th Anniversary Service in June 2015; and in partnership with Derek DeCutter Clement launched “The Afro Hair & Beauty 1983 Legends,” as a tribute to Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden, Tony Wade, Winstan Issacs (Splinters International) and Carmen England (Carmen’s Rollers). Other recognition events have taken place for other pioneers in this sector such as Enoch Williams (Sahara Oil), Bedford Thompson (Hopes Beauty Products), Martyn Squires (Martyn’s of Brixton), Lorna and George St Clair (Salon & Hairdressing School), and Joan Sam (Supreme Hairdressing School & Salons). The 21st century is presenting Black entrepreneurs with many new opportunities for wealth generation via the Internet. It is hoped that the Dyke and Dryden legacy will also inspire some of them to become the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Rudi Page is the Chief Executive of Making Connections Work. He has extensive and accomplished cross-sectoral expertise in change management and policy implementation. He has an excellent track record of achievement in executive coaching and mentoring for developing leadership and organisational capability. Dr Dwain A. Neil is the chairman of Reach Society, an award winning social enterprise that was founded in 2010 to inspire young people. He runs Leriko & Associates, a management consultancy; and he is a father of four, all of whom are working graduates.
those interested in business and trade. The High Commission will continue to monitor developments and assist its Diaspora, as and where the need arises.
VOICES The first in our series, His Excellency Seth Ramacon Jamaican High Commissioner answers some questions presented by the public BY JOY SIGAUD My maternal grandparents were born in Jamaica but my mother was born here. Am I entitled to Jamaica citizenship? Yes, you can apply for Jamaican citizenship at the Jamaican High Commission in London, 1-2 Prince Consort Road, London SW 7 2BZ. Applicants should be able to show the clear line of descent through either one parent or grandparent as well as provide all original birth certificates with the name of their parent and/or grandparent and marriage certificate, if applicable. This documentation should also include passport, driversâ€™ licence or biometric card. Forms and further instructions are available on the website of the Jamaican High Commission www.jhcuk.org. Are there any incentives to encourage graduates of Jamaican descent to do work placements in Jamaica? Yes, there are a number of job placement opportunities including exchanges between overseas institutions of higher learning. The Grace Kennedy Birthright programme is one specific programme which facilitates Jamaican descendants who are studying at the tertiary level to participate in a five (5) week internship at the internationally recognised Jamaican company, Grace Kennedy and Co. Ltd. Please see the following link for further information: https://www.gracekennedy. com/birthright/ Will Brexit have a positive impact on the Diaspora and what do you think? It is likely that Brexit will impact on the Jamaican community but the extent of its effect is still not clear. Main implication could include changes in immigration rules which could impact negatively on the Diaspora. At the same time, some of these changes could facilitate young persons, particularly 82 BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018
What plans are in place to ensure the Windrush Fiasco never happens to the diaspora again? The Government of Jamaica, in unison with its Caribbean colleagues, have continued in its efforts to collaborate with the British Government in ensuring that priority attention is given to this situation and that an effective, fair and long term solution is found to address the situation of undocumented migrants from the Windrush era and their dependents. The Government of Jamaica is encouraged by the various efforts being made by the UK Government to address the Windrush crisis through actions such as the establishment of the Windrush Taskforce, the Compensation Scheme, the appointment of an independent Advisor to the Compensation Scheme and the appointment of an Inspector of Constabulary to oversee the Lessons Learned Review Process. Is it safe to go on holiday to Jamaica? Jamaica is certainly open for business and remains a safe destination for vacation. In 2017, 4.3 million tourists visited Jamaica, an increase of 16.1% over 2016. This is in fact, the highest number to have visited the country in a year. The Government is fully committed to addressing crime and has put in place stringent measures. These measures have happily not prevented tourists from visiting our shores. Nevertheless, as with travelling to any country, we encourage the usual safety precautions and due diligence to ensure an enjoyable and trouble free visit. What plans does the Jamaican government have to reduce/stop returning residents being murdered? The Jamaican Government has put in place strategic initiatives to reduce crime in general through smart policing, the implementation of the ZOSOs and States of Emergency which have so far been positively assisting in the fight against crime. The Government of Jamaica has developed a Five Pillar Crime Strategy for Crime Prevention and Citizen Security, which includes: Effective policing, swift and sure justice - meaning improved Court Management and reduction in delays; situational prevention - The aim is to reduce opportunities for crimes through safe design of environments; crime prevention through social development; rehabilitation and redemption. Are there any plans to extend the pension age? Yes there is a plan within the public sector to extend the pensionable age to 65 years. This has commenced on a phased basis.
Drill music raps are about the social problems faced by the poorer sections of the diaspora - is it also banned in Jamaica? The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica is the statutory body established by the Broadcasting and Radio Re-Diffusion Amendment Act of 1986 to monitor and regulate the electronic media in Jamaica. This includes free-to-air radio and television, as well as subscriber television (STV) or Cable. The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica ensures that there is an acceptable standard of music played on the public airwaves in Jamaica. Violent lyrics which would incite persons to break the law are not encouraged although insightful commentary on social issues is aired in the public domain. Is the JHC running programmes to encourage skilled Jamaicans and their descendants to be motivated to return or migrate to Jamaica to help build and boost infrastructure and the economy in general? The Jamaican High Commission is very keen on strengthening its engagement with skilled Jamaicans and their descendants and has been actively pursuing programmes to encourage their migration or investment in Jamaica. The High Commission has been collaborating with JAMPRO to engage business investment by Diasporans. It has also been working with its Youth Ambassador, various groups and individuals to encourage interest in Jamaica. The High Commission recently hosted a successful Youth Forum, as well as a youth engagement with Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr, newly appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs. It may be noted that, the Jamaican Government is currently developing its logistics hub and has been encouraging investment in Jamaica through various means, including real estate, agriculture and AirBnB investment or in the Jamaica Stock Exchange. What are you doing to assist the near destitute of the diaspora - any advice would be welcomed? One of the main priorities for the Government of Jamaica is to protect the interest of its nationals overseas. In this regard, the High Commission has been providing advice and support to the extent possible to destitute members of its community. The High Commission also works with philanthropic organisations and professionals who provide pro-bono skills and advice to nationals. The staff of the High Commission are known for their caring, compassionate nature and have continued to work beyond the call of duty to assist those persons who have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances as best as circumstances allow.
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Black History Month Magazine www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk is the central point of focus and lead the nationwide celebration of Black History...
Published on Sep 28, 2018
Black History Month Magazine www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk is the central point of focus and lead the nationwide celebration of Black History...