C O M M E M O R AT I V E MAGAZINE 2018 w w w. w i n d r u s h d a y. o r g . u k
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CONTENTS 7 WELCOME
Editor Patrick Vernon OBE welcomes you to the Windrush Commemorative Magazine 2018
9 PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY
Interview with Prime Minister Theresa May By Joy Sigaud
12 WINDRUSH DAY INTRODUCTIONS
Featuring Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable
14 WINDRUSH 70 By Lord Herman Ouseley 16 SPIRIT OF WINDRUSH: CONTRIBUTIONS TO MULTICULTURAL BRITAIN
A service of thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey By Bishop Dr Joe Aldred
18 WINDRUSH - ONE CHAPTER IN A LONGER STORY By Sunder Katwala 20 CARIBBEAN WOMEN AND THE NHS
By Linda Ali
22 YOU CALLED AND WE CAME: Remembering nurses of the Windrush generation PUBLISHED BY SUGAR MEDIA AND MARKETING LTD Unit 4, 2a Glenville Grove London SE8 4BP Tel: 0203 105 2161 www.sugarmediaandmarketing.co.uk www.windrushday.org.uk PUBLISHERS: Ian Thomas, Abdul Rob MANAGING EDITOR: Ian Thomas EDITOR: Patrick Vernon FEATURES EDITOR: Joy Sigaud DESIGNER: Becky Wybrow PRODUCTION MANAGER: David Ruiz ADVERTISING: Ayana Hussein COVER DESIGNED BY: Pen Mendonca CONTRIBUTORS: Dr Joe Aldred, Jemmar Samuels, Linda Al, Errol Charles, Sunder Katwala, Stephen Bourne, Sophie Henderson, Thalia Papanicolaou, Scratchylus, Romario McCalla St Luce, Tola Dabiri, Sharon Tomlin, Gemma Romain, Joshua Street, Dr Donald Palmer, Dr Dwain A. Neil, Tola Dabiri, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, The Reach Society, The British Library
By Professor Laura Serrant
24 NAZERONE (NEDDIE) HOWELLS
A life dedicated to Britain and the NHS By Veronica Bland
38 CARIBBEAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES IN BRITAIN
40 THE FUTURE OF A MULTICULTURAL BRITAIN By Romario McCalla St Luce 41 WINDRUSH – THE BOAT THAT CARRIED SO MANY HOPES, PAIN AND DREAMS By Scratchylus 42 EXHIBITION: WINDRUSH: SONGS IN A STRANGE LAND The British Library 44 MAXIE HAYLES
Reflections as a child of Windrush Generation
46 FUTURE DIRECTION AND PERSPECTIVES OF BRITAIN IN A POST BREXIT WORLD ByTajinder Gill
26 WINDRUSH: SIMPLY THE BEST
48 A TRIBUTE TO MRS CONSTANCE NEMBHARD By Errol Charles
50 NORMA’S STORY By Sophie Henderson
Seventy years of Black British Film & Television Excellence By Stephen Bourne
30 THE WINDRUSH GENERATION, CHARACTER IS DESTINY!
By Dr Donald Palmer and Dr Dwain A. Neil
32 RED, WHITE AND BLUE FEATHERS IN THE SUMMER RAIN By Tola Dabiri
52 WINDRUSH TO BREXIT The legacy of migration to the future of the UK migrants By Fizza Qureshi and Wayne Farah
54 WINDRUSH By Joshua Street
34 WINDRUSH GENERATION: OUR FAMILY HISTORY By Sharon Tomlin
56 BLACK LGBTQ HISTORIES, THE CARIBBEAN AND BRITAIN: THE LIFE OF PATRICK NELSON By Gemma Romain
36 THE WINDRUSH LEGACY IN LAMBETH
57 JEMMAR SAMUELS
37 POEM: STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD
58 THE EMPIRE WINDRUSH GENERATION AND THE CONTINUING STRUGGLE FOR BLACK EDUCATION: LESSONS TO BE LEARNT? By Professor Cecile Wright
By Victor Richards
60 OPEN LETTER TO BLACK LGBT PEOPLE IN BRITAIN AND BEYOND AHEAD OF UK BLACK PRIDE 2018
By Dr. R. David Muir
By Phyll Opoku-Gyimah
62 THE WINDRUSH 70/50 PLAYLIST
By Mykaell Riley
64 FROM THE SS WINDRUSH TO CROYDON: THE LIFE OF ALEX ELDEN
By Sean Creighton
66 WINDRUSH PIONEER: EILEEN O. WALKIN By Patrick Vernon
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COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
On behalf of the Sugar Media and Marketing team I would like to welcome you to this special 70th anniversary edition of our Windrush magazine. As we were planning the magazine over the last several months who would have imagined that the whole issue of the Windrush Scandal would become a major news story. Or foreseen the political fallout as British Citizens of Caribbean heritage, many of whom have spent most of their lives in the UK, lost their rights, homes, livelihoods and even their life as result of the Home Office ‘hostile environment policy’. A policy which saw British citizens treated as illegal immigrants: facing deportation or being refused re-entry into Britain after coming back from holiday. However, one of the positive consequences of this scandal has been has been a massive media and public education history lesson on the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in June 1948 and the subsequent contribution of the Windrush Generation to Britain. The public have learned more about Windrush during the month of April 2018 than in the previous 50 years. This in many ways reflects a failure: how this country and key public and private bodies have not engaged with this narrative in dialogue and in partnership with the Windrush Generation and the wider context of the migration contribution to Britain. We need to remember that many aspects of British society today would be unrecognisable without the contributions which immigration and integration have made to our society over the generations: from the NHS to the monarchy, our language, literature, enterprise, public life, fashion, music, politics, science, our culture and food, even our humour. Our magazine hopes to capture this in the articles and features (plus detailed event listings on the website). Showing the legacy and impact of Windrush as we move towards Brexit. We have tried to reflect the diversity of the Windrush Generation legacy, recognising the role of women, young people and the LGBTQ community as part of this narrative which is often overlooked. In addition, we been able to secure the first major interview with the Prime Minister, Theresa May since the Windrush scandal on her views and plans around the Windrush Generation and how to preserve this history. In 2018 as part of 70th anniversary we as nation have failed in creating substantive recognition the contribution of the Windrush Generation and other migrant communities
who see themselves as British. That is why it is disappointing that the Royal Mail have refused to recognise 70th anniversary of the Windrush by issuing a series of commemorative stamps. It would have been great if The Royal Mint or the Bank of England had issued special coins or bank notes? How about a statute or monument? A national oral history programme or even for the Windrush Generation to be recognised in the national curriculum? Whatever the idea, we need a permanent marker for Windrush, especially as we move towards a post Brexit Britain. The 70th anniversary is a chance to reach across our many different ethnic, faith and family heritages, to reject prejudice and intolerance, and to shape a fair and inclusive future that we all want to share. That is why we are calling on the Prime Minster to have a national Windrush Day on the 22nd of June every year. Otherwise we will still not value and have no public memory of the Windrush Generation and other migrant communities until the next political scandal. I think this is a wake-up-call for all of us and we should now work towards the 75th anniversary of Windrush to right the wrongs of the past and create a permanent legacy for future generations. Finally, I would like to thank all the contributors, sponsors and the production team. I would like to personally thank Pen Mendonca who I have worked with closely over the last few years in developing a range of graphic illustrations to promote the idea of a Windrush Day based on the original design of the Windrush Day logo by the late John Daniel, a child of the Windrush Generation whose spirit lives on in these graphic images. Pen has design the cover of the magazine using the concept of ‘Values-Based Cartooning’ to explore and capture issues of diversity and inclusion. We hope the cover and the content of the magazine reflects the different dimensions of Windrush and its legacy as part of Britain that we can be proud of in 2018.
‘The 70th anniversary is a chance to reach across our many different ethnic, faith and family heritages, to reject prejudice and intolerance, and to shape a fair and inclusive future that we all want to share.’
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
21st Century Stateswoman -
Prime Minister Theresa May Interview BY JOY SIGAUD With a catalogue of catastrophic events nationally and internationally, grumbling within the EU, Brexit, currency fluctuations, trade wars on the horizon and dare I even say minor rebellion within the ranks, Joy Sigaud went along to 10 Downing Street to ask some crucial questions about issues that directly impact the lives of the Windrush generations and their descendants. 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 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 who want 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.
‘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.’
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
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. 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
‘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.’
the Race Disparity Audit last October in order to shine a light on how people of different ethnicities are treated across public 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.
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.
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
WINDRUSH: A LASTING LEGACY OF SERVICE T he African and Caribbean War Memorial at Windrush Square in Brixton tells the story of the long involvement of African and Caribbean people in British military service. This is a story of sacrifice and commitment. In the past, Caribbeans have had to overcome obstacles just to volunteer to serve. Their tenaciousness to prove themselves and serve Great Britain in World War II was more than a match for some of the negativity they faced; so serve these men and women did, with great bravery and professionalism. Themes of selflessness, loyalty, physical and moral courage recur with the Windrush Generation and resonate strongly with the British Army today. Selfless commitment, courage, moral courage (integrity) and loyalty are four of the six values which underpin service in the modern Army. (The others are respect for others and discipline). The Windrush Generation set the bar high for their successors and we owe them a great debt of gratitude for the freedoms we now enjoy. Soldiers of Caribbean heritage serve today. Their forebears would be proud of what they continue to achieve, building on the legacy of the Windrush Generation. The Windrush Generation are linked to Great Britain and the Army through their service in World War II. Many of the people that arrived on the SS Empire Windrush served during the war but their service to Britain did not stop there. When they came to Britain, they helped rebuild an economy badly damaged by six years of war and enriched British culture. During World War II, approximately 16,000 Caribbean men and women served in many capacities. All were volunteers, motivated by the common good of defending democracy. At the outbreak of war, every section of Caribbean society co-operated to contribute to the war effort, a real measure of loyalty to Britain. Their loyalty was not fleeting. By 1940, the Jamaican Legislature had expressed a desire to raise 25,000 men to contribute to the war effort. By 1942, several hundred Caribbeans were serving with over 40 different Army Corps and many more in our sister services. (This article concentrates on the Army but Caribbeans made great contributions to the Navy, RAF and Auxiliary Services). The Caribbean Regiment was formed in 1944, drawing men from across the Caribbean. The Regiment did not see front line service, through no fault of the men in its ranks. This was a missed
opportunity. Caribbeans proved their mettle, winning Victoria Crosses in 1866 and 1892, plus 81 medals for bravery and 49 mentions in dispatches in World War One. In spite of the frustrations of not seeing front line service, the men of the Caribbean Regiment served with dignity and discipline. The continuity of the Caribbean contribution is demonstrated by the service in the British Army of Caribbean soldiers today. Perhaps the most well-known of these is Sergeant Johnson Beharry. Whilst serving with the Princess of Walesâ€™ Royal Regiment in Iraq 2004, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for repeated bravery under fire. Despite putting himself in mortal danger, Beharry saved the lives of many of his comrades. Beharryâ€™s story brings this article full circle. Although not part of the Windrush Generation, Sgt Beharry demonstrates the Carribeans continued contribution to the British Army. He
demonstrates selfless commitment, loyalty and courage which are those attributes the Windrush Generation repeatedly demonstrated, both during the war and upon starting new lives in a new country.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
The Windrush scandal highlights everything that is wrong about this Government’s immigration policies By Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn The Windrush generation were invited to this country to help rebuild it after the Second World War. They have made an outstanding contribution and enriched us all, in many ways. The scandal surrounding their mistreatment by this Government is an international one. It brought this country into international disrepute and has caused fear for tens of thousands of people. It has ruined lives. The only silver lining is that far greater numbers of people now understand the huge personal cost of the hostile environment policy that Theresa May imposed. People have lost homes and jobs. They have been detained without trial in their own country. They have been deported, and some have been refused re-entry to this country for years having been abroad for a holiday, or family event. Bank accounts were frozen and driver’s licenses denied, meaning people were made destitute. All of this occurred even though the Windrush generation have always been fully legally entitled to be here. The reason the scandal arose now is not because they suddenly lost paperwork, as Ministers have implied. For most people in 1948 paperwork apart from your birth certificate was unknown. Since the Tories imposed the hostile environment it has become an obligation on landlords, employers, benefit offices, even schools and hospitals to establish people’s right to be here. It is people who ‘look’ or ‘sound a bit foreign’ who are most often reported. And then the Home Office treats them as guilty until proven innocent - if they cannot prove a right to be here or citizenship they are threatened with deportation. Having lost one Home Secretary carrying out Theresa May’s orders, the Government has U-turned on some aspects of its own policy. The
reporting requirement on hospitals and schools has gone. And, importantly, the Government has acceded to our demand that all Commonwealth citizens who arrived here before 1973 will be provided documentation establishing their right to be here. The ‘Windrush generation’ goes right across the Commonwealth and all must be accorded their full rights. Even so, this scandal is far from over. The Government has never come clean about the numbers of people that have been deported. There has been no information on people excluded, illegally detained, or brow-beaten and threatened into ‘voluntary removal’. The Government is only consulting on the compensation that will be needed. There can be no justification for further sordid mistreatment of the Windrush generation. The whole hostile environment policy should go. Ministers try to justify it by arguing that it is aimed at illegal immigrants. But as the Windrush scandal shows, it inevitably catches people legally entitled to be here in its net. This is exactly in line with what some of us predicted when it was introduced by Theresa May. It is creating misery and chaos and damages our society as a whole. Until it ends, this Government will cause more immigration scandals.
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
Vince Cable MP June 22nd marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, a former German cruise ship and passenger liner, at Tilbury Dock in Essex. Onboard were around 500 settlers from various Caribbean islands, including Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, who had been invited to help rebuild post-War Britain. Many of them would go on to fill labour shortages in the National Health Service, which was founded just a fortnight after the ship had reached Britain. For nearly a quarter of a century, the so-called ‘Windrush generation’ of people who arrived from the Caribbean including an estimated 15,000 from Jamaica alone - would play an invaluable role in our country. They worked hard, paid taxes, becoming part of the fabric of British society, as would their children and grandchildren. We all owe them a great debt. Yet they have been betrayed because of
deep-rooted failings in the Home Office and its treatment of migrants. More than 60 people already appear to have been wrongly deported as a result of the recent Windrush scandal, though there are likely to be many more as officials scour thousands of records dating back 16 years. It is disgraceful that those who have contributed so much to the success of this country face the fear of wrongful deportation and have been subjected to the ‘hostile environment’. The public outcry in response to the scandal has at least destroyed the working assumption of successive governments that there needs to be ever more restrictive measures on immigration. Instead, the public has been ahead of the political class in condemning this terrible injustice. Those who boarded the Empire Windrush did so on the promise they would arrive as British citizens. And that is what they are, no
less British than any one of us. Let us use the 70th anniversary of the first arrival of the Windrush generation to reflect on how we can better exercise the principles of openness and inclusivity.
70th ANNIVERSARY 1948 – 2018
To the Windrush generation Thank you for your incredible contribution to this country unitetheunion1
Len McCluskey, General Secretary Tony Woodhouse, Chair, Executive Council
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
WINDRUSH 70 F
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.
BY LORD HERMAN OUSELEY 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.
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WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Spirit of Windrush: Contributio
A service of thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey, 12 noon 22 Jun In the midst of life’s mundane, there comes the occasional moment to treasure. Such a moment is what 12 noon on Friday 22 June 2018 promises to be. It marks the 70th anniversary of the docking of MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948 with its significant passenger list of over 500 people from the Caribbean, mostly Jamaica. These were young adventurers grasping the opportunity to sail into what they hoped would be an economically bright future for them and their families – even as they left all-year-round sunshine and real heat behind. Most dreamt of returning richer after five years. This was not the first presence of African people in Britain, but the Windrush’s significant numbers at once sent tremors through the British political establishment and cultural police, leading inexorably to that evocative ‘Rivers of blood’ speech by the late Enoch Powell MP. Somehow, that African people contributed to building Hadrian’s Wall in the 3rd century, that many had lived in Britain as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, that some made the ultimate sacrifice defending Britain and its Empire in World Wars 1 and 2, meant little or nothing to those who believed in white supremacy and could only imagine black and white coexistence if white privilege was guaranteed. Powell was to later imply that if migration as that
represented by Windrush persisted, in a short while ‘the black man would have the whip-hand over the white man.’ The 70 years since the docking of the Windrush have been in many ways similar to what went before in one significant sense. W. E. B. Du Bois the American sociologists described it as a problem of the ‘colour–line’. This has manifested itself in many different ways including: enduring inequalities based on race/ethnicity in social, economic and political spheres; riots, deaths and maiming particularly in former industrialized inner cities; with the occasional glimpses of what could happen if we learned to love all of God’s creation and embrace fellow human being as made by and in the image of Creator God - just like me. Out of a background of opportunities denied, futures blighted, hopes dashed and faith challenged has emerged a major cause for rejoicing: the emergence of the Black Church Movement in Britain, a movement that permeates the entire Christian community and beyond. At its core is the Black (mostly Pentecostal) Church. Proving doubters wrong, the Black Church in Britain has shown that a key response to a hostile socio-economic and political environment is self-reliance and self-determination. As the Black Church has shown itself strong, resilient and self-assured –
those who once called it a ‘sect’ now call it ‘partner’, fellow travelers on the journey of faith in a troubled world. Alongside the Black Church are those Black Christians who refused to bow to the racism that sought to exclude them from their traditional belonging to European-initiated denominations like Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, et al. Choosing to remain because ‘this is my church’, they continue to wage spiritual warfare on persistent racism and inequalities – principalities and powers in high and holy places. In the face of experience to the contrary their faith leads to an embrace of a vision of a church and world in which all live in justice and peace. The Church therefore continues to strive to be the best example of what the late Dr martin Luther King called, the beloved community. To that end we to pray to God: ‘Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.’ On 22 June 2018 in Westminster Abbey 2,200 people will gather to mark Windrush@70. We will be giving thanks to God for the Godstances that have brought us here. In the words of a song: ‘Look where God has brought us, he has
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
ons to Multicultural Britain
ne 2018 to mark Windrush@70 By Bishop Dr Joe Aldred brought us from a mighty log way’. The story of that journey of the Windrush Generation will be told through three lenses: invitation, mixed welcome, resilience/overcoming. These will take the forms of narration, images, displays, music and a sermon by The Rev’d Joel Edwards, and specially commissioned musical piece by renown composer Shirley Thompson, MBE. Against the background of the recent ‘Windrush Generation’ citizenship controversy this service will be a mark of how far we have come while making it plain there is yet some way to go. For the sake of future generations we put our trust in God and hope for a brighter tomorrow based on hard work, ingenuity, a commitment to love self and other, and a relentless resistance against the forces of evil. We believe God has and will always have the ‘whip-hand’ over evil. Bishop Dr Joe Aldred - Chair of Windrush@70National Service Planning Group, Churches Together in England.
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WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Windrush One chapter in a longer story BY S U N D E R K AT WA L A
n the beginning was the Windrush. That is how the story is usually told – a tale of arrival, of racism and rejection, yet ultimately transformation, the ‘irresistible rise of multiracial Britain’, as the subtitle of the 50th anniversary book by Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips put it, alongside their well-received BBC television series. That paved the way for the papier maché boat of newspaper headlines in Danny Boyle’s 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, a landmark moment in our island story. It was an important story to tell in 1998. The average age of the 492 West Indian passengers on the boat in 1948 had been 24. Half a century on, as the Windrush generation entered their seventies, it mattered that the black British presence was not confined to a ‘black season’ of minority interest, but a mainstream prime-time exploration. It was not just about the politics of race and immigration, or the rising tide of contributions to sport, culture and literature, but how three or four generations of family life told the everyday story of social change in our country. Twenty years on, in a different era, it may be time to rethink what Windrush means today for the Britain of 2018. Windrush was not the beginning, rather a new chapter in a longer story. ‘Welcome Home’ was the headline on the Evening Standard’s report of the arrival of the Windrush in Tilbury Dock. Though we talk about Windrush as a story of arrival, one-third of those on board were RAF servicemen, who were coming back to Britain. That enormous pre-Windrush, Commonwealth contribution, not just to the Second World War but to the First World War too, will also be marked in this year of anniversaries. But it will surprise many people, during November’s 2018 centenary of the First World War armistice, to realise that the armies that fought a century ago – fully three decades before Windrush – look more like the Britain of 2018 than the Britain of 1918 in their ethnic and multi-faith composition. The roots of our shared history go further back than we think.
What made the Windrush a new chapter in the longer history of British migration was that it was an act of
large-scale voluntary migration, while previous waves of migrants had come for sanctuary more than opportunity. Though the boat was initially been sent to Jamaica to bring RAF men back, an entrepreneurial decision was taken to try to fill otherwise empty berths, advertised in the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper as a half-price bargain at £28. Yet how many people know that there were also sixty Polish refugees on the Windrush too? These displaced people had travelled from Siberia, via India, Australia and Mexico before joining the boat in Jamaica, capturing the great upheavals of the post-war era. Though the million Poles in Britain today are usually found at the end of a long list of those who have come to Britain throughout our history – from the Huguenots and the Jews, through the Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities - the Windrush presence reminds us that the Polish contribution to Britain long predates Polish entry into the European Union after 2004.
There is a curious parallel in the story of Commonwealth and European migration. The Windrush arrived in the year that the British Nationality Act created the status of ‘Citizen of the United Kingdom and its colonies,’ giving the right to live and work in the UK to hundreds of millions. It was celebrated on both sides of the House of Commons. But was this a very British invitation – ‘you really must visit sometime’ – never quite expecting it to be taken up. Restrictions were placed on Commonwealth migration in 1962, 1971 and 1981, though the end of Commonwealth free movement did not end migration to Britain. Brexit may likewise end European free movement, but it will not end migration from Europe. The story of migration to Britain is partly one of our society coming to accept the Irish, the West Indians, the Indians and the Poles, though it sometimes seems as if we achieve that only by transferring the anxiety onto the next group to arrive.
“How do people become us?” is probably the biggest question raised by immigration. Windrush tells us an important story about identity and integration – and why it must be a two-way street.
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
The Windrush passengers believed that their Britishness was non-negotiable. So it was an important moment of disenchantment, to find that the idea of Britain inculcated in Kingston’s classrooms was far from universally acknowledged on London’s streets. In her novel Small Island Andrea Levy, whose father came on the Windrush, gives her fictional ex-RAF man Gilbert Joseph the plaintive cry, “How come England did not know me?”. Integration does depend on the desire to belong – but also the willingness to accept those who want to belong too. That was too often denied to the Windrush generation. Like other migrants, many thought they might only be here temporarily, yet had families and put down roots just as, ironically, Britain was still debating the ‘send them back’ slogans of the Enoch Powell era. Their children and grandchildren were to successfully renegotiate and expand the idea of what it meant to be British. So the positive legacy of Windrush is that most people today will respect the diversity of our multi-ethnic and multi-faith society, while wanting to focus too on what can bring us together. Yet the idea of integration also demands that the promise of equal opportunity is kept – with fair chances for all and no discrimination against anybody. Seventy years on from Windrush, nobody would claim we have yet arrived at the end of that journey. In an era of polarisation, perhaps the legacy of Windrush is that the history of how we got here can help us to find that common ground, a vision of the future that we do want to share.
Sunder Katwala is Director of British Future, an independent thinktank on immigration and integration. He was general secretary of the Fabian Society thinktank from 2003 to 2011, and was previously a leader writer and internet editor at the Observer. He is the proud father of four children, Zarina, Jay, Sonny and Indira. He was brought up in Cheshire and Essex but was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, to parents who came to Britain from India and Ireland, to work for the NHS.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
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.
Recruitment 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. 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.
The Training 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 side of nursing. Most Caribbeans, like other Black nurses, were placed on the two-year SEN course. Due
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
the NHS BY LINDA ALI
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.
After Training 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.
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
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Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
You called and we came: Rememberin
ontrary to popular belief the increased migration to England post war, was not solely the result of peoples from the Commonwealth countries (former British colonies) wishing to seek a better life for themselves: In the case of Nurses, midwives and other care staff, there was also an active invitation from the British government to come to England and help staff the newly formed National Health Service. The National Health Service had been formed in July 1948, following the dedicated
campaigning, planning and sheer hard work of Aneurin Bevan who envisioned a high quality health service for all citizens in Britain, free at the point of need. However, it became clear very quickly that in the aftermath of WW2, there was a shortage of qualified health care staff to fulfil the ever increasing demands for this neophyte national health service – The answer? To turn to the British Commonwealth, and its peoples. African Caribbean nurses arrived en masse to Britain, alongside other skilled and unskilled workers with the arrival of the HMS Windrush and other ships from July 1948 – and have been major contributors to the British NHS since its inception. The arrival of nurses and new trainees to help bolster the workforce in the UK was crucial. Without their input, it is likely that the NHS would not have survived, failing before it really had time to be established. Britain simply did not have the workforce required to run the service. However, despite being invited by the British Government, no preparation had been made to receive them and the British people themselves were unprepared for the influx of large numbers of migrants. As a result, far from the welcome they expected, these, nurses, midwives and other workers were introduced into a largely hostile social and work environment. There are many stories of the challenges faced
by black people of the ‘Windrush generation’ – experiences of racism, isolation and rejection as they tried to fulfil the duties they were assigned. Many found that their qualifications from the Caribbean were not validated in GB and had to work twice as hard to ‘regain’ the recognition and professional levels they arrived with. Sadly, many never did. As we move to 2018, we celebrate the 70 year anniversaries of both the founding of the NHS and the landing of Empire Windrush on British soil.
YOU CALLED... AND WE CAME. You called…and we came. In ships bigger than anything we had seen, dwarfing our islands and covering them in the shadows of smoke and noise. Crowded, excited voices filled the air, traveling to the ‘motherland’ - over weeks, over oceans that threatened to engulf us. Driven by a wish, a call to save, to rebuild and support efforts to establish ‘health for all’ in the aftermath of war. You called….and we came. Women and men of position in our homelands; nurses with a pride in the excellence of our care. With experience of management, organisation and a sense of duty. We appeared. Smiling and eager to work on the wards, communities and clinics of this England. You called….and we came. Our big hearts, skilful hands and quick minds encased in our skins - of a darker hue. Which had shimmered and glowed in our sunnier climes. But now signified our difference
- our un-belonging. Matrons became assistants Nurses became like chambermaids. All the while striving to fulfil our promise - to succour, to serve, to care. You called….and we came. The blue of the sister’s uniform - seemed as far away from us as the moon. Unreachable by our dark hands in this cold land. But we were made of sterner stuff. The hot sun, which once beat down on our ancestors, when they too left their lands, Shone within us. Forging our hearts and minds with the resistance of Ebony. You called….and we came. Rising like the Phoenix , from the heat of rejection. We cared, we worked and we organised. Until the quickness of our brains and the excellence of our care made it hard for you to contain us. And slowly, so slowly, the blue uniforms had dark and lighter bodies
beneath them. The professional care in our touch was valued despite the strangeness of our speech and the kinks in our hair. You called… and we came. A new millennium - new hopes spread across this land. New populations, engaging and reflecting the varied, diverse and vibrant nature of these shores. Challenging and reflecting on leadership for health. Moves to melt the ‘snow’ at the peaks of our profession. Recognising the richness of our kaleidoscope nation. Where compassion, courage and diversity are reflected In our presence and our contribution: Not only the hopes and dreams of our ancestors. - Human values needed to truly lead change… and add value. Remember… you called. Remember… you called YOU. Called. Remember, it was us, who came. ©Professor Laura Serrant 2017
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
ng nurses of the Windrush generation In October 2017 I wrote a poem to reflect, recognise and celebrate the contributions made by Black Nurses to the health system of England post World War 2. I happened to share it with My son: Musician Rob Green - who in turn shared with the very talented music Director Christella Litras... And last week I sat in awe as my words were transformed into a haunting piece of spoken word, set to music by Christella and danced with perfection by performers from the Phoenix Dance Theatre managed by Sharon Watson. But more than my own personal pride, this poem shines a light on the hardships, prejudice and challenges faced by the brave men and women like my parents who responded to the call from England to leave their island nations and rebuild “The motherland” after WW2 - a sense of duty, of pride and responsibility which no only saved the NHS but changed the shape of Britain, themselves and their families forever. For those who wanted to hear the whole poem... here it is (see below). I dedicate it the ancestors and those like my parents who braved the seas, and answered the call.
Professor Laura Serrant PhD MA BA RGN PGCE Queens Nurse Professor Laura Serrant is Professor of Nursing in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University, one of only 6 black Professors of Nursing (out of 265) in the UK. She was also one of the first to qualify as a nurse with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has frequently found herself as the sole voice representing nurses and minority communities; a position which she has striven to challenge throughout her career by empowering others to come forward to join her, in a unique call to ‘lift as you climb’. She is one of the 2017 BBC Expert women, Chair of the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s BME Strategic Advisory group and a 2017 Florence Nightingale Scholar. She is an ambassador of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue, Patron of the Jamaica Nurses Association and the Equality Challenge Unit Race Equality Charter for Higher Education. Her work has been recognised with numbers awards and prizes, including Queens Nurse status and Fellowship of the Queens Nursing Institute to those who have shown leadership in community nursing. In 2014, she was named as one of the top 50 leaders in the UK by The Health Services Journal in three separate categories: Inspirational Women in Healthcare, BME Pioneers and Clinical Leader awards. She has been named as the 8th most influential Black person in Britain by the Powerlist 2018. Her family are from The commonwealth of Dominica, WI.
Remember, Britain......you called.
Prem Singh Chairman
Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
I was 18 years old and had answered an ad in a Malaysian newspaper for nurse recruits. Arriving in Chesterfield was the biggest culture shock of my life. Coming from a 30ºC climate, I’d never owned a jumper or a coat and had only ever been on a train once before in my life. It was not a good start… after a 30-plus hour journey I nodded off and missed my stop. When I finally arrived, matron’s first words were: “you’re late!” Not the welcome I was expecting!
“I arrived in England from Malaysia on 10 August 1975, to begin my general nurse training. I saw it as my chance to stand on my own two feet.”
It was a lonely time and my only contact with my family was via letters. Phone calls were expensive and there was no Skype! But I was determined and my colleagues and patients, were just lovely. It was five years before I heard my father’s voice again. Perhaps the most difficult but pivotal moment was deciding to remove my turban.
Proud to support the contribution of the Windrush generation and their families to our NHS
I may have changed my appearance, and acquired a Derbyshire accent but I remained the proud son my parents nurtured and loved with their values and principles hard wired into me. My journey from Malaysia to Derbyshire and from student nurse to chief executive and now chairman has just been fantastic. The NHS has been great to me and I am incredibly proud to have been part of its journey for nearly 43 years. I remain determined to ensure that the NHS today is reflective of the diverse nation we are and celebrate its rich diversity.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Nazerone (Neddie) Howells A life dedicated to Britain and the NHS
Nazerone (Neddie) Howells arrived in the UK from Trinidad to train as a nurse at Cross Houses Hospital near Shrewsbury. After living a life of dedicated service to the NHS spanning 40 plus years; she talks to her lifetime friend and fellow retired nurse Veronica Bland about her career and life in the UK.
Where were you born and brought up? I was born, brought up and educated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean When did you arrive in UK and how old were you? I arrived here in March 1966 and I had just turned 22. I came by boat and it took me 2 weeks to get here. What prompted you to make this massive move to another country? I had an aunt living here who was a nurse at the hospital in Cross Houses near Shrewsbury. What were your first impressions of our country? I thought that it was lovely……a complete contrast to the Caribbean. The weather took a bit of getting used to. I liked the fact that the town of Shrewsbury wasn’t too big, and it was surrounded by countryside. I can remember thinking that it would be a nice place to rear children if I was lucky enough to have them. How did you settle in to your new career? I found it very hard work, and I also found the discipline very hard, both when on and off duty. The ward sisters and the matron were very strict……you even had to be in at 10pm even after a night out!!!! The duties were very long, and I used to get very tired. I had some good friends who were also from the Caribbean, but I also found the British girls very friendly. How did you settle down to life over here? Well, even though I had left a young man who I had been seeing for a couple of years at home, I met my husband over here when I agreed to go on a blind date. We married as soon as I qualified
as a State Enrolled Nurse as in those days we were not allowed to marry whilst still a student. We had two sons and a daughter who are all grown up now. A few years ago, my husband sadly died, and after some time I returned to Trinidad only to find that Peter my boyfriend from all those years ago had waited for me, and we had two very happy years together before he, too passed away. How did your career progress? After 2 years I qualified as a State Enrolled Nurse and in the mid-90s I did the Conversion Course to be a State Registered Nurse. I worked throughout my married life, much of the time doing night duty to fit in with rearing our children. I worked at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the world-famous Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire. I have had British Citizenship for many years and now live alone in the house where John and I reared our family. Well, thank you, Neddie, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to interview you, and as a nation and lifetime we appreciate the contribution that you and people like you have made to our NHS.
St Andrew’s is a charity which provides specialist mental healthcare for people with complicated mental health needs. We celebrate the diversity of our workforce and our patients, and value the enrichment that a diverse workforce brings to our patients’ care. We promote inclusion and equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment, irrespective of disability, gender, race, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status. We are a Business in the Community (BITC) Race Champion, and in 2017 we were awarded Gold status – demonstrating our commitment to improving employment opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff across the Charity. We are proud of the progress we have made and are dedicated to continually developing our approach and practice. We asked a colleague from the BAME community to share their experience of working for St Andrew’s. Karen Graves is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Practice within our Academic Department, and by background a Registered Mental Health Nurse. As a lecturer she “supports all students and staff equally, offering them all the same opportunities to learn and development
themselves, sign posting opportunities available to regardless of their cultural background or race.” Her experience at St Andrew’s has been “one of inclusion, and I have had equal opportunities to grow and develop myself.” The BITC Mental Health at Work Report 2017 recently shared that BAME employees are equally likely to have experienced the symptoms of poor mental health as white employees, however BAME employees with a mental health condition are significantly less likely than white employees to consult a GP (20%, compared to 29%). As a member of this community, Karen’s advice would be that “we need to be mindful that each culture identifies with mental health differently and can have contrasting views to how this should be treated. We need to respect this and be sensitive to cultural and racial beliefs when caring for our patients.” As the Windrush Anniversary approaches, Karen feels “it’s important to remember the openness with which the British Colonies responded to the UK’s labour shortage and helped establish great institutions such as the NHS.” This openness has contributed to the heart of society we are all part of today. She hopes that communities continue to embrace inclusion and remain open to diversty.
If you’d like to find out more about St Andrew’s and the work we do around BAME inclusion please visit: >www.stah.org or email DiversityAndInclusion@standrew.co.uk
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
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.”
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
MPLY THE BEST
h Film & Television Excellence
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 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 (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
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
‘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 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).
National Education Union: weâ€™re standing up for the future of education The contributions 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. The NEU stands up for the future of education by bringing together more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK. As the UKâ€™s largest education union, we are an effective and powerful voice, championing everyone who works in education.
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 Windrush Generation, character is destiny!
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
the manufacturing base; and others worked in the construction sector rebuilding homes and offices destroyed by Nazi bombs during World War II. These 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
Diane Abbott, MP
won the Queen’s Award for 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
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
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 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
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
DIG DEEPER, LOOK CLOSER, THINK BIGGER KEY MOMENTS IN
BLACK BRITISH HISTORY
Cy Grant Othello
Cy Grant stars as Othello at Leicester’s Phoenix Theatre. He was one of the first black presenters on TV and in the late 50s he sang calypso versions of the news on BBC Tonight!
Caribbean Artists Movement
First black head teacher
Thompson wins Olympic gold
Britain’s home secretary Reginald Maudling announces that Commonwealth citizens lose their automatic right to remain in the UK under the government’s new Immigration Bill.
Iced by Ray Shell
First black England
2004 wins 2
Holmes Olympic Gold’s
Trevor McDonald joins ITN as a reporter from the BBC World Service and becomes Britain’s first black TV news reporter. Trevor rose through the ranks and joined the News at Ten. He received an OBE in 1992 and a knighthood in 1999.
Kelly became the nation’s sweetheart when she won the 800m & 1500m at the Olympics in Athens. After the Olympics 40,000 people lined the streets of her home town of Tombridge for a parade. She was also made Dame Kelly.
Bruno wins WBC
Frank Bruno wins the WBC heavyweight title. He defeats American Oliver McCall at Wembley. It’s a welcome return to from after he’d lost to Lennox Lewis in ’93 at Cardiff Arms Park- that had been the first all-British World Heavyweight title fight.
Black Britain first screened
TV programme Black Britain is screened on the BBC. It reflects the lives and experiences of the UK’s black population and is billed as the BBC’s first programme specifically for black viewers.
Johnson Beharry (born in Grenada) is awarded the Victoria Cross, the most prestigious award for a soldier, was serving in Iraq when his unit were ambushed twice. He risked injury to rescue others. He needed brain surgery for head injuries.
Viv Anderson plays for England
Viv Anderson became the first black British footballer to play for England in an international tournament against Czechoslovakia.
First director of education
Benn wins WBO Middleweight
Bill Morris is elected the first black leader of
American Gus John becomes Nigel Benn beats Doug Dewitt in Atlantic Britain’s first black City. Benn is the first director of education of a the title since local authority - London Briton to win but he Borough of Hackney. Alan Minter in 1980 loses it later this year to Chris Eubank.
Justin Fashanu dies
The MOBO’s launch After a long campaign by Footballer Justin Fashanu The Music of Black Origin Lawrence, dies. The elder brother of Doreen & Neville Awards was televised on a report by Sir William John, he was one of the Channel 4 to emphasis Macpherson is published. first British sportsmen the achievements of black It looks at the police to be openly gay. In the music and artists. In the handling of Stephen’s the first black first year Goldie won two, ‘80s he was murder and contains for £1m, the fugees won two and player transferred a withering attack on yet after coming out, his Jazzie B received one for the career fell apart. racist attitudes within Outstanding Contribution Metropolitan Police force. to black music.
Claudia Jones (born Trinidad) founded the first major black post-war newspaper “The West Indian Gazette”. Claudia was also a political activist and community leader. The Gazette was crucial in her fight for equal opportunities.
Lenny Henry’s TV debut
Windrush arrives First black newspaper in
The Empire windrush arrives in Tilbury Dock, carrying 492 first generation post-war Caribbean settlers to Britain. Most onboard only intended to stay in England for five years but many stayed.
Lenny Henry makes his television debut winning the New Faces talent competition by doing stand-up comedy and impersonations. Lenny is now one of Britain’s bestknown comedians.
At age 18 Naomi Campbell Paul Gilroy released his Bernie Grant and Diane became the first black book There Ain’t No Black Abbott Bo won seats for female to grace the cover in the Union Jack. The Labour in the ’87 General politics of French Vogue. It helped Election. Grant made book looks at racial accuses catapult her to supermodel his mark by wearing a in England. Gilroy status. British intellectuals and traditional Ghanaian robe. politicians on both sides Diane Abbott was active in of the political divide many political areas. She’s of refusing to take race still MP for Hackney North seriously. & Stoke Newington.
Stephen Lawrence and captain Using street languagetells A-Level student Stephen poetry, shell’s debut Paul Ince becomes the Lawrence is murdered by a the story of Cornelius first black Captain of the group of white men while Washington, Jr., a 40-yearEngland football team. He waiting for a bus in Eltham, old crack addict. Described captained the squad for a South-East London. Failure by Maya Angelou as “a total of seven games. Sol to capture his killers powerhouse”, it was part provoked his parents to Campbell is the other black of new black wave a of player who was captain begin a campaign to shame fiction in the UK. (’98). the authorities. No-one has been convicted.
voted Greatest Black Briton of all time
UK’s first black MPs
Broadwater Farm riots Riots broke out in the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, triggered by the death of Cynthia Jarrett. She collapsed after four policemen burst into her home on a raid. PC Blakelock was murdered during the riot.
Linda Dobbs becomes the first black QC to be appointed as a judge for the British High Courts of justice.
First black news reporter
New Immigration Bill
Walter Toll dies
Walter Toll dies as the Battle of the Somme he is recommended a military cross for his bravery.
Clyde Best signs to West Ham
Clyde Best signs for Dr. Beryl Gilroy became Caribbean Artists West Ham United. The London’s first black Movement founded in 186 games headmaster at Beckford Bermudan plays London. It protects the and scores 47 goals in 7 Hampstead. literary, academic and Primary in West seasons. He was a role She later became a performance skills of model for many black writing Caribbean writers and successful novelist, during the 70s. stories for and about her youngsters artists and provides them in believing students, forum. a with literature that could “heal”.
Daley Thompson became only the second competitor in history to win the decathlon at two Olympic Games, winning gold medals in 1980 and 1984. He was awarded the MBE in 1982, CBE in 2000 and BBC Sports Personality of 1982.
John Archer first
Mary Seacole death
black mayor Mary Seacole’s reputation John Archer became after the Crimean War Britain’s first black mayor (1853-1856) rivalled of Battersea. He was also Florence Nightingale’s. the first black person to She got herself out to the hold civic office in Britain war by her own efforts and at her own expense as councillor, alderman and then mayor. bring to life her and risked comfort to the wounded and dying soldiers.
Britain passed an act
officially outlawing the institution of slavery. In the space of just 26 years, the British government outlawed the slave trade that Britain had created and went on to abolish the practice of slavery throughout the colonies.
British Jamaican Lewis Hamilton wins his and the mother first World Championship campaigner of Stephen Lawrence, who title with McLaren in was murdered in a racist 2008 before moving to East London Mercedes, where he won attack in South in 1993, created a Life back-to-back titles in 2014 Peer in 2013. In January and 2015. 2016, she was unveiled as the new Chancellor of De Montfort University.
a British trade union; Morris takes up the post of General Secretary of the transport & General Workers’ Union.
Zadie Smith’s White Teeth Zadie’s first novel, White Teeth – a story of multicultural London, told through three ethnic families is published to much acclaim. It wins five awards including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for first novel.
First “Notting Hill”
1961 Naipaul VS
VS Naipaul wins the Carnival Somerset Maugham Award The fist carnival was his novel about growing actually not held in for up in the West Indies. Born Notting Hill. It was small, in Trinidad in 1932 of Indian indoor showcased for heritage, he moved to Caribbean talent held in England in 1950. In 2001 St Pancras Town Hall that VS Naipaul is awarded the was organised by the prestigious Nobel Prize for West Indian Gazette editor Literature. Claudia Jones.
First black woman
The Voice published
Val McCalla started the newsreader weekly newspaper The Moira Stuart has presented Voice. The newspaper almost every news went on to become the programme on the BBC, mouthpiece of Britain’s including News After Noon black community and made and the Nine O’ Clock News. him a multi-millionaire. In 1994 Moira was named Best Female Television Personality by the Black Journalists’ Association.
Linford Christie Olympic gold
Linford Christie (illustrated below) wins the sought after 100m gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
2001 Fuller Mike
Deputy Assistant Commissioner is the 4th highest rank in the Metropolitan Police. Fuller said: “The perception of the glass ceiling is finally being broken.” He was then made the first black Chief Constable in 2004.
Baroness Valerie Amos Valerie Amos became the first black leader of the House of Lords.
Africa and Iraq war correspondent wins the prestigious EMMA for the Best TV news Journalist.
Record of BAME MP’s
The general election of 1987 saw the “Famous Four” of BAME MPs; Diane Abbott, Bernie Grant, Keith Vaz and Paul Boateng elected into Parliament. Fast forward 30 years and the 2017 General Election results has seen a new record of 52 BAME MPs elected. DEMOCRACY IN ACTION! 25/09/2017 09:53
Black History Month Schools Resource Pack We have created the first Black History Month pack available for distribution to all schools and educational establishments.
the summer rain challenges, which will determine whether Carnival 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.
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 children’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.
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Discipline, dedication, belief 25/09/2017 09:58
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Windrush Generation: Our F
n Monday 21st June 1948 a total of 1027 civilian passengers and military personnel were recorded aboard the ship, SS Empire Windrush as it arrived at Tilbury Docks (now Port of Tilbury) in Essex. The countries at which passengers had embarked were Trinidad, Jamaica, Bermuda and Mexico. 86 children travelled as part of family groups, ranging from infants to those aged 12 years old. Some passengers had made prior arrangements others had not, many were skilled, others were not recognised as skilled workers on arrival. Researching the family history of ancestors that sailed on the SS Windrush and other ships is one way that will enable the recognition of those that form the Windrush Generation. This article will give an overview of research tools on our ancestors that have sailed to United Kingdom. One major significance of mass migration to Britain from the West Indies in 1948 was the creation of the British Nationality Act 1948. This was introduced in part as a response to tackle the labour shortage of unskilled labour in Great Britain. Despite the warnings that life in Britain would be challenging, migrants were keen to travel to seek work and to improve their lives in Britain. Some individuals planned to stay for a short time then return “home”. Most self-funded the trip to a cost of £28 according to an article in The Daily Gleaner (Jamaica) 14th July 1948. During the voyage to Britain those that travelled from Jamaica were arranged into three groups: • Migrants with friends and prospect of a job and prior arrangement of residence in Britain. This group was issued travel warrants and 10 shillings against future insurance contributions. This group numbered 204 people. • 52 Ex-Service men who wished to re-join the army or the Air Force. This group was taken to the Colonial Office in Wimpole Street, London. • Migrants with neither friends,
nor prospects of a job and no arrangement of residence. This group was taken directly to Clapham South in London where the Colonial Office supported 236 “friendless and jobless” individuals.
The internet and both local and national repositories such as the National Archives based in Kew, Surrey have provided useful resources in tracing ancestors that have migrated to United Kingdom.
Select sources of information PASSENGER SHIP’S LIST Passenger ships list have existed since the 18th century. Before 1878, information recorded were patchy. For incoming passengers records since 1878 original records were created by the Board of Trade. The series for incoming passengers is Board of Trade (BT 26) collection series. It covers the period 1878 – 1888, 1890 – 1960. Many ships manifest were destroyed by the Board of Trade in 1900.
British Guiana (Guyana), Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, England, Scotland, Burma and Bermuda ELECTORAL REGISTER A register of individuals eligible to vote that is compiled at the local level. Introduced in 1832 in England. The register would contain name, place of abode, the ward/ constituency, the county or borough. Migrants that were taken to the shelters in Clapham, London were recorded to be eligible to vote in Clapham North ward. About two-thirds were located on the electoral register. Case study – Mr Ansel Mclaren Mr Ansel Mclaren travelled from Jamaica a self-declared musician who intended to further his studies in piano and the organ. He was one of few musicians recorded that
was of great renown. He declared on the ship’s manifest “the proposed address” on arrival in Britain to be Blythe Road, London. Mr Mclaren was located as a resident listed on the London Electoral Register (online courtesy of Ancestry) at the Deep Shelter in Clapham South, London. This indicates that he did not arrive at the address originally declared on the ships manifest. This likely to have occurred for a variety of reasons. Case study – Jamaican Boxers Several Jamaican boxers – John Hazel (far left of the image – in black zoot suit), Vernon Sollas, Calvin Reid and Ansel Everal qualified to travel to Britain on the SS Empire Windrush on 21st June 1948 to train and compete in boxing competitions. They travelled to Ireland, Scotland and Europe to compete over the
Each entry contains the following: • Name of passenger • Birth date or age • Occupation • Arrival date • Port of departure • Port of arrival • Ports of voyage, if recorded • Vessel name • Shipping line, if recorded • Official number, if recorded • Source information (The National Archive collection number, piece, and item numbers) The occupations recorded on the SS Empire Windrush passenger ship’s manifest were varied include, musicians, dental surgeon, lawyer, clerks, mason, accountants, band leaders, artists, painters, shoemakers, carpenter, farmer, butcher, agriculturalist, bookkeeper, plumber, cabinet maker, projectionist, electrician, welder, chemist, chauffeur, radio engineer and boxer. The country of last permanent address recorded were mainly from
Image courtesy: Douglas Miller/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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years. John Hazel’s occupation was registered as a boxer. They arrived at the training camp which was a house in Bridge Street, Birkenhead, Cheshire now an industrial estate. Useful web links – some websites provide free to access. • Electoral registers (for some counties): www.ancestry.co.uk (cost) • UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 - www.ancestry.com (cost) • Familysearch: www.familysearch.org (free) • Find My Past: www.findmypast.co.uk (cost) • National Archives: http://www. nationalarchives.gov.uk/help with-your-research/research- guides/passenger-lists/ (free & cost) • Newspaper Archive: The Daily Gleaner (Jamaica) www.newspaperarchive.com (cost)
The process of tracing your ancestor can be challenging especially when we come to a brick wall – become stuck for clues and evidence. Each element of the story it is important to verify with physical evidence. As it could provide the basis for further analysis through generating clues. However, through understanding the records collections utilising both on and off-line resources can aid in dispelling myths and preconceptions of who we are. It lends for a productive and rewarding experience. Enjoy the journey!
Sharon Tomlin Family Historian & Genealogist, Tutor and Facilitator, with over twenty years experience working with the wider community. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: routeschange.com
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WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
‘Lambeth is marking Windrush70 with a range of events, exhibitions, debates, performances, talks and tours’
Windrush Legacy in Lambeth
Lambeth is a borough rightly proud of its openness and diversity with a pivotal role in the Windrush story.
It was to Lambeth that the majority of the passengers from the Caribbean headed when they disembarked the MVWindrush at Tilbury 70 years ago. It was in Lambeth Town Hall that so much of a new musical heritage was heard and of course, where the famous No Colour Bar Dance was held in 1955. So, it was very fitting and a great privilege for me to be in the refurbished Town Hall in March for the launch of the Windrush70 logo and website designed by young people from the Brixton based social enterprise Champion Design. Alongside Communities Minister Lord Bourne, my fellow councillors Sonia Winfred and Donatus Anywanu were representatives from The Voice, Brixton Design Trail, the Windrush Foundation and Young Lambeth Cooperative. It was the inter-generational mix that was so inspiring and I know that Young Lambeth Coop are working with the Windrush Foundation on a series of workshops and talks to commemorate Windrush70. The enthusiasm of both, despite the decades of age difference is remarkable and it is clear that young people have a real thirst for knowledge and understanding about the Windrush Generation
and the massive impact on Britain. How very fitting that the tag line for Windrush70, created by Champion’s young designers is ‘Part of Great Britain’s DNA’ . Over the last few years we have all witnessed and been appalled by shocking acts of violence, borne out of intolerance and ignorance. Social media has become a space for misogyny, racism, homophobia and bullying. Siren voices fuelling xenophobia and antipathy towards ‘other people’ have grown louder since Brexit which is why it is so important that Windrush70 is not just a commemoration of a voyage made by several hundred people but how their legacy has changed all our lives – culturally, socially, economically and politically. Lambeth has been and continues to be enriched by people who come and make their homes here. I am proud that we have welcomed more Syrian refugee families than any other borough in London and I know, admire and appreciate the contribution made by Portugese, Somalian and Ethiopian communities. Phrases like ‘diversity’ and ‘melting pot’ don’t do justice to what migration means and brings. How many of us could imagine uprooting and making a new life in a different country, whether by choice or out of desperation? Regardless of any material possessions, what people bring are
treasured memories and knowledge from their lives and other lands – recipes passed down from great, great grandmothers, songs and stories from distant childhood, music, art, literature, skills, imagination and ideas. Lambeth is marking Windrush70 with a range of events, exhibitions, debates, performances, talks and tours and I’m delighted that after extensive refurbishment the Town Hall will host many of those – including a tea party for older residents, a special performance by the Phoenix Dance Theatre and an exhibition of Harry Jacobs’s photographs. Politicians, governments, experts and academics the world over argue and debate the importance and very notion of integration. While that dance in Lambeth Town Hall over 60 years ago might now seem a rather clumsy attempt at managing integration, the intention was to show that Lambeth was a borough that would not tolerate the racism faced by many of its new residents. And that holds true today. Lambeth is open, tolerant and proud of its diversity - as the Windrush70 logo says, it’s part of our DNA. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Windrush, I truly hope we embed that tolerance and openness even more in Lambeth. To paraphrase Barak Obama, we are a borough of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD BY VICTOR RICHARDS (In loving memory of my mother)
She said, ‘Listen to the streets that were paved with gold.’ She said it was her story that had never been told; she dreamed of the high and she touch the low. It’s given her a passion for time, but in her life she felt her soul, in the streets that were paved with gold. The winters here, the faces there, create a feeling of despair. But she still hopes and cares that one day society can cope, while on this soil she can taste the air of a mind that is breathing fear. And with all the rage that she felt then, there were closer ties never seen again; with longer nights and with more friends with sweet music, it was a time she thought would never end… Amidst her fear she had her stones, her friends that she would call ‘her owns’. With her cousins and family by her side within her home, her soul was bursting with pride; and with her two grandchildren – a boy and a girl, she was always saved from what was going on.
Now times are changing and new faces appear. She has seen them before but it was not here. She could hear the new lives as the old disappeared, and hope is tinged with a sigh. Uncertainty looms as the path becomes clear, now the streets of gold are fading... She never thought this time would come, when she would pass on and go back home. Now she can touch the sea and feel the sun. Good-bye to the streets that were paved with gold, after all these years, she is going home. She is going home, she is going home…
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
CARIBBEAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES IN BRITAIN
By Dr. R. David Muir
he tragic news stories in April, of children of the Windrush generation losing their jobs and livelihoods, and being carted off to detention centres as they await deportation back to the Caribbean, shouldn’t overshadow the achievements of the Caribbean community in Britain as we commemorate the 70th Anniversary of this pioneering generation. Rather, it should cause us to reflect upon the resilience, struggles and sacrifices of those, mainly young pioneers, who came to Britain with ‘open hearts and hope in their eyes’ to build a better life for themselves and their families1. The arrival of the Empire Windrush is ‘a watershed in the Black history of Britain’ and ‘the symbolic beginning of the modern phase in the relationship between Britain and the West Indies’, according to Olusoga2.
In the 70 years since the Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury with the first wave of Caribbean immigrants, the Black Church has become the most cohesive and coherent section of Black communities in the UK. And the Caribbean Christian community has played a significant role in this story. The growth of African and Caribbean churches is a sign of hope and renewal worthy of emulation. Black Christianity, according to Ian Bradley, may well prove to be ‘a key agent in the re-evangelisation of Christian Britain’3. For those who were cold-shouldered when they arrived, and labelled as ‘sects’ by sociologists, this is a massive shift in perception and status. Caribbean Christians are represented in all the mainstream churches in the UK, and Caribbean Pentecostal church organisations, like the New
Dr Oliver A Lyseight 1 2
Testament Church of God (NTCG), New Testament Assembly (NTA), Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) and Ruach are now recognised as important ecumenical partners and players on the national religious landscape. However, we must not forget the remonstrations from the 11 Labour MPs who, on the very day the ship arrived (22 June 1948), wrote to Prime Minister Atlee complaining about the ‘discord and unhappiness’ this wave of Caribbean immigrants would cause. Even though two-thirds of the passengers were ex-servicemen, who had fought for Britain during the Second World War, these MPs stated that the country ‘may become an open reception centre for immigrants not selected in respect of health, education, training, character, customs’. The Labour MPs displayed the prejudice and fear that would set the tone for the discrimination and struggles the Caribbean community would subsequently face. Arguing that British society is ‘blessed by the absence of a colour racial problem’, they felt that an ‘influx of coloured people domiciled here is likely to impair the harmony, strength and cohesion of our public and social life, and to cause discord and unhappiness among all concerned’.4 Despite this early negative atmosphere, today there are a number of leading Caribbean Pentecostal churches in the UK, as well as leaders in public life. However, the growth and development of Caribbean Pentecostal churches were not without struggles - personal and institutional. The perspectives of pioneers, like Pastor Io Smith, and Caribbean theologians, such as Professor Robert Beckford and Bishop Dr Joe Aldred,
Professor Robert Beckford
Bishop Eric Brown
Vivienne Francis, With Hope in Their Eyes, London, Nia: 1998. David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History, London, Macmillan: 2016, p.493.
give us a critical insight into the experience of this community’s encounter with British society. Aldred suggests that Caribbean Christians have had to endure ‘a low level of acceptance and understanding and, conversely, a high level of rejection and misunderstanding from the host Christian and secular society’. Although not all Caribbean Christians would have encountered this, Io Smith recalls: “The first place I visited was a church, but nobody said, ‘Welcome’. We felt a sense of rejection straight away… Another member told me: ‘I think the church down the road want Black people.’… I was looking for love, warmth and encouragement. I believed the first place I would find that was in the Church, but it wasn’t there.” Beckford signals a note of socio-historical honesty and experiential authenticity in saying: “English churches were at best paternal and at worst racist in their response to the Black settlers.” But to see the development of Caribbean churches simply through the prism of racism
Bishop Derek Webley
Dr Cheron Byfield
Ian Bradley, Believing Britain: The Spiritual Identity of ‘Britishness’, London, I.B. Tauris: 2007 p.198. 4 HO 213/244, J. Murray et al. to Prime Minister, 22 June 1948. 3
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
would be to offer a mono-causual explanation. Indeed, leaders like Philip Mohabir (founder of the West Indian Evangelical Alliance) and Bishop Dunn (leader of the First United Church of Jesus Christ, Apostolic) and others came to the UK as missionaries. As a leading Caribbean church in the UK, the NTCG has a remarkable history. It was started by its pioneering Bishop and first General Overseer, Dr Oliver A Lyseight, in 1953. In a similar way, he recalls the early struggles for acceptance in the ‘Motherland’, when Caribbean Christians were ‘despised and made to feel unwelcome by some of the main-line churches’. However, he testifies to ‘a better way to overcome these trials, and that was through the power of God’. One of the major successes of the post-Windrush era is, undoubtedly, the growth and development of African and Caribbean churches. In London alone, 48% of churchgoers in 2012 were Black Christians. In the year of its Diamond Jubilee in 2013,
Pastor Esme Beswick, MBE
Angela Sarkis CBE
NTCG had 230 credentialled ministers; 108 pastors and administrators; 120 congregations and missions; 11,000 registered members; around 40,000 adherents, and an annual turnover of £11 million. Caribbean Christian leaders, like Joel Edwards, Nezlin Sterling, Eric Brown (first Pentecostal President of CTE), Angela Sarkis, Esme Beswick and Joe Aldred, have had prominent positions in national organisations, like the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), Churches Together in England (CTE), Evangelical Alliance (EA) and the Church Urban Fund (CUF). Caribbean Christian leaders (too many to mention), including Rev Les Isaac (Street Pastors), Dr Cheron Byfield and Rev Stephen Brooks (Excell3 and Black Boys Can), Rev Phyllis Thompson (NTCG Leadership Centre), Rev Carmel Jones (founder of the Pentecostal Credit Union), Herman and Janet Allen (Hopewell School), Marcia Dixon (journalist commenting on the Black Church in Britain for over three decades) and Bishop Derek
Bishop Dr Joe Aldred
Webley (West Midlands Police Authority), have all made significant contributions to the Church and wider society. And what about the future of Caribbean churches in Britain? Although we often hear a great deal about the ‘decline’ of church attendance in the UK, the Caribbean-led churches will continue to offer spiritual succour and practical support to its members and to society. Some, of course, will migrate to the African independent congregations that are flourishing in Britain. All churches face the challenges of ‘postmodernism’ and will have to find better ways to communicate the Gospel, especially to young people. But, as we look back over the last seventy years, there will be echoes of praise and testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the knowledge that ‘He has brought us from a mighty long way’. Dr. R. David Muir: Senior Lecturer in Public Theology at Roehampton University and Co-Chair of the National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF).
Rev Les Isaac OBE
Rev Joel Edwards
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
The future of a multicultural Britain BY ROMARIO MCCALLA ST LUCE
The future of a multicultural Britain, as a young Black Caribbean man in a post Brexit world is indeed a minefield of uncertainty, with few safe zones to occupy and even less routes for progression and “social mobility”. Truthfully, I wonder just how bad the entrenched racism that plagues our institutions, society, economic and otherwise, will be exacerbated by the xenophobic thrust that has brought about Brexit. The murder of MP Jo cox by a white supremacist just before our vote on EU membership, coupled with the rise of hate crimes then and since is indicative of things to come. I ask that if a white MP can be murdered by a White Supremacist, then Black and Asian MPs who face a barrage of abhorrent abuse such as Dianne Abbot, must be protected by society. The brazen upsurge of a rhetoric of ‘otherness’ will be new and shocking to some, though unsurprising to the Windrush generation and their descendants. We must question why 70% of African-Caribbean boys in London left school with fewer than five or more GCSEs at the top grades of A* - C or equivalent as revealed by the Guardian. Why are we the least likely of any group to have a degree? Over represented in prisons, more than 10 times likely to be stopped and searched and when some of us, such as myself defy the statistics are then discriminated in hiring practices and pay?
Racial capitalism and the illusion of inclusion, where people who buck the trend are exceptions that prove the rule is the status quo. It is my hope that Britain renews its drive for the principles of equity and true justice, where the system will allow all its dispossessed to fulfil their human potential and aspire to be what they will.
ROMARIO MCCALLA ST LUCE At the time of writing this I just turned 24! I am a recent graduate having read Politics & History at Brunel University London. Based in Harlesden North-West London, which is an area with a deep-rooted Afro-Caribbean community. I wrote my dissertation thesis on the history of our peoples’ relation to the British state - “A Social and Political analysis of Caribbean migration to Britain c.1948-1965”, which was a fulfilling project marked by many challenging and exciting revelations, marking the first in what will be a lifelong endeavour to honour the strength of legacy that the Windrush generation gifted to us and undoubtedly the nation at large. My grandparents emigrated to the metropole, from the islands of Jamaica and St Lucia in the 1950s and 1960s for which I and we all owe a great deal.
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COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
Windrush – The boat that carried so many hopes, pain B Y S C R AT C H Y L U S 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
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
g n tin oo ui s cr les Re ro e or
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
WINDRUSH: SONGS IN A STRANGE LAND
The British Library will commemorate the occasion with a free exhibition Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land, which will run from 1 June to 21 October 2018 2018 marks 70 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks on 21 June 1948 carrying hundreds of Caribbean migrants to their so-called ‘mother country’. The British Library will commemorate the occasion with a free exhibition Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land, which will run from 1 June to 21 October 2018. We have delved into our collections to uncover never-before-seen items which offer a different perspective on the Windrush story, revealing the era of mass migration to Britain as part of a larger, end-of-Empire narrative. To understand the significance of 1948, we go back in time searching for the deeper truths about why people came to Britain. From slavery to indentureship, from the labour rebellions of the 1930s to the participation of West Indian soldiers in WWII, the exhibition explores the historical forces that pre-disposed people to leave the Caribbean. Those that arrived in Britain in the late 1940s were met with mixed responses from the British press, with some headlines welcoming the ‘sons of Empire’ while others spread racist fears of a deluge of black migrants. Seventy years on, we expose the Caribbean voices behind the headlines through sound recordings, diaries and letters, through literature, protest and activism. Why did they come? What did they leave behind? And how did they shape Britain? Songs in a Strange Land explores the creativity, tenacity, and beauty of Caribbean culture. It asks how, in spite of all circumstances, one sings a song of freedom. On display will be items telling the story of first-generation migrants who came to Britain throughout the 20th century, alongside historical records of resistance to colonial oppression. Learn about Trinidadian J J Thomas’s scathing rebuttal of English colonialism. Read the feminist poetry of Una Marson, who became the first black woman employed by the BBC. See the manuscripts of Andrea Levy’s novel Small Island and Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us. And listen to the sounds of the Caribbean, from jazz and calypso to the speeches of Marcus Garvey and personal reflections from some of the first Caribbean nurses to join the NHS. There will be a full programme of events to accompany the exhibition. Join us for Professor Sir Hilary Beckles’ keynote lecture British Trade in Black Labour: The Windrush Middle Passage on 15 June. Hear poetry and readings inspired by the lives of female writers from the Windrush era in Windrush Women on 25 June, in association with Wasafiri magazine. And keep an eye on our website to see the full line-up as it is announced, from stand-up comedy to in-depth discussions and family days.
Songs in a Strange Land is curated by Dr Elizabeth Cooper and Zoë Wilcox with Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations, and an advisory group of experts including representatives from the Windrush Foundation and the Runnymede Trust. It is supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies. Pictured are exhibition co-curators Dr Elizabeth Cooper (left) and Zoë Wilcox (right) of the British Library, together with advisor Colin Prescod. Dr Elizabeth Cooper is Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Collections at the British Library. Her research and writing focuses on the inter-related histories of slavery, race and capitalism, popular culture and politics in the Atlantic World - from the 18th through the 20th century. Zoë Wilcox is Curator of Contemporary Archives and Manuscripts at the British Library where she works with literary and theatrical collections from the mid 20th century onwards, including the archives of Caribbean writers Andrew Salkey, James Berry and Shiva Naipaul which will all feature in Songs in a Strange Land. Colin Prescod is Chair of the Council of the Institute of Race Relations and a member of the Editorial Working Committee of the journal Race and Class. He was an advisor to the Guildhall Art Gallery exhibition No Colour Bar – Black British Art in Action (2015/2016), the Atlantic Worlds exhibition at the National Maritime Museum and the London, Sugar and Slavery permanent galleries at the Museum of London (2007).
The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB www.bl.uk/
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
How will you mark Windrush 70? By: Lynda-Louise Burrell Founder and Creative Director of Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum
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We are Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum. We’re a museum without walls in all senses and take Caribbean heritage and culture out on the road to share with all communities in a variety of ways – from exhibitions and events, to talks, workshops and experiential activities. We’ve created an edible exhibition to takeaway. Presented Windrush memorabilia in suitcases. Brought Nine Nights to life on film. Took 52 genres of black music (and counting) to a mainstream music festival. And those are just a few of the things we’ve done. We also work with other people, to champion Caribbean heritage and culture past and present, from national organisations to local communities. For example, we’re involved in the British Library celebrations for the 70th Windrush Anniversary, as well as BBC Radio 1 Extra. We’ve got plenty planned for Windrush 70 of course, from an exhibition exploring black dolls, toys and games, to a book capturing Windrush journeys, and the voices of those who made them. We believe everyone should understand, question, celebrate and have access to their cultural heritage, which is why we collect, preserve and share Caribbean heritage and culture and support others to do the same. Why not get involved with the museum and tell your story or donate/ loan something – as a way of marking Windrush 70? We ask everyone who contributes to write 100 words about themselves or the item they’re giving us – to collect and record our shared social history. You’re welcome to donate anything that relates to Caribbean heritage and culture, including objects, photos, letters and memorabilia like posters. History and heritage isn’t only found in the pages of a book, it’s about our lives, the things we do every day, the objects we use and treasure, the traditions and values we hold dear and the stories we tell. Looking at our past is important for the future of Caribbean people. We are, and always have been, talented, strong and resilient, and if we act as a collective, then the sky and seas can’t hold us back. We hope Museumand will help bring our shared Caribbean consciousness to life – celebrating the limitless, dynamic and tenacious nature of what it means to be Caribbean – now and throughout history. If we’ve inspired your curiosity and you’d like to find out more please feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. T: 0746 918 9550 E: Lynda@museumand.org www.museumand.org Follow @museumand on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Reflections as a child of Windrush Generation I was aged 16 when I arrived in Britain a few years after my parents and 12 years after the Empire Windrush docked with the first wave of Caribbean immigrants. If the 16 year old Maxie Hayles arrived in Birmingham today, he would certainly have a culture shock, but he would find himself in a much better environment for Caribbean people than existed in 1960. Back then, Birmingham was a city of factories and fog, with people eating their chips out of newspapers. There was rampant racism, inequality and routine police harassment. There were no protections: no Race Relations Act, no Equal Opportunities Act. In short, Britain invited Caribbean immigrants to help rebuild it in the post-war era, but made no basic preparations. I vividly recall seeing ‘No dogs, blacks or Irish’ on the doors of so-called guest houses. Along with our Irish brethren, we had the social status of dogs. There was no right to public housing and the Race Relations Act of 1965 failed to address this. Although we were invited to help rebuild the country, only menial tasks such as labouring and cleaning was available to black people. We often had line up on a daily basis for factory work. If we did get selected, more racism awaited us on the job. Apprenticeships were not for us; they were strictly the preserve of the local white population. This environment inevitably stifled any upward social and economic mobility, and still exists to a great extent. How many senior politicians, judges etc. in this country are black? These days there is a lot of debate about disproportionate police use of stop and search powers against young black youths, but this is nothing new. I remember being stopped six times on one night between West Bromwich and Handsworth. We encountered racism and injustices on a daily basis, and we dealt with it by whatever means necessary. That usually meant moving around in
groups – safety in numbers – carrying knives for our own protection because the police wouldn’t protect us. In spite of this adversity, we remained resilient. We were barred from pubs and clubs, so we created our own entertainment – Blues Parties, Cheveens and so on with old ‘Blue-Spot’ record players. Black people were unwelcome in mainstream churches, so we created our own. From small beginnings in Pastors’ living rooms, these grew over time to become well established, and well attended black churches. A landmark event was the visit of Malcolm X to Smethwick in 1965, but this was countered in 1968 by Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in Birmingham. The 1970’s was the worst period for black people in this country, many of whom were now second generation immigrants. Between 1971 and 1981, 31 murders of black or Asian people were not investigated. Change was slow. The Race Relations Act was amended in 1968, making it illegal to refuse housing, employment or public services on the base of race or colour. Some changes had to be forced through. After the New Cross fire, when 13 young people died at a house party, 20,000 people marched on Downing Street to demand change, chanting “Nothing Said, Nothing Done”. The uprisings of 1981 that started in Brixton and extended to Birmingham and other cities led to the Scarman Report. Despite its recommendations, little improved until the further uprising in 1985. Michael Heseltine advised Margaret Thatcher to create a black middle class. Access courses were created in places like Bournville College, which led to jobs at the sharp end like Social Work, Youth Work and Probation. All important jobs, but the scheme was just an exercise in social control. There were no opportunities in high-level professions like Law, Medicine and Engineering. Since the 1980’s there have been less overt, but still effective activities. Protests, marches and demonstrations were arranged in Birmingham
to tackle racism, and various support groups were set up. Despite the organiser’s opposition, the Stephen Lawrence enquiry, by Sir William McPherson, held hearings in Birmingham to investigate police racism. Today there are black actors, musicians and comedians on the world stage who hail from Birmingham, so we have come a long way, but there is still much to do.
Maxie Hayles arrived in Britain from Jamaica at the beginning of the 1960s, and has lived in Birmingham almost continuously since then. From the start he made a stand against the racism he experienced, becoming a leading campaigner, organiser, community leader and, more recently, commentator. He worked as a senior practitioner at St Basil’s Centre, a housing association for homeless young people. He was chairman of the Sandwell African Caribbean Forum housing project and the Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit. He also has strong national links. In 1997 and 2000 he went to Geneva to speak at the Committee for the Eradication of all forms of Discrimination. He has received numerous awards for his activities, including the Active Community Award 2000, presented by Tony Blair, and The 1990 Trust Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In 1998, Maxie was instrumental in persuading the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry to come to Birmingham.
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WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Future direction and perspectives of Britain in a post Brexit world. Shaping the Brexit Britain from our shared recent past BY TAJINDER GILL
rexit has highlighted that Britain is a divided nation. Having voted Remain, I was shocked and saddened by a minority of powerful metro-elite pro-EU supporters who have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the result. It was their vitriol against working class voters that has led me to rethink many of my previously held assumptions. It was the direct attack on “uninformed” voters that provoked my soul-searching. I know who they meant, it was poor white Britons. But what they had failed to take into account is that many firstgeneration immigrants would also fit in that category. People like my parents who came here to work in the steel works and textile factories. The obvious course of action would have been to point this out, but I already knew the response would be “of course I don’t mean your parents”. This is a response I might have accepted 10-15 years ago as a recent graduate making my way in New Labour’s promised “we are all middle class now” Britain. What had changed for me in that time was my experiences as a teacher in Birmingham, London and Leicester, where I served the Pakistani Muslim, Black African-Caribbean and White working-class communities. My decision to become a teacher had been the result of one factor alone: I wanted children from disadvantaged backgrounds like mine to succeed. Just before Thatcher’s election, my parents had bought a house on the edge of middle class suburb in Leicester, under the mistaken belief that their jobs were secure. The intake in my state school was a microcosm of British society: multicultural, racially mixed and with children from both working and middle-class backgrounds. Thus, the scene was set for a childhood divided – a home life dominated by the harsh realities of deindustrialisation dealt to the working class and an educational experience that gave me every opportunity in life. Yet it was what I took for granted that now seems remarkable. The Leicester I grew up in was one where I and the people I knew were free of
racism. Racism existed as a few bad experiences that my parents had faced in their early days in the country and a moral bad that did happen but occurred elsewhere to other people. Leicester’s initial hostility to immigrants and brief flirtation with the National Front in 1974 subsided as quickly as it had arisen, giving way to a city at ease with a range of different cultures. This was no accident either. People in the city had looked at London and other cities where racial tensions were high and tried their best to take a different approach so that they could avoid descending into rioting and worse. To their credit they have so far succeeded. The penny dropped for me over this last Christmas: Leicester was a city dominated by the industrial working class and how they behaved to each other in their factories all day spilled into our everyday interactions. Ours is a society based on treating each other as human beings, joining in each other’s festivities as much or as little as we wish and acting in a reasonable, reciprocal manner. As young people we usually assume that the world we live in basically reflects that of the rest of the country we live in. It’s an easy mistake to make and it’s only by interacting with others and the wider world that one can gain greater knowledge and make the revisions to one’s thinking that are necessary. My time in Brixton was a reality check which showed me that racialised thinking and race politics, that I had assumed was a thing of the past, did still exist in the present in the hearts and minds of different communities. Moving back to Leicester was a secondary reality check. The areas seemed more segregated than the ones I had grown up in, as were the schools I taught in. But my experience of being back predominantly among the workingclass communities of Leicester made me realise that for us “more in common” is not just a hashtag to be tweeted out. If the current crop of identitarians are to be believed, there is no escape from our collective colonial and racial past. Yet both my childhood
and adult life in Leicester shows that not only is this possible, it is necessary if we are to move forward together as a nation. To that end I support the teaching of British values in schools as a means of exploring our past and present honestly and openly, looking at what we can learn from when Britain has met those values and when it has not. This would enable us to place our ancestors’ experiences during slavery and colonialism as part of a wider British history. My parents’ choice to move to Britain cannot be understood through the prism of race which caricatures them as mere victims and cuts out their positive experiences in this country. During the EU referendum campaign, it became clearer to me that there were vast differences in opinions within each of the communities. We need to better reflect these divergent ideas. While a simple multicultural model may have worked in the past, it cannot explain the multiplicity of experiences that exist within our society. My parents’ story can be told in many ways but to me they are part of the last generation to have understood and experienced being part of the industrial working class as a mass movement and as the bedrock of British society. It was in finding their common focus on family, neighbourhood, duty and sacrifice that the factory workers in Leicester were able to unlock the way to coexist through all these decades. I have come to embrace the opportunity that Brexit will give us culturally to renew our nation, ourselves as people and it is for us who have lived the most peacefully together to step up and help shape the way ahead.
Patrick Vernon OBE launches storytelling board game to celebrate 70 years of the Windrush Generation. Every Generation Game: Windrush Edition is a storytelling board game designed to keep the experiences and stories of the Windrush Generation alive. It encourages families, friends and communities to share their heritage, history, identity and culture by telling stories. The game celebrates the 70th anniversary of the MV Empire Windrush arriving in the UK and enables generations young and old to share their stories. As a result of migration and the changing of diversity of Britain, people’s personal and family history are interconnected to world and national events. The game is a fun way for everyone, irrespective of age, ethnicity and identity, to learn, share and reminisce about the social, economic and political change in Britain over the last 100 years. The game was developed by Patrick Vernon OBE, family historian, founder of Every Generation Media and Windrush Generation campaigner, in partnership with educational games specialist Focus Games Ltd. “I hope that the Windrush Game will raise awareness of the Windrush Generation and also the migration history of Britain to help ensure that everyone’s stories can be shared and remembered.” Patrick Vernon OBE “As firm believers in the power of board games to encourage group learning, we think this game is a wonderful way to ensure the history and stories of the Windrush Generation aren’t lost. It will help younger generations to understand how the Windrush Generation helped shape Britain.” Melvin Bell, Director & Co Founder, Focus Games. The game encourages players to share their
EVERY GENERATION GAME:
N IO IT D E H S U R D IN W
personal stories and use their imagination to invent stories sparked by picture cards and historical timelines provided in the game. These pictures and timelines illustrate key historical moments, highlighting the contributions of migrants to the development of multicultural Britain from 1900 to the present day. Players can also add their own photographs to personalise the game, creating a unique and special opportunity to share family history and stories. The game encourages players to reminisce about the past and to explore and preserve individual and family histories through storytelling. It is a great way to: • • • • •
Share and preserve memories with family and friends Understand your family history Maintain identity and heritage Integrate past, present and future Understand other people’s history and heritage
Every Generation Game: Windrush Edition can be played at home, in schools, at community events, at work and by older people being cared for. It is especially useful as an educational resource to
inspire learning about heritage, family and social history and the development of multicultural Britain. 20% of proceeds will go to The Windrush Justice Fund. For more information and to buy a copy of the game visit www.windrushgame.co.uk Price £39.99 Follow the game on Twitter @TheWindrushGame Contact Focus Games at email@example.com
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
A TRIBUTE TO
Mrs Constance Nembhard
who began teaching in Jamaica in 1947 and arrived in England in 1956 continuing her career here WRITTEN BY ERROL CHARLES
My relationship with Mrs Nembhard goes back over 40 years. She was my Primary school teacher in my adolescent years. She taught me and my fellow class mates for four consecutive years, from the age of 7 to 11. Her teaching style was unique. It was one of a strict Caribbean nature yet filled with a heavy dose of compassion and love. Mrs Nembhard took her job seriously and went beyond the call of duty, as her role was not just one of a teacher but one of a mother to many of us in her class. She had a strength of character that exuded and inspired confidence, dignity and expectations of excellence.
She expected only the best from her students and would not tolerate any substandard efforts or work from any of us – she was a true matriarch. My recollection of her back in the 70’s was one of a powerful woman who had high standards and set the bar high for her students to ensure that they achieved to the best of their abilities. This is demonstrated by the fact that our class, that she taught from 1977-1981, achieved the highest 11 plus exams in the borough of Westminster (at the time) and in the history of St Luke’s school. I am sure this factor influenced many of the pupils in her class to achieve what they have today. Call it intuition or instinct on my part but from a very young age I found Mrs Nembhard to be a blessing for one key reason, growing up in the seventies, having a black teacher was unheard of and it was something that resonated with me. Mrs Nembhard was able to appeal to the better nature of our class, which was predominantly black (only 8 of the 32 pupils were non-black).
‘She had a strength of character that exuded and inspired confidence, dignity and expectations of excellence.’
It was only in my later life, through my friendship with her that I was able to fully appreciate the true blessing she was to me and my class. One day she explained to me how her teaching our class came about. She explained to me that she had been requested by the Headmistress of the school to settle our class after our previous teacher had resigned as he could not cope with us and believed that we were a disruptive bunch of children and out of control. She further explained that once she took us under her wing there was nothing at all wrong with the class – she realised that we were viewed as disruptive and out of control because of our cultural differences, which the school had never experienced before, as our class was the first predominantly black class that the school had encountered. The information that she imparted to me only cemented the fact that she was truly a blessing in our lives at that early stage and how things could have turned out so differently for all of us, had we not have had the privilege of being taught and influenced by this wonderful lady. Many have questioned why I have kept in touch with my primary school teacher all these years. The simple answer is this, when you are fortunate to encounter a special blessing in your life you must always be thankful and show appreciation. Mrs Nembhard was indeed a blessing to us all at St Luke’s and to me throughout my life and I thank her for that. Quotes from Mrs Nembhard’s experiences as a professional woman in England in the early days following Windrush can be found in the Oxford History of the British Empire series and “Imagining Home” By Wendy Webster.
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
STORY • BY SOPHIE HENDERSON •
The arrival of the Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 has come to symbolise the dawning of a new age of post-war migration to Britain. The collective significance of the experiences of the 500 or so passengers who disembarked onto the docks at Tilbury that day – and of those who subsequently arrived by boat and by plane from across the fragmenting British Empire – in overcoming challenges, discrimination, and in many cases overt racism, to start new lives, build and enrich communities and contribute to the social, cultural and political fabric of the nation is difficult to overstate. Individually, everyone who arrived has their own story and their own set of memories and experiences. At the Migration Museum Project, we provide a forum for people to share these stories and memories. One story that particularly resonates is that of Norma Seale-McConnie, who arrived in Britain from Barbados 10 years after Windrush. “I left Barbados in 1958 on the Surriento, an Italian migrant passenger liner,’” she told us. “As I was boarding the ship, my grandmother gave me an embroidered handkerchief with something wrapped inside. She told me not to open it until I arrived in the mother country. I opened the little bundle on the train to Victoria and found this penny inside. I laughed because she had said to me that I would always have money! I’ve kept it in my purse ever since then.” Norma loaned us the penny for an exhibition we first staged in 2015 called Keepsakes, a display of personal items that keep memories of migration and identity alive. When we displayed it at the Southbank Centre, it was the first time that the penny had left her possession in 58 years. Norma’s story – and those of others who arrived in Britain from the Caribbean and other parts of the former British Empire post-WWII – are vital and poignant. But they are just one chapter – albeit an extremely significant one – in a much longer story. Migration often tends to be cast in recent or contemporary terms. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Robert Winder, one of our trustees, wrote in his book Bloody Foreigners:
Norma Seale-McConnie who was given a 1946 good luck penny wrapped in an embroidered handkerchief by her grandmother as she boarded the Surriento in Barbados on her way to the UK in 1958. She was told not to open it until she landed on British soil. It had never been out of her keeping until she loaned to to the Migration Museum for an exhibition in 2017. © Migration Museum Project
The Story of Immigration to Britain: “Ever since the first Jute, the first Saxon, the first Roman and the first Dane leaped off their boats and planted their feet on British mud, we have been a [migrant] nation.” There’s a great and complicated underlying story of comings and goings that goes back for thousands of years: if you peel back the layers of anybody’s family history in Britain, you find a migration story – whether immigration, emigration, or both. As recent scholarship and archaeological discoveries have revealed, Britain has been a multi-ethnic country for thousands of years. There is no simple narrative, and certainly no simplistic conclusions to be drawn. But if we understood Britain’s migration history better, we would have a better understanding of who we are today – as individuals and as a nation. This is why myself, backed by a skilled and dedicated team of staff, trustees and supporters, have been working for the past five years to create a national Migration Museum for Britain. The UK has one of the best cultural sectors in the world, but while we have thousands of museums dedicated to all manner of themes – from aerospace to golf, pencils to stained glass – we lack a cultural space devoted to conveying the importance of migration in the narrative of this country. This seems a strange and potentially damaging omission – and increasingly behind the times given that countries from Brazil to Australia, Denmark to the USA, all have museums dedicated to exploring migration themes. There are many possible reasons for our lack of engagement with our migration heritage, not least anxiety about opening up discussion and debate on a potentially charged and challenging topic. But what seems clear to me, my colleagues at the Migration Museum Project and to the thousands of people from a wide range of
professional and political backgrounds who have pledged their support for our museum is that, with migration at the centre of current debates around Brexit and identity, there has scarcely been a more important time for a dedicated national cultural institution exploring the central role that migration has played in shaping who we are today – as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. We have staged exhibitions, events and education workshops exploring migration themes at venues across Britain since 2013, attended by more than 150,000 visitors and over 5,000 school children. In April 2017, we opened the Migration Museum at The Workshop in Lambeth, south London – a temporary museum in which we have staged a varied series of engaging and acclaimed exhibitions, events and education workshops, enabling us to build and engage audiences, grow links with community groups and schools, and gather feedback about what people would like to see in our permanent museum. We have recently been offered a potential permanent venue for our museum from 2022 onwards, as part of redevelopment plans for a site opposite London Bridge station, currently being considered by Southwark Council. The proposed site would be an ideal venue for a national Migration Museum, situated in one of London’s oldest and most diverse boroughs, a focal point for arrivals and departures for thousands of years, opposite one of its busiest railway stations, and next door to Guy’s Hospital, part of our cherished National Health Service to which arrivals from the Caribbean and beyond have always made such an integral contribution. We are still finalising plans for what precisely will be in our permanent museum. But one thing we are certain of is that personal stories, memories and experiences like Norma’s will always be at the
heart of what we do. So much of the contemporary public and political discourse on migration focuses on numbers, policies and cost-benefit analyses. Yet, at root, migration is about people. A permanent national migration museum will ultimately be a fitting venue to tell their stories, and to explore and give importance to this vital theme that connects us all.
Sophie Henderson was a barrister for many years, practising from Tooks Court, Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, where she specialised in immigration and human rights law. She was also a judge of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and chaired appeals for the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. For the past few years she has been a passionate advocate for the need for a new Migration Museum for Britain. She has led the Migration Museum Project since 2011, taking the organisation from voluntary to funded status and making real progress towards the establishment of a significant new cultural institution that puts Britain’s migration story right where it belongs, at the heart of the national consciousness.
WINDRUSH TO BREXIT The legacy of migration to the future of the UK migrants
As the Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN), we daily confront the brutal legacy of Britain’s delusional ideas of its courage in shouldering the burden of Empire. We also confront its ideas for being a just and open society, as they continue to play out its racialized immigration discourse and policy. Brexit Britain is currently seeking to define its new global role and identity, one where it has turned its’ back on its white neighbours, and is now trooping cap in hand to its former colonies begging for new trade deals, whilst simultaneously unleashing a wave of racism and xenophobia that abuses the children and grandchildren of both. As Britain prepares to craft a new myth by memorialising the arrival of the Empire Windrush as the beginning of the long slow death of the white working class, it chooses to forget its much longer history of migration, the African soldiers who patrolled Hadrian’s Wall, or the Indian sailors, servants and nannies that accompanied the East India Company, and the British families returning from India. Since 1907 when the UK first introduced immigration controls, to keep out the Jew’s fleeing the pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe and later from Nazi Germany, the British state, loyally served by its’ media barons, has proved adept at fermenting the moral panics needed to justify draconian immigration controls. But it was post Windrush with the need to differentiate between the old (white) and new (Black) Commonwealth that UK immigration policy and discourse became inherently racialized. Since then, the British state has relentlessly stoked a moral panic of anti-immigrant hysteria through a series of pledges to cut immigration numbers whilst maintaining its myth of fair play
by offering to balance racist immigration controls that work, with anti-discrimination legislation that doesn’t. But why should we seek to protect immigrants from discrimination, when the prospect of any new immigrant is such a threat to “us” that their numbers, and what they have access to is so strictly controlled. My friend, neighbour or colleague maybe fine, but I need to make sure that all the other potential threats are properly controlled. So I need the schools to check which ethnic’s are migrants, refugee, or Muslim threats. I need landlords to check, I need the NHS to check, the Bank Manager, the DVLA to check, so let’s co-opt the whole of civil society as agents of immigration enforcement to protect me from this enemy within and without. And let’s have no truck with human rights and civil liberties whingers, whilst we’re about it. Welcome to the ‘hostile environment’. Descendants of the post Windrush migrations, who after decades of living in the UK, paying taxes, working hard, obeying the laws, raising through the ranks of the professions and redefining cultural expression, thought their Britishness would make them acceptable. But suddenly they find themselves facing even more restrictive and racist immigration policies, and living in the ‘hostile environment’ they thought was being built for “others”. They are seeing people, like Renford Mcintyre, originally from Jamaica who arrived to join his parents at the age of 14, and 50 years later, discovering he was no longer British, but an immigrant without legal status despite showing evidence of paying national insurance for 35 years. They are watching as friends and loved ones are detained in immigration centres, thrown out of their homes, and left to die like dogs from terminal cancer because the NHS they have paid taxes for refuses to treat them. Organisations such as MRN have long understood the nexus of immigration control and institutional racism played out in Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ that emboldens the
resurgent neo-fascists of the alt-right. “We are here because you were there”. New circuits of imperialism, designed in the west to serve the west, displace migrants and refugees and land them on Europe’s shores as so much flotsam and jetsam and give rise to new “racisms” and modes of state repression to manage the new comers and guarantee their exploitability. This is why MRN campaigns for the rights of all migrants. Not just some migrants, not just the good immigrant, not just the European immigrant, not just the highly skilled immigrant, or just the vulnerable refugee - but ALL immigrants. Everyone who crosses state borders to live their life, for whatever reason, for whatever period of time, must maintain their fundamental human rights and dignity. In doing so we are demanding the UK and the EU stand true to the tenants of their own convention. As Britain prepares to show the EU what a ‘hostile environment’ means for its citizens, we intend to advocate for every EU migrant’s rights in the UK as vigorously as the rights of any migrant or refugee in Calais. In doing so we will demand that civil society institutions in the UK recognise that there can be human rights campaign, no anti-racist struggle, no workers movement, no women’s movement, no green or LGBT+ movement anymore, that does not place the migrant at the heart of its struggle. Come and join us!
The Migrants’ Rights Network is a policy and advocacy organisation working for the rights of all migrants. www.migrantsrights.org.uk twitter: migrants_rights Fizza Qureshi (Director) and Wayne Farah (Chair) of the Migrants’ Rights Network
LJMU | What’s been happening in the world of equality? NAVAJO MERSEYSIDE & CHESHIRE LGBTIQ CHARTERMARK AWARDS CEREMONY
ATHENA LECTURE SERIES WITH SAMIRA AHMED (BBC JOURNALIST)
On 17th May 2018 – LJMU hosted the seventh annual Navajo Merseyside & Cheshire LGBTIQ Chartermark Awards Ceremony, open to all that support the LGBTIQ+ Community.
On 28th March 2018 - LJMU presented its latest addition to the Athena Lecture Series and this year’s special guest was the award winning Samira Ahmed (BBC Journalist, Writer & Broadcaster).
This year’s event was held on IDAHO day itself and the theme was “Identities & Inequalities”. Navajo were fortunate to secure an array of fantastic speakers who took attendees on a journey of understanding and address the challenges faced in everyday life.
This year’s theme coincided with the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign “#PressforProgress”. With the recent national developments around gender equality, discrimination against women generally and intersectionality; this event aimed to debate these areas and promote successful career navigation, including Samira’s “top tips” for career progression.
LET’S TALK DISABILITY & MENTAL HEALTH On 18th April 2018 – LJMU held the Let’s Talk Disability & Mental Health Conference, which drew in an audience of approx. 300 delegates on a national level. This year’s theme was “Small Details Undermining Big Diversity Policies” and aimed to bring together experts in the field of disability equality, mental health and wellbeing to debate the key issues. Guest speakers included; Gregor Henderson (National Lead for Mental Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England), Prof. Val Williams (Professor of Disability Studies at University of Bristol), Rosie Tressler (CEO Student Minds), Ruth Gould (MBE, DL, Director of DaDaFest, Canon of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral), Prof. Geoff Layer (Vice Chancellor of University of Wolverhampton and Chair, Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group) and Francesca Martinez (Comedian, Speaker, Actress, Writer). Participants left with tangible solutions and ideas for change, as they work to promote inclusivity and respect for all. #LJMULetsTalkDisability @LJMUEquality
LJMU are committed to promoting equal opportunities for all those involved within the University communication.
#LJMUAthena #PressforProgress @LJMUEquality
COMING SOON - LJMU EQUALITY WORKSHOPS & EVENTS 26th Sep 2018 | Training for Managers of Staff with Disabilities & Long-Term Health Conditions Programme Aim: To offer LJMU Managers and Programme Leaders further support and guidance, in relation to; operating more confidently and effectively, whilst developing themselves and their staff/students positively. Delivered in partnership with coaching and mentoring specialists Result CIC and D/deaf arts organisation DaDaFest. Sep – Nov 2018 | From Strengths to Transformation Programme (ALL STAFF) Programme Aim: To offer LJMU Staff (those living with physical disabilities and long term illnesses including mental health conditions) further support and guidance, in relation to personal and professional development. Delivered in partnership with Result CIC. 26th Nov 2018 | Disability Conference: Arts, Activism and Action This event intends to further investigate the “hot topics” in the world of disability-equality including “intersectionality” and discover innovative, practical solutions for better supporting the disabled community, from across relating sectors. Delivered in partnership with DaDaFest and LJMU alumni and disability campaigner Miro Griffiths MBE.
QUESTIONS? Contact The LJMU Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org WANT TO WORK FOR LMJU?
Visit our website to see our current vacancies: www.ljmu.ac.uk/about-us/vacancies-at-ljmu
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WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Windrush >>>>> BY JOSHUA STREET
Windrush! A word that means so much to some and absolutely nothing to others. To the older generations above me, it’s what made “Britain Great” and to the younger generations, they think “it’s when the wind rushes at you” (and there’s absolutely no shame in not knowing). To those that don’t know, the HMT Empire Windrush (aka the MV Monte Rosa) brought the first wave of mass Caribbean migration to the UK after World War II, these people are referred to as the Windrush Generation. What is rarely told to the public (but known in the community) is that the main reason for the mass migration is because Britain was so damaged, broken and in need of repair after WWII that they had to depend on the help from the countries they colonised; inviting them to do the jobs that no-one else wanted to do such as cleaning, construction, nursing, manual labour, agriculture and more. This was achieved by marketing the UK as the land of “Milk and Honey” where the roads were “Paved with Gold” especially as the Caribbean was so pillaged, damaged and run down through said colonialism that it made the choice seemingly obvious. Regardless of the fact that the Caribbean Windrush migrants were invited to the UK, they were still subject to abuse, discrimination and racism as they were seen as nothing more than uninvited illegal immigrants, despite perceiving themselves to be citizens of empire. Never before in History has Britain urgently needed help like this, especially from a region that it perceived as “lesser” than itself. However this, as well as the contributions of people of colour
during the war, is widely overlooked in society, often avoided in history lessons and mysteriously absent during Remembrance Day and other WWII memorial events. On 22nd June 2017, the first ever memorial to Black Afro-Caribbean armed services personnel, the “Windrush Memorial” (WM), was unveiled in Brixton. When I first went to the memorial next to the “Black Cultural Archives”, I met a black veteran who spoke of how disgusting it was that every other community has a plaque in and around London, yet it took 70 years for this small amount of recognition. Worse still is its position and location which is afforded little respect from young skater boys who are often seen skating off the memorial when the gates are opened. To further prove the point, the animals of war have their own memorial plaque in the middle of Park Lane next to Hyde Park which was erected in 2004 (an incredible 13 years before the WM), but where then are the memorials for the black commonwealth contributors prior to the WM? This is not only disgraceful but also dangerous as we are on the verge of forgetting the contribution of our ancestors to history; many Black Britains, descendants of these people, as I mentioned previously, are unaware of what the Windrush actually is, it’s not too late as there is always
time to learn but we must act quickly. Throughout history, the feats and achievements of the black community have been constantly overlooked and disregarded (recently the British public was shocked being shown evidence confirming that the first Britain, known as the Cheddar Man, who was previously perceived to be white is black), so to progress as a people we need acknowledgement, not only from external forces privy to our community but our community itself. With the Windrush Generation still living amongst (including my own grandmother) it gives us the perfect opportunity to document, enjoy, archive, analyse, and learn from their experiences, lives and stories for future generations to use to strategize for the future. The Brexit vote has confirmed to various ethnic communities of what many already knew; the main reason the country voted to leave the EU was because of immigration and wanting to “protect the borders”, which in other words means keep Britain white and immigrant free. Many voted not out of economic reasons but for racial cleansing, keeping the borders up and other discriminatory reasons. I dare you to ask any Brexit voter their opinion on the pros and cons of the various issues including the Single Market or European Human Rights laws as many will be clueless and were led not by their minds, but their
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
hearts, through tactical unethical propaganda and scaremongering similar to the Windrush, which speaks volumes for Britain. On the week of the Brexit vote a young relative of mine was told to “Go back to African now we voted Brexit” on three separate occasions at school, no child should be told that, especially by another child, which shows that not much has changed regarding racism in schools through the generations. When looking at immigration today, compared to immigration during the Windrush Era, immigrants today although not invited to do so, still play a pivotal part of holding up the infrastructure of the UK in key jobs such as cleaning, construction, nursing, manual labour, agriculture and more (sounding familiar?). Filling many of the positions previously held by the Windrush Generation, due to this it is very clear to see why certain members of the community voted to leave in the Brexit vote. My biggest fear for Brexit internationally is that Britain will again rely on the “Commonwealth” they previously enslaved and colonised without supporting, repaying or acknowledging their contribution to Britain’s wealth and prosperity. I hope the countries in the current and former Commonwealth don’t fall for what can only be described as a new wave of Colonialism by taking lessons from the past and learning to negotiate on equal terms. By again relying on external support from the UK or accepting detrimental
trade deals for their nation will come at a cost to the countries progression, this could take the individual countries back decades as well as leaving those nation’s future generations “indebted” to Britain AGAIN!
Regarding Brexit nationally, I have no fear of racism and discrimination rising because it has never stopped! As a wise woman once told me, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” and history has already shown me the hand of those leaning on the right, the only difference between pre and post Brexit is that the cards are laid out on the table, plain for everyone to see. As the grandson of Windrush Caribbean migrants, I am proud of the contributions that our ancestors made in changing this country, we as a community need to embody the courage
and bravery of our ancestors to venture towards a brighter future for the community with their same spirit... ...as a “Black Britain” I have “no country to go back to” as this IS my country as my ancestors built up this land (unlike migrating communities today) and we will be acknowledged. As I put the final touches writing this article the nationally known “Brixton Market”, home of the bustling cultural hub for Afro-Caribbean goods and services since the Windrush era in the 1960’s (slowly killed off by “regeneration”), was just sold onto an Irish Property Tycoon on the 22nd Feb 2018. This symbolizes not only the death of Brixton, the historic cultural hub, but the ushering away of the Windrush Generation in London. This also shows how much this country truly appreciates the toil and hard work of our ancestors. So I turn to the community on the anniversary of the Windrush, coinciding with the rise of in-your-face racism from Brexit, alongside widespread gentrification removing the BME community from the cityscape; to demand and campaign for acknowledgement of the Afro-Caribbean contribution to Britain. Whilst it is important to campaign are we really going to wait for our community to be acknowledged? It is crucial that we acknowledge ourselves and teach the next generations about the collective experience so we can plan for tomorrow. Remember, as the next move is up to us.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Black LGBTQ histories, the Caribbean and Britain: the life of Patrick Nelson BY GEM MA RO MA IN I am a historian of Black Britain and the Caribbean, focusing on the histories and experiences of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities and individuals in British history. I am passionate about exploring and documenting histories which broaden our understanding of both what we consider Black British history and what we consider LGBTQ history. My recent research working in partnership with Dr Caroline Bressey at UCL has mainly focused on African, African-Caribbean and African-American people living in Britain before the ‘Windrush’. The life stories and experiences of these early twentieth century individuals need to be remembered, commemorated and contextualised within our understanding of modern British history. I have recently written the biography of a queer Black Jamaican man called Patrick Nelson who first migrated to Britain in the 1930s and who was one of the many Caribbean people who served in the Second World War in the British forces. His life experiences are both fascinating and important. His history also provides an example of a Caribbean person and the demands for independence; U.S. land leases in Jamaica; the who migrated to Britain both before and after the Second World War. importance of his Catholic faith; his sexual identity, love and romance; Leopold St. Patrick Nelson, known as Patrick, was born in Kingston in his love of art, film, and historical research. He returned to Britain for 1916 and grew up in Allman Town. As a young man he worked a short while in 1947 and then eventually re-migrated to London in Kingston’s growing tourist industry, which was one of in 1960. During this time (and perhaps before) he was the industries focused on in trade union protests against friends with another queer Black Jamaican man named ‘The life stories economic exploitation in the late 1930s Caribbean. Richie Riley, the co-founder of Les Ballet Nègres (1946) and experiences of these In 1937 Patrick migrated to Britain. He first moved who provided him with support and friendship early twentieth century to North Wales and then after a short return to towards the end of his life. Patrick Nelson died in individuals need to be Jamaica he travelled back to Britain in 1938 and London in 1963. remembered, commemorated Copyright – Gemma Romain settled in London. He worked as an artist model and contextualised within and began private law studies in anticipation of starting a law degree. In London he met his boyfriend our understanding of and subsequent life-long friend the Bloomsbury Group modern British Gemma Romain is an independent artist Duncan Grant. He also socialised with others within history.’ historian and curator specialising in queer artistic London circles such as Edward Le Bas. In early Caribbean and Black British history, with a 1940 Patrick Nelson joined the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps particular focus on archives and queer Black British and after his training in Caister was posted to France to serve with the histories. She has recently been awarded a 2018 British Expeditionary Force in the Second World War. He was injured Paul Mellon Centre Mid-Career Fellowship for her new project and captured by German forces during May 1940 and was imprisoned ‘Berto Pasuka and Queer Black British Art’. Her biography as a POW in a number of different Nazi Stalags and Frontstalags. Race, Sexuality and Identity in Britain and Jamaica: The Patrick was eventually released in September 1944, repatriated due Biography of Patrick Nelson, 1916-1963 (Bloomsbury to his health which had worsened during his captivity. After a period Academic, 2017) will be published in paperback in 2019. of recuperation, he returned to Jamaica in 1945 and worked again in To find out more, visit www.gemmaromain.com the hotel industry on various short-term contracts. In these post-war years he reflected on many subjects in his letters to Duncan – including colonial rule, exploitation and poverty in Jamaica; Jamaican politics
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
Jemmar Samuels As a Politics and Sociology student, the topics of multiculturalism in Britain and a post-Brexit world are reoccurring in my everyday life. On multicultural Britain, I was never too fond of multiculturalism, because if done incorrectly it allows for cultural appropriation. One of the downsides to being of Jamaican descent is everyone thinking they everything there is about Jamaica and attempting to” inform” and “correct” me. One fear of multicultural Britain post-Brexit is the forced dilution of culture. What I mean by this is the is people of colour and black people having to limit their cultural expression but also the clumping together of cultures. Because what tends to happen is that when different cultures come together, there are going to be ones which dominant. Brexit has raised the questions of, “What does it mean to be British?” and “Are you proud of your Britishness?”. I personally still have difficulty answering both, as I am aware, different people have differing definitions of British and Britishness. One fear is that racism and xenophobia attacks will continue to increase as Brexit for some reason has allowed many closed-minded people to think their views are now the mainstream. Another fear is that communities such as the Caribbean to minimise their cultural expression. We see how Notting Hill Carnival is reported negatively in the news or suggestions of ticketing or moving the event. Are these decisions being made by us even though they are for us?
One aspiration is that, leave voters to get, economically the Britain they envisioned. Yes, economic will be tied up with jobs and immigration but if Britain suffers, then we all suffer too. A second aspiration is for young people realising the importance of community organising, to be collectively aware of what going on. Brexit is unpredictable.
Jemmar Samuels is a 21-year-old Politics and Sociology student and activist from South London. She has a passion for tackling race and gender issues from an intersectional feminist perspective. She is passionate about celebrating and educating people about West Indian history and culture here in the United Kingdom and back home. She is an alumnus of The Advocacy Academy, a member of the Black Cultural Archives Youth Forum and currently represents Girl Guiding on the British Youth Council.
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
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
The Empire Windrush generation struggle for Black Education: Lesso A recent Voice newspaper article (11th February, 2018) reported the latest statistics from ‘The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service’ (Ucas) which show an increase in the number of black young people of African Caribbean background applying to University, particularly the Russell group institutions. These statistics are profoundly important to the Windrush legacy. First, they counter the discourse of black children educational underperformance and inferiority which has dominated the British education system over the last 60 years. Second, they are emblematic of the struggle to transform the education system through education initiatives which have their genesis in Black communities. For the Windrush generation education represented a site of struggle which reproduced inequity and a negative representation of “blackness”. The enduring inequalities experienced by black children in schools in England have been extensively documented. The literature shows that black students attain persistently lower outcomes at age 16 than their white peers. However, the literature indicate that black children commence their schooling with high ability and show themselves to be capable students but, as they get older, their achievements decline.
Black males’ educational underperformance is associated with their experience of the exclusion process. Thus, there is an overrepresentation of black males in the statistics of those excluded from school. It is noteworthy, that black students entered an education system 70 years ago that was biased by social class which was then infused with a racial bias. Essentially, mindful of a ‘rigged’ education system, black families and community sought transformative methods of intervention through the deployment of social and community capital. Black/Caribbean communities’ people have used resources, networks, strength and resilience to challenge and resist the portrayal of black young people as academic failures. This led black families to set up separate schooling, either in “Supplementary/Saturday schools or full-time schooling. These separate provisions, it was felt, would not only reinforce particular cultures, but could provide stringent academic standards. For instance, studies in this area, illustrate how students and parents recognise teachers as ‘gatekeepers’ to educational success – significant contributors in shaping students’ educational narrative. By drawing on black cultural capital, the black students subscribe to a ‘complex class
curriculum’, which requires ‘planning’ (with parents), ‘practising’ (at home or Saturday/Supplementary school) and ‘performing a set of styles that reflect racial and class background’. These components contribute to their success. Through these components the students use gestures of respect and punctuality, engage with teachers about their knowledge of black history (culture sharing) and demonstrate professionalism and partnership. These strategies of cultural capital offset teachers’
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
and the continuing sons to be learnt? racial stigmatisation in mainstream schools. Although black males school exclusion continues to plague the community, black students improved participation in further and higher education, clearly is, indicative of the historical legacy of strength and struggle inherited from the Windrush generation that has allowed Black people to be successful. However, structural inequalities persist for the grand/great grand children of Windrush generation in other spheres. Racial inequality in employment for black people and decreasing employment opportunities, normally referred to as the ‘ethnic penalty’, raises the question as to whether education will continue to exemplify aspiration, resistance , empowerment and transformation for the post Windrush community. The persistent ‘ethnic penalty’ encountered by British black and ethnic minority within the employment market has continued to be reported by a plethora of bodies, namely British parliamentary committees (i.e Department for Work and Pensions), the Equality and Human Rights Commission, leading think
thanks (i.e the Runneymede Trust), Trade unions (i.e Trade Union Council) and so forth. The ‘ethnic penalty’ concerns the barriers to opportunities and discrimination experienced by groups of people due to their race and ethnicity. Within this context of barriers to black and ethnic minorities and employment opportunities there is the question of the plight of British black and ethnic minority young people. According to a recent report by the UK’s, Parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee (1) “There are stark differences in youth unemployment by ethnic group. In the year to June 2016, the unemployment rate among 16-24 year olds was 30% for black people...” While unemployment rates falls substantially with age for all ethnicities, the relative positions of the groups largely persist (2017, p11)”. So, what are the lessons yet to be learnt? We must continue the struggle for improved educational performance for black children, which began with Windrush generation. In addition the ‘ethnic penalty’ post education needs challenging. We have much to do.
Professor Cecile Wright, Professor of Sociology, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Advanced Studies/Honorary lecturer, School of Sociology and Social Work University of Nottingham and Professorial Fellow, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. Her research and teaching interest include: youth, race, social inclusion and ethno-cultural diversity in intersection with other markers of social location, such as gender, class, age, alongside complex outcomes (both individual and social structural) that such intersections can entail. Has extensive experience of conducting research project and project evaluation and has published many books book chapters and articles .
RELAUNCH OF 100 GREAT BLACK BRITONS CAMPAIGN 14 years after its initial launch of 100 Great Black Britons when in 2004 Mary Seacole was voted the Greatest Black Briton of all time Every Generation Media in partnership with Sugar Media Marketing Limited are relaunching 100 Great Black Britons in 2019. The original campaign was in response to the BBC 100 Britons campaign in 2002 where the public voted for Winston Churchill. The 100 Great Black Britons was inspired by the non-existence of any one of African descent on the BBC campaign despite the fact there has been a black presence for over a 1000 years. Freddie Mercury was the only person of colour on the original list BBC list. Over the last decade there has increasing demand for a follow campaign and list but in many ways, it is in the wake of Brexit that 100 Great Black Britons is even more important than ever to ensure the continued legacy and achievement of Black people in Britain. Also during this time periods academics and independent scholars have discovered new historical figures and there has been new role models and icons since 2004. The campaign also provides an opportunity for reassessment and reflection what makes a Great Black Briton and how do we recognise unsung heroes who may not have the profile and the coverage about their impact and legacy? We believe the new campaign has the potential to further educate, inform and influence the contribution of Black people in Britain and inspire a new generation of role models and achievers.
BY PATRICK VERNON
Open letter to Black LGBT people in Britain and beyond ahead of UK Black Pride 2018
n any given day, we experience any number of microaggressions. You’re a little brown boy in Birmingham who doesn’t walk like the other boys. You’re a Black woman in a workplace in London being told to ‘calm down’ as you do your job. You’re an older Black man in Bradford walking into a bar and getting a look you know so well, the one that says, ‘Why are you here?’ You’re an Arab-looking man with a beard in Glasgow, and people won’t sit next to you on public transport. You’re a hijab wearing woman in Belfast and you’re getting cat calls as you’re trying to make it from point A to B. On any given day, groups of people are debating your existence on the evening news. They’re talking about crimes that don’t affect them in places they’ve never stepped foot in. They’re looking for you to apologise for lives you did not break and may never be able to fix. You’re being judged because you look like what society thinks a man should be, but you’re wearing pink lipstick. You’re being ravaged by words designed to wound from the mouths of people too scared, too ignorant, and too self-absorbed to understand the harm they inflict. On any given day, someone is telling you to ‘stand up straight and smile’, ‘all eyes are on you’, ‘don’t embarrass your family’, ‘no-one will take you seriously if you talk like that’, ‘you don’t need to flaunt it in our faces, do you?’, ‘you were born with a dick, so you’ll never be a real woman’, ‘go back home’, ‘let me check your pockets, and ‘you should be grateful we allowed you in this country’. Someone is trying to free you from the oppression of Islam, save you from savages who sit in their own shit, or mansplain what feminism means. Someone who’s never read Bell Hooks or Kimberlé Crenshaw Williams telling you intersectionality isn’t a thing, that ‘this isn’t the Oppression Olympics’. That wanting to fight racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia all at the same time can’t be done. Taking a reprieve from the assault course of life that we know so intimately is the reason we set up UK Black Pride 13 years ago. We need spaces for ourselves. Spaces in which we can let out a collective sigh of
relief. Spaces in which we’re free from ‘the gaze’. Spaces in which the only version of ourselves that will do, the only version of ourselves that is allowed, is the truest. Spaces in which we’re protected, fought for, and celebrated. As we all know well, the necessity of safe spaces by us and for us hasn’t waned, either. The continued growth of UK Black Pride isn’t only because it’s a space away from danger. As we come together and our histories and cultures collide, we learn that we’re not alone. That in our pain is also our joy. Thirteen years ago, a group of friends and I travelled down to Southend-on-Sea for the birth of what would become UK Black Pride. A bus load of queer Black women alighted to cut eyes and under-the-breath mutterings, and yet, in that moment, even under the watchful and suspicious white gaze, a celebration took place. There, in Southend, a group of queer Black women connected. It didn’t matter that the group was a mix of descendants from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Middle East, and the Americas. There, together, were a group of Black LGBT+ people resisting, laughing, and energising in a safe space under the banner of Black Lesbians UK, or BLUK. Of course, political Blackness was more clearly defined then, more widely understood. It made sense that non-white people would seek to band together in the face of shared oppressions, that we would unite to strategise our way to freedom, that we would come together in defiance of those who didn’t think we had a right to do so. There was an understanding that our experiences, while so completely individual, were interwoven, part of the tapestry of oppressions and inequalities that permeate every aspect of our lives but cloak us all in silence and muffled demands for justice, equality, and freedom. Audre Lorde reminds us that we do not have to be each other to know that our fight is the same. And even as some draw the benefits of Black liberation struggles that united the diasporas in the 70s, 80s, 90s and early 00s, it’s important we find a way to reimagine and revive the collectivism that bound us so tightly together at the start of this journey.
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
Though we’ll always be UK Black Pride. Our name will not change because we understand the legacy and power of political Blackness still needs to be understood and applied in Britain, and across the globe. That’s why, this year, we’ve assembled a powerhouse team of volunteers from across the diasporas we represent to deliver our festival and message that no matter which diaspora you descend from, you’re welcome! You’re loved! And you’re fought for under the aegis of UK Black Pride. How to ensure everyone feels welcome and knows they’re welcome at UK Black Pride? is something we ask ourselves each year. This year, our expanded team gathered in a meeting room at Stonewall, we deliberated and discussed, before someone said: “Shades of the Diaspora”. My mind flashed back to the throngs of Black bodies, of every shade, complexion and experience, cheering on Diane Abbott MP’s message of unity against racist and homophobia. Everyone in the room smiled. Shades of the Diaspora. I get it. Shades of the Diaspora speaks to our ongoing mission to unite Black LGBT+ in Britain whose global roots shoot from Africa to Asia, the Caribbean to the Middle East, and the United States or Latin America. It speaks to
the growing number of our diasporic community who show up to UK Black Pride each year. It speaks to the shades of our experiences. It speaks to the complex and interwoven experiences of our asylum-seeking and refugee siblings. It speaks to the hurdles of our gay brothers, the determination of our lesbian and bi sisters, and the relentless attacks on our trans siblings. It speaks to the experiences of our Intersex community whose voices are finally rising in a chorus. It speaks to experiences that can’t be named, those that suffer in silence, those that cannot come out. It acknowledges that all our experiences are not the same, but that we will fight together for a future rooted in freedom and equality. So, on Sunday 8 July, join us as come together in London’s Vauxhall Park to sing, dance, laugh, cry and yes, protest – for all the battles we must still fight and win. We’ll celebrate those who are here; remember those we’ve lost, and inspire those yet to come. We’ll have intense political debates. We will listen. We will laugh. We will exhale. And when we do, we will expunge those microaggressions, frustrations and unspoken words. And when we breathe in again, our lungs and bellies will fill with the misshapen mass of our Black bodies, and those of our allies in the community, to dance in exaltation. We’ll be reminded that there, in that space, for that moment, on that day, the things that make you other to everyone else, PHYLL make you perfect to us. OPOKU-GYIMAH We love, respect and value you, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you.
Co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride
We see you.
Calling all budding historians and veteran queer activists with a story to tell …
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our LGBT+ past? Did you witness an event available from the OTP website: Are you sitting on a hidden episode from our LGBT+ past? Did you witness an that provides furtherevent insights into further our LGBT that provides insights into our LGBT history? Do you have a testimonytestimony from decades of activism told anyone? Julyyou’ve 1stnever to 1st October. history? Do you havepersonal a personal from decades of We activism you’ve never have to make our history inclusive and reflective of our wonderfully diverse LGBT HM and communities. Look out for an OUTing the Past Festival Hub beingOUTing celebrated The Past told anyone? near you in February 2019 and join in the showcasing of our remarkable past. for equality Ensure that our struggle for presenters are available from the OTP website: becomes part of our popular history We have to make ourInvitation historyforms inclusive July 1st to 1st October. within and outside our schools, and reflective of our wonderfully diverse LGBT HM and OUTing The Past celebrating with other characteristics communities. Lookensure out for an OUTing that our struggle for equality becomes part of our popular history within and outside our schools, celebrating with other characteristics often excluded from the ‘official’ narratives, such as women’s, BAME & often excluded from the ‘official’ the Past Festival Hub being celebratedworking-class history. narratives, such as women’s, BAME near you in February 2019 and join in A FREE website for teachers to download over 80 totally inclusive lessons that make the lives and achievements of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans people & working-class history. the showcasing of our remarkable past.
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WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
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.
BY ELL A K Y M RILEY
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
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
Millie Small 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 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 UB40
almost 500 as 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 that widened access and increased profile. Possible additions to the playlist: “I shot the sheriff”-Erick 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.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
FROM THE SS WINDRUSH TO CROYDON: THE LIFE OF ALEX ELDEN
The late Alex Elden made a rich contribution both to Londonâ€™s black community and Croydon
COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE 2018
Alex 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. 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.
WINDRUSH 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Patrick Vernon interviews Eileen O. Walkin who has dedicated life to her faith and local causes What was your early childhood? I was born in the beautiful island of Barbados in a loving Christian household where I was the second oldest out of eight siblings. What was your motivation coming to England? I had been working for many years after completing my studies working for the civil service covering areas around criminal justice system and the treasury, however I was keen to complete my studies in law. I was very lucky as my parents agreed to sponsor and pay for my full times studies in England. What was early years in England? Yes, I can remember coming to England on the 12th of September 1965 arriving in to Heathrow via New York. That day was cloudy and cool where I met Mr Harrison a representative from the British Council who took to London to my temporary student accommodation in Kensington. I eventually moved to my permanent address in Conyers Road in Streatham living with Mr and Mrs Westman. After all these years I still have fond memories living there and South London especially Lambeth became place of residency for many years. I studies law at college and university where I gained a BA and MA in Law. Do you have a family? I am very lucky to have fallen in love and meet my husband Newton from Turks and Caicos Islands. After all these decades together, he is still the ‘apple of my eye’ our love is still strong that we first meet each on a marketing course. He is now a respected Christian author and preacher. We have no children. What was career until your retirement? I had al long and distinguished career working for the Crown Agents and the Civil Service. My role at Crown Agents range from working in marketing department to public liaison supporting various countries front desk in Africa, Asia as well as Helena Island. My job also at times involved overseas travel. In the Civil Service I was based in Citizens Charter Unit established by John Major who was then the Prime Minster. My final role prior to retirement was working for the Parliamentary Works office dealing with inter- departmental issues. You have been retired for many years but it that you are busy with various voluntary
EILEEN O. WALKIN and community activities? I have had numerous roles over the years which I now realise I work longer hours compared to the time I was in full time employment. I have been a School Governor for Broadmead School, one of the founding volunteers for “Spiral’ homeless and drop centre at St Leonards Church in Tooting in 1990. I also volunteer for eight years at West Croydon Refugee Day Centre supporting refugees and asylum seekers. In the same building I got involved with ‘Cold Weather Floating Shelter’ where we provide food and recreational activities. Other organisations that I have volunteered: Carers UK Croydon branch, The Barbados Oversea Womens League, Croydon Streets Champion plus many others. However, my church life and faith as a Christian has always been important to me as part of my resilience and survival. One of my ambitions which I hope to complete in the next few years is my PhD on Christianity and the rise of Pentecostal church movement in the UK which is a key legacy of Windrush Generation which I am proud to be part of. How have you been recognised for your work? I have been very luck over the years to recognised for working in the community which I feel very
It is very sad the way that Windrush Generation and their children have been treated in this way despite all the contributions we have made in this country over the decades. touched and honoured to receive British Community Honours Award, Ambassador for Peace United Nations, and Ambassador for Peace Europe. What is view on the current situation with the Windrush Generation treated by the Home Office as illegal immigrants even though they are British Citizens? It is very sad the way that Windrush Generation and their children have been treated in this way despite all the contributions we have made in this country over the decades. I hope the government will take the necessary measures to rectify this problem. Find out more about Eileen Walkin ‘Black British - A celebration’ (edited by Norma Wilkinson and published by The Brixton Society)
Kick It Out is proud to celebrate 70 years of the Windrush Generation's contribution to the game â€“ and mark 25 years of campaigning for equality in football. The descendants of the 500 people who arrived in Tilbury in 1948 are now gracing the pitches and playing fields of Britain and in 1993, "Let's Kick Racism Out of Football" was founded to help them have access to the sport and to be treated fairly when they did. We became "Kick It Out" to address all forms of prejudice and this coming season we will hold a series of events to look back on the achievements and milestones of the last 25 years, and to look ahead to what still has to be done.
Join us in continuing to drive out hatred and discrimination in football on behalf of a generation who gave us so much. @kickitout
We provide personal narratives, insight, comments and reflections highlighting the Windrush Generation who came to Britain to those born in...
Published on Jun 11, 2018
We provide personal narratives, insight, comments and reflections highlighting the Windrush Generation who came to Britain to those born in...