Today’s Fact & Surprise

Check out interesting facts and achievements from the Black and Asian community


Captain Collingwood The Slave Killer

Captain Luke Collingwood faced with a large number of deaths due to overcrowding, had ordered that all sick Africans be thrown overboard. The aim was to protect himself and the ship's owners - for if sick slaves died a natural death, the owners of the ship received no compensation. If, however, to safeguard the safety of the ship, those deemed chattels were thrown overboard while still alive, the insurers would pay out.


More Facts & Surprises


The Boy in Brazil

Jamacian born John Barnes, played mainly for Watford & Liverpool and he won 79 caps for England.His wonder goal against Brazil in the Maracana Stadium in June 1984 is still remembered as one of the best solo goals ever scored by an Englishman.



Cugoano The Slave Who Spoke Out

Ottabah Cugoano publicly demanded the abolition of the slave trade as well as the emancipation of slaves. He was kidnapped and enslaved. Cugoano came to England from Grenada around 1752 and was set free. In Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, published in 1787, he declared that enslaved people had both the moral right and the moral duty to resist their masters.



Shapurji the Hounded MP for Battersea

In 1922, Shapurji Saklatvala was elected MP for Battersea, with a majority of 2,000. Popular among his voters, he was re-elected on a Communist Party ticket in 1924, the only Communist to succeed.A powerful speaker,he was hounded and imprisioned because of his communist sympathies.



Ashwood - First Among Unequals?

Amy Ashwood Garvey  was a playwright, lecturer and Pan-Africanist who founded the Nigerian Progress Union in London in 1924. She became an important figure in the anti-racist movement in England. In 1959, she chaired an enquiry into race relations following the racially motivated murder of Kelso Cochrane in London. In the wake of the Notting Hill riots in 1958, she co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Coloured People



The Birth of Curries in Britain

The earliest records of arrivals from the region that is now known as Bangladesh (was British India) are of Sylheti cooks in London during 1873, in the employment of the East India Company, who travelled to the UK as lascars on ships to work in restaurants



50 Years of Hope

The 1968 Race Relations Act (under which it was illegal to refuse housing, employment or public services to someone because of their race or ethnic background) celebrated its 50th Anniversary in October 2018.



To Be Or Not To Be ?

The legendary William Shakespeare is well known for his fantastic Poems, Play’s and Odes but not for his alleged friendship with an African woman.



Lascars Die on Streets of London

In 1842, the Church Missionary Society reported on the dire ″state of the Lascars in London″ it was reported in the winter of 1850, 40 Asian men, also known as 'sons of India', were found dead of cold and hunger on the streets of London



The Black Musicians Who Served

There are many examples of Black men who served in the British army and the Royal Navy as musicians, drummers and trumpeters. Less well known are those who were professional or amateur musicians. Black artists from a variety of social backgrounds were performing in Britain from the 16th century. One such was Julius Soubise, the son of a Jamaican slave and protégé of the Duchess of Queensberry, who was a keen violinist.



Black Power in the UK

In 1967 British Black Panther party was established.British Black Panthers engaged in a struggle with the Metropolitan Police over issues of immigration, blackness, violence, anti-imperialism, and social space.



The Ivory Bangle Lady

One of the richest inhabitants of fourth century Roman York, buried in a stone sarcophagus with luxury imports including jewellery made of elephant ivory, a mirror and a blue glass perfume jar, was a woman of black African ancestry, a re-examination of her skeleton has shown.



In for a Penny In For A Guinea

Not for nothing did a coin - the guinea - derive its etymology from the West African region of that name, the area from which hundreds of thousands of indigenous people were seized against their will. For traders of 17th- and 18th-century Britain, the African was literally a unit of currency.



Captain First of Any

Clive A. Sullivan MBE (1943-1985 ), Great Britain and Wales international winger, was the first black captain of the Great Britain Lions Rugby Side and for any national British sporting side.



Joe Clough The first Black Bus Driver

Did you know that Joe Clough , born in Jamaica in 1887 and orphaned at an early age,became the first Black bus driver of a London motorbus in 1910?



William's Success Is No Laughing Matter

Charles Adolphus Williams MBE (23 December 1927 – 2 September 2006) was an English professional footballer who was one of the first black players in British football after the Second World War, and later became Britain's first well-known black stand-up comedian.



Boateng Makes Political History

Paul Boateng who was the MP for Brent South from 1987 to 2005, became the UK's first black Cabinet Minister in May 2002, when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.



The UK Slave Who Became A PC

Did you know that John Kent or PC John Kent, the son of a Caribbean slave, became the first Black Police Officer in 1837 ? It was well believed that it was Nordwell Roberts who was the first black police officer in the UK after joining the Metropolitan Police in 1966. Well now you know it was not.



Fay The First

On 29 April 1968, Fay Allen becomes the first ever Black Female Officer of the Metropolitan Police at Croydon Police Station in Fell Road. She served from 1968-1972. The Times reported that "She had received several abusive letters".



Double First For The Doctor

Dr John Anthony Roberts QC( who practiced between 1970 and 1998) was first person of African ancestry to be made a QC in England and Wales and the first known person of African ancestry to be the Head of his Chambers in England and Wales



Bader The First ?

Lilian Bader ( 1918-2015) is credited as being probably the first Black woman to join the British Armed Forces.



Busby The Publishing Pioneer

Margaret Busby OBE became Britain’s youngest and first Black woman book publisher, when in 1967 she co-founded Allison & Busby with Clive Allison (1944-2011).



Start of UK Black History Month

The annual celebration which began in 1987 ,was the work of Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, an analyst for the Greater London Council of Ghanaian descent. Addai-Sebo was inspired to start a monthly celebration after a colleague of his at the GLC said that her son, who was named after Marcus Garvey, wondered aloud why he wasn’t born white.



Ranjitsnhji The First

In 1896, K S Ranjitsinhji made his test match debut at Old Trafford stadium against Australia. Thus becomng the first Indian to play for England



Gold Singer

Dame Shirley Bassey, the Black Legendary Singer from Wales is still the only Artist to Record Three James Bond Theme Tune Singles: "Goldfinger" from the film Goldfinger (1964) "Diamonds Are Forever" from the film Diamonds Are Forever (1971) "Moonraker" from the film Moonraker (1979)



Stormzy's Grime First

Stormzy"Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr" . debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, was released on 24 February 2017 and was the first grime album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.



Still Not Turning Around

Aswad are a long-lasting British reggae group, noted for adding strong R&B and soul influences to the reggae sound. They have been performing since the mid-1970s, having released a total of 21 albums. "Aswad" means "black" in Arabic.Among Aswad's catalogue of hits include "Don't Turn Around", a UK No. 1 hit in 1988, originally recorded by Tina Turner as a B-side to her "Typical Male" single



The Polish African In England

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (11 October 1778 – 29 February 1860)] was an Afro-European musician, born in Poland. He grew to be a virtuoso violinist, living in England for much of his life. He was born in Biała in Galicia, where his father worked for Hieronim Wincenty Radziwiłł, in 1778. He was baptised Hieronimo Hyppolito de Augusto on 11 October 1778



Garrison - The Black Cultural Archives Founder

Len Garrison founded the Black Cultural Archives in 1981. Now permanently located at Windrush Square, Brixton, it is committed to documenting, teaching and the development of educational resources about the history of the Black Britain



Oliver - A Twist In The Tale ?

Historian Jeffrey Green in his studying of back copies of The Times revealed that in 1834, when Charles Dickens was a journalist in London, aged 22, an interesting item was noticed. Henry Murphy, ‘a black man’ aged about 60 had appeared at Bow Street court on 13 January 1834 charged with keeping a place for runaway children where they were compelled to ‘rob and beg for their suppers’. His ‘copper-coloured’ son John was also charged. Henry Murphy was surely an inspiration for Fagin in Dickens’s Oliver Twist of 1838: and his son was the Artful Dodger?



West Indian Regiment War Graves In Sussex

There are 19 graves of soldiers of the British West Indies Regiment in the military section of Seaford cemetery near the coast of Sussex where the regiment was stationed in the winter of 1915-1916.



The Prince, The Actor & The Racing Tips

From 1920 horse race fans in Britain became used to the black tipster Ras Prince Monolulu. Claiming to be a Jewish Ethiopian prince, but actually born in the Danish West Indies (St Croix) in 1881, he had travelled widely as an actor and entertainer. Now known to be Peter Carl MacKay, he died in England in 1965.



Black Britain In 1859

Jeffrey Green , the Historian reports that: "The Morning Post (London) 10 Feb 1859 reported a coloured man named John Pieza withdrew his police court claim that his girlfriend’s brother had stolen his watch. They lived with the defendant’s mother in Walworth, south London. Three men accused of trying to strangle John Davids a coloured man from Ceylon [Sri Lanka] in a Liverpool pub said they put a rope round his neck “for a lark” but were found guilty and fined with costs (alternative: 2 months in prison) according to the Birmingham Daily Post 24 Feb 1859."



William Davidson - The Black Tailor Executed For Treason

In 1820 there was an attempt to assassinate Lord Liverpool and his entire cabinet and replace it with a people’s parliament. Known as "The Cato St conspiracy". What is not widely known is the fact that one of the plotters who was executed for high treason was black – William Davidson, born in Jamaica but lived in Glasgow and London and a tailor by trade.



The African Sacrifice in World War 2

The total number of East and West Africans who saw military service in the war was 374,000; 3,387 were killed and 5,549 were wounded.)



Colour Bar For Black Artists In London In 1903

The American In Dahomey show opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London in May 1903 and had considerable fame – the 100 plus mainly Black members performed for King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace in June. Still did not there cast members from being barred from drinking in many West End Pubs according to Newsaper reports at the time.



Alridge Remembered At The Old Vic

On Friday 24 September 2004, The Ira Alridge Memorial is unveiled at the Old Vic Theatre. Alridge, an Afro-American made his first known acting debut on the London stage in 1825 in the melodrama The Revolt of Surinam at the Royal Coburg Theatre (now the Old Vic). A framed 19th Century print portrait of Ira Aldridge was erected.



Black Pilots In The Battle Of Britain

One of the first West Indians to join the RAF, Vincent Bunting of Jamaica, participated in the Battle of Britain. By 1944, there were over 4,000 West Indians in the RAF, of whom some four hundred were air crew.



The Black & Asian Studies Association Make History

The Black and Asian Studies Association (BASA; till October 1997 ASCACHIB) was formed in 1991. The aim of the Association is to foster research and to disseminate information on the history of Black peoples in Britain. A Newsletter was published three times a year until 2013.



No Black Slaves Made In England

No statutes codifying modern slavery were ever passed in England. The only forced labor recognized in English law was feudal villeinage, which had died out by the seventeenth century. Confusion arose when Englishmen began to bring blacks they had legally bought as slaves in the colonies back to England. The colonial legislatures had laws to define slave status, but English law did not. -'English Common Law, Slavery and' (Vol. I, pp. 200-203)



Moors Nicked In 17th Century England

In September 1615, a Ratcliffe mariner named Thomas Jeronimo, his wife Helen and a musician named John Anthony all appeared at the Middlesex Quarter Sessions. Helen was suspected of stealing ‘14 bookes of callikoe, 26 pieces of pachers and 108 lb. of suger’ from a merchant named Francis Pinto. Both men were described as ‘Maurus’ - meaning ‘moor’. (LMA MJ/SR/S53, nos. 112, 113; British History Online.)



Baptisms & Burials -18th Century Blacks In Exeter

Exeter (Holy Trinity), burial of Robert Hill, a black servant from the Devon & Exeter Hospital, 8 May 1791 Exeter (St David's), baptism of Anne Hobbs, a black woman, 7 August 1772 Exeter (St David's), baptism of Thomas Walker, a black boy, 4 December 1778



Post War Black Talent Leads In London

7 October 1947 - Evelyn Dove Edric Connor, Mable Lee, Cyril Blake and his Calypso Band, Buddy Bradley, Winifred Atwell, and Adelaide Hall plus others performed in Variety in Sepia, an early example of a UK television special dedicated to Black talent, filmed live at the RadiOlympia Theatre, Alexandra Palace, London, and aired on BBC TV.



STILL Bending Like Beckham

The 2002 Film "Bend it Like Beckham" is still the most successful British Asian themed film ever. To date it has grossed over £58m ($75m) in worldwide sales.



Sade Leaves Others in The Shade.

Helen Folasade Adu known as "Sade" is the most successful solo British female artist in history.Sade's US certified sales stand at over 23.5 million units and the band has sold more than 50 million units worldwide.



Into The Lions Den.....If You Are Black

An advetisement in the Era Magazine on 27 May 1898 advertised for a Lion Tamer for a vacancy at Chipperfield’s Menagerie at Chorley, Lancashire: ‘Coloured Man preferred’ was actually stated.



Shakespeare, Othello & Mixed Relationships in England

Abstract: Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello and Desdemona has long attracted critics to consider the issues of interracial relationships and miscegenation in early modern England. More recently, other black characters have been found in Renaissance literature and an African presence in 16th and 17th century England has been demonstrated from archival sources.



The Non Slave Blacks in Britain

The legacy of villeinage coupled with the strong rhetoric of freedom in legal and popular discourse ensured that Africans in Britain were not viewed as slaves in the eyes of the law. Neither were they treated as such. They were paid wages, married, and allowed to testify in court. Those scholars who have sought to place the origins of racial slavery in Elizabethan and early Stuart England must now look elsewhere. "Africans in Britain, 1500-1640'- Oxford D.Phil. thesis (2011)."



The Birth Of The Golliwog

A black-faced, shock-haired, fat red lipped and goggled-eyed character in brightly coloured clothes introduced to Britain in 1895 with the publication of Bertha and Florence Kate Upton’s The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. Such was the popularity of the central Golliwog’s character that the Uptons produced twelve sequels until 1909, which were reprinted many times until the late 1970s -‘ The Oxford Companion to Black British History, eds. D. Dabydeen, J. Gilmore and C. Jones (2007). Golliwog’, pp.191-2.



African in 13th Century England Discovered ?

An African presence in Britain dating around the 13th Century was discovered when a skeleton was examined by the BBC History Cold Case team. The skeleton was found to have come from a medieval Christian cemetery in the grounds of a monastery in Ipswich. Carbon dating, bone analysis and DNA tests revealed the man was born sometime between 1190 and 1300 in North Africa and that he had lived in Britain or an equally cold, damp climate for at least the last ten years of his life. Nine other African skeletons have been found in the Ipswich cemetery and these people seem to have come from sub-Saharan Africa.



African Times Makes History In London in 1912

The ‘Africa Times and Orient Review’ is the first political journal produced by and for Black people ever published in Britain. Duse Mohamed Ali, an Egyptian Nationalist and Pan Africanist Journalist founded The African Times and Orient Review in London in July 1912. It was printed in Fleet Street in London. Marcus Garvey was a staff writer at the newspaper.



The Leadership of Amy Garvey

Amy Ashwood Garvey (1897- 1969) was a playwright, lecturer and Pan-Africanist who founded the Nigerian Progress Union in London in 1924. She became an important figure in the anti-racist movement in England. In 1959, she chaired an enquiry into race relations following the racially motivated murder of Kelso Cochrane in London. In the wake of the Notting Hill riots in 1958, she co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.



Henry The First

Henry Sylvester Williams (1869-1911) helped to found the African-Association, which lobbied for human rights in the colonies and was instrumental in holding the first Pan-African Conference in London (1900).



Too Many Blacks In 18th Century London

In 1788, Philip Thicknesse bemoaned the fact that: '... London abounds with an incredible number of these black men [...] in almost every village are to be seen a little race of mulattoes, mischievous as monkeys and infinitely more dangerous'.



Racist Murders Strike Britain

Between 1976 and 1981, 31 Black and Asian people were murdered in racist attacks in Britain including Teenager Gurdip Singh Chaggar,Malcom Chambers,Akhtar Ali Baig and Michael Ferreria



Poetry Publication Takes Off in London

Poetry London was a Bi-Monthly publication started by a Tamil from Ceylon called JM Tabinmuttu in1939. It continued until 1951 before being revived in its current format in 1988.



Indian Troops To The Rescue

28,500 Indidan Troops helped shore up the depleted British Troops in Egypt in World War 1 on 26th September 1914. 16,000 British reinforcements arrived at the same time.



The Great Indian War Effort

India lost 65,000 Soliders fighting alongside Britain in World Was II. Overall India had 180,000 casualties. Their bravery is reflected in the more than 1,400 military awards Indian Soliders received including 31 Victoria Crosses - the highest Military Award.



The Mirpur Family of Bradford

Bradford, is home to around 85,000 British Asians: there are 5,000 Hindus, and as many Sikhs; but the bulk of Asians, 75,000, are predominantly from a single area in Azad Kashmir: Mirpur.



The Punjab Tigers of Leicester

The bulk of the Asians in Leicester are Punjabi Sikhs, who came to Britain during the Seventies. Many were former British soldiers or had fathers or grandfathers who joined the British army and fought in the First and Second World Wars. But they didn’t just join the British army - they joined the Leicestershire Regiment, which served in pre-Partition India from 1840 to 1947. So they came to settle in the home of the regiment.



Pero Jones Remembered

Did you know that Peros Bridge in Bristol Pero’s Bridge that was opened in 1999, was named after an African slave who had been purchased in Nevis in the West Indies by the plantation owner John Pinney? He named him Pero Jones. Pinney brought Pero back with him when he moved to England in 1783. Pero lived, worked and died in Bristol.



Double First For Paul

In 1993, Paul Ince became the first black player to captain the England team and in 2008 he also the first black Briton to manage a team in the highest tier of English football when he was appointed as Manager of Blackburn Rovers.



The Original Diva ?

Shirley Bassey is regarded as one of the original divas. With a career that spans more than 50 years, her dramatic voice has provided three Bond films with unforgettable theme songs. She hosted her own highly rated BBC show in the 1970s moving to Switzerland in the early 80s.



The Witch of Kilkenny ?

Did you know that in the trial of Alice Kyteler of Kilkenny in 1423, she was accused of having intercourse with an 'Ethiop' who could also turn into a black cat or black shaggy dog?.



Scottish Black Presence

Something like a black community appears in the account books of the Scottish court at Holyrood shortly after 1500. Reference is made to two women, Ellen or Helenor More and Margery Lindsay, and to a number of men – Peter, Nageir and Taubronar, the last being a married man with a child at Court.



Young Black Skull

A skull confidently identified as that of a young black girl has been found in a tenth-century Anglo-Saxon burial at North Elmham in Norfolk



Britain's Hidden Black & Asian History

People of African and Asian origin have lived in Britain for at least two thousand years.However this aspect of our heritage has been largely forgotten or hidden.



18th Century Black & Asian Presence In London

By the 18th century, there was also a significant Black and Asian presence in the capital. Historians estimate that between 15,000 and 20,000 Black and Asian people were living in London.



The Role Of The Raj

For two centuries, the East India Company and the Indian Raj underpinned Britain's status as a global power and provided it with markets, the profits from which helped to build the Britain we live in today.



Growth On The Back Of Slaves

By the late 18th century, Britain accounted for half the world’s transatlantic slave voyages, with Liverpool accounting for 60% of Britain’s share. During the 18th century, Liverpool’s population had grown from just 5,000 to 78,000. This dramatic growth was achieved on the back of Liverpool’s involvement in the slave trade



The Asian Night Shifts For Britain

Did you know that Asians in the industrial cities of the north were recruited to work the night shift when Britain retooled its textile industry after the Second World War?.



The 500 Years of Black & Asian UK History

The Black and Asian presence in Britain is not a recent one. Black and Asian people have lived, worked and died in Britain for 500 years or more.



Mango Demonstrators Cleared

A Home Office commissioned report from the Community Relations Commission concluded that contrary to the police reports the 1970 Mango Demonstration violence was not initiated by the marchers but by the police.



Harassment Of The Mango

The Mangrove, founded by Frank Crichlow was located in Notting Hill. The restaurant opened in March 1968, quickly becoming a centre for the black community, attracting intellectuals, creatives and campaigners. The restaurant was repeatedly raided by police. Although the raids were carried out on the basis of drug possession, drugs were never found and Crichlow’s own anti-drugs stance was well known in the community.



Race To Court ?

Between the 1968 and 1975 Race Relations Acts,there were numerous other cases brought to the Race Relations Board . In the 336 cases referred to the Board, 33 went to court. Of these, 23 were found in favour of the Race Relations Board.



Una The Uno At The BBC

Una Marson was the first Black female broadcaster at the BBC from 1939 to 1946. She was a poet, publisher and activist for racial and sexual equality. She was a secretary to the League of Colored Peoples as well as many other organisations including the Women's International League for Peace.



East Points To BAFTA

The 1999 British Asian Themed Film "East is East" won the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards, and was declared Best Comedy Film at the British Comedy Awards.



Souza The Art Giant

From 1956 to 1966, Indian born Francis Newton Souza was arguably the most dominant Artist in Britain , exhibiting and outselling all other Artists in Britain during this period.



England and the Rise of African Leadership

London and Manchester were key locations for the development of Pan-Africanism -a rejection of colonial rule in favour of nationakl independence. From holding major Conferences in 1921 and 1945 to educating future African Leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta.



Race, Riots & Lynchings in England

The end of World War I saw a marked increase in Black Brtish Seaman being refused work on British ships in favour of white nationals and other foreigners. Tensions began to rise in areas such as Cardiff, Liverpool and Newport and local and national newspapers coverng the Race Riots that broke out in the summer of 1919 mentioned murders by lynch mobs of Black citizens.



Michael X The UK Based Revolutionary

Michael X (1933-1975) was a Triandian born but London based black civil rights and revolutionary. He was the first man to be convicted under the 1967 Race Relations Act and led a Black Panther commune in North London. In 1975 he ws hung in Triandad for murdering a fellow activist who had refused to attack a local police station.



Sancho the ex Slave Author and Shop Owner

Ignatius Sancho(1729-1780) was an an 18th Century ex Slave who became a Shop Owner in London , Music Composer and accomplished Author. Indeed after his death, over 1,000 people subscribed to see his letters including the Prime Minister, Lord North



A True Wynters Tale

In 1596 at the request of his Master, Sir Edward Wynter, a Black Servant called Edward Swarthye gave an authorised public beating to a well educated white servant of his Master



The Indian Shipping Force

Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, 38% of theworkforce on British Ships were Indian. With the outbreak of the War, the recruitment of Indian workers increased significantly.



Sade - Diamond For Ever ?

The 1984 Debut Album of of Sade Adu (known as Sade ) called Diamond Life STILL remains the most successful debut Album by any Black Female Artist to this day.



Early Indians in Britain

The formation of the East India Company in the 17th Century indicates by Company records that there were many applications for the return of Indian servants to their Ships that travelled between England and India between 1690 and 1702. The first indications of "working visas" perhaps.



Meghan The Second

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is NOT the first mixed race Member of the Royal Family. This was in fact, Charlotte Sophia(1744-1818) who was the Queen Consort to George III the Third. they produced 15 children . Sophia is the Great Grandmother of the current Queen's late Father - George VI.



First Black Bishop

Samuel Crowther(1806-1892) was the first Black man on record to be ordained as a Bishop. This was for the United Church of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Samuel Ajayi Crowther was born in Nigeria.



The Powerful Indian Pound

Indians in 18th Century Georgian England were responsible for the purchase of many of the magnifiicent Estates in England and indeed the Indian pound in England extended to purchasing some seats to sit in the House of Commons as unlected Members of Parliament.



Words Speak Louder Than Action

The Slave Trade Act of Great Britain was passed in 1807. However, no Slaves were set free because of the the Act 



Equiano's Mighty Pen

Olaudah Equiano, ex -slave and now active abolitionist ,published his autobiography in 1789 The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African' . This insight into the horrific slavery helped influence British lawmakers to abolish transatlantic enslavement through the Slave Trade Act of 1807



Serious Immigration Curbs

The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 and Immigration Act 1971 largely restricted any further "No ties to Britain" primary immigration, although family members of already-settled migrants were still allowed.



The Black Mayor of Battersea

John Richard Archer  became London's first Black Mayor on 10th November 1913 aged fifty years old when he was elected mayor of Battersea



By Royal Appointment

In the Tudor Times(1485-1603)Henry VII and Henry VIII employed black musicians and servants in their courts.



No White Peope Please

A newspaper report from 1764 also describes how 57 black men and women ate, drank and entertained themselves with dancing and music - from violins, French horns and other instruments - until four in the morning, at a public-house in Fleet Street. No white people were allowed to be present, and all the performers were black.



The Black Emperor who Lived In York

Septimus Severus, the Black Emperor and the World's richest man ever, was born in Libya but spent his last three years in Britain before he died in York in 211AD.



Indian Workers Unite

The Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) was founded in 1958 from a number of existing organisations. It campaigned on social and welfare issues including discrimination. It had good links with the British trade union movement. Key figures were Avtar Jouhl and Jagmohan Joshi.



The Black Champion without Titles

Len Johnson (1902-1974) - was from Manchester and was a successful boxer in the 1920s, but was denied titles because he was black. Len later became an active member of the Communist Party of Great Britain



A Sign of the Times

“No blacks, no Irish, no dogs” signs were common place in the 60's but helped to highlight the treatment of blacks and Asians in Britain. During Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s term (1964-1970 & 1974-1976) he introduced tighter controls on immigration but also introduced legislation that made racial discrimination a legal offence



Really Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate - The band became the only group, and one of just three acts, that had a hit in every year of the 1970s in the UK Pop Charts (the other two being Elvis Presley and Diana Ross)



The Migrant Boom

By 1970 the amount of non-white residents in the UK numbered 1.4 million, although a third of this number were born in Britain.



The Mordern Magnificent Mosque

The Baitul Futuh Mosque, also known as the Morden Mosque, is Britain’s largest mosque, and one of the largest in western Europe. Located in Morden, south west London, about 10,000 Muslims flock to this beautiful place of worship every week for Friday prayers



The Princess Suffragette

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, was a prominent suffragette and member of the Women’s Social and Political Union. On 18 November 1910, known as ‘Black Friday’, Sophia led a 400-strong demonstration to parliament together with Emmeline Pankhurst



Naoroji The First

Elected Liberal MP for Finsbury in 1892, Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Indian nationalist politician to win a seat in parliament, despite Lord Salisbury’s jibe that the British people would not accept a ‘black man’ as an MP



Where Are The Black Professors ?

In January 2017, the Higher Education Statistics Authority revealed there are 50 Black Caribbean or Black African professors out of a total 14,000 in Britain. Did that surprise you?



St Pauls and The Mosques

Christopher Wren(1632-1723), the architect behind St. Paul’s Cathedral was so impressed with Islamic architecture and the beauty of architecture in Ottoman and Moorish mosques that he wanted to re create it in his work. You can easily see the influence of the Islamic style on St. Paul’s cathedral. A man with good taste!



Black Talent TV Special 1947

Evelyn Dove , Edric Connor, Mable Lee, Cyril Blake and his Calypso Band, Buddy Bradley, Winifred Atwell, and Adelaide Hall plus others performed in Variety in Sepia, an early example of a UK television special dedicated to Black talent, filmed live at the RadiOlympia Theatre, Alexandra Palace, London, and aired on BBC TV on 7th October 1947.



4th Century African Briton

Hi Tech archaeology and historical research show that in Roman Britain there were many individuals of African heritage of all classes. The 4th century ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’ of York and ‘The Beachy Head Lady’ from sub-Saharay n Africa, is thought to have lived in East Sussex c. 200 AD.



Picton's Land Legacy

Cesar Picton was a former servant, who became a coal merchant in Kingston-upon-Thames, and was wealthy enough by the time he died to be able to bequeath two acres of land, and a house with wharf and shops attached.



Rushanara The First

At the 2010 General Election, Rushanara Ali became the first person of Bangladeshi origin to be elected to the House of Commons.



British Bangladeshi's Lowest Income Group

British Bangladeshis have the highest overall relative poverty rate of any ethnic group in the UK with 65% of Bangladeshis living in low income households.



Stewart Courtiers

Henry VII and Henry VIII employed black musicians and servants in their courts.



Basu Brings Terror To His Role

In March 2018, Neil Basu becames first Asian officer to the take top counterterror role with his appointment as head of counterterrorism at the Metropolitan Police



No Boots For Salim is No problem

Mohammed Salim, an Indian from Calcutta, came to play for Celtic in the 1936-37 season…in bare feet and impressed all who watched but then dissappeared back to India 



Tamils Flee Civil War

A phase of Sri Lankan migration to the UK occurred from the 1980s onwards, during the civil war in Sri Lanka. A large number of Tamil Sri Lankans sought asylum in the UK



Punjabi Soliders In British Army

The ties between the British and the Punjab region of India go back a long way. From 1857 onwards many Punjabis served in the British army



No Apprenticeships Says London's Mayor

Most black people, if they escaped their masters, were doomed to live in poverty. In 1731, the Lord Mayor of London, responding to moral panic about the size of the non-white population in the city, banned them from holding company apprenticeships.



Prince and A West Indian Slave

Mary Prince  was the first Black woman to write and publish an autobiography ‘The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave,' an account of the horrors of life on the plantations enslavement, published in Britain c.1831. Mary Prince was also the first woman to present an anti-slavery petition to Parliament.



Refugees Take Flight

Most Bangladeshi families in the UK in the present time are the result of large scale migration in the early 1970s from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, as people fled from the civil unrest in their homeland



Hidden Heritage

Paul Reaney of Leeds United was not open about his Black Heritage that history has not recognised that he and NOT Viv Anderson in 1978 was the first Black Player to play Senior Football for England. Reaney won the first of his two caps in 1968 ,some 10 years before Anderson.



Marson The First

Una Marson arrived in London in 1932, aged 27, and within a few years she had added being BBC's first black female programme-maker to her list of accolades – which already included being a published poet and playwright. #InternationalWomansDay



Undisputed Heavyweight Champion

In 1999, Lennox Lewis became the first British undisputed heavyweight champion unifying the IBF, WBA and WBC titles since Bob Fitzsimmon for 100 years.



Elementary Mr. Watson

In 1881, Andrew Watson became the world's first black association football player to play at international level. He was capped three times for Scotland between 1881 and 1882 and considered one of the top ten most important players of the 19th century.



18th Century UK Blacks

In 1700, about 15,000 black people lived in London. This fact puts into context the false association of the arrival of the Ship HM Windrush almost 250 years later in 1948, as the start of a significant Black presence in London.



Beginning of The End of The UK Slave Trade

In 1772, Lord Mansfield court ruling that a slave who has deserted his master could not be taken by force to be sold abroad. Verdict triggers black flight from their owners, the decline of slavery in England, and calls by Equiano and others for the abolition of the slave trade.



Seacole Refused Request To Assist

Mary Seacole's historic role in the Crimean War is now recognised. However when Seacole applied to the British War Office to assist she was actually refused.



The First Black Newspaper

Founded in July 1912 by Duse Mohamed Ali, The ‘Africa Times and Orient Review'was the first political journal produced by and for Black people ever published in Britain. It was printed in Fleet Street in London. Marcus Garvey was a staff writer at the newspaper. 



Kicked Out To Make History

Claudia Jones recognised for her founding role of the Notting Hill Carnival and the West Indian Gazette Newspaper was an active black nationalist and Communist Jones was deported from the United States for her political activities and campaigns to the United Kingdom in 1955



The Queen & The Black Migrants

In 1596, Queen Elizabeth I issued letters to the lord mayors of major cities asserting that "of late divers blackmoores brought into this realm, of which kind of people there are already here to manie..



Kapoor Wins Turner Award

Anish Kapoor, a British-Indian Sculptor received the highly acclaimed Turner Prize for Art in 1991



Britains Muslim Spy

 Nora Inayat-Khan, was Britain's first Muslim war heroine  renowned for her service in the Special Operations Executive(SOE) in World War Two. She was also a published author who was posthumously awarded the George Cross , the highest civilian decoration in the UK. As an SOE agent she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II, and was Britain's first Muslim war heroine.



The Royal Black Trumpeteer

A black musician is among the six trumpeters depicted in the royal retinue of Henry VIII in the Westminster Tournament Roll, an illuminated manuscript dating from 1511



Change of Guard in British Tradition

In December 2012, Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, a Sikh soldier, became the first to guard Buckingham Palace without a bearskin and is allowed to wear his turban instead. It broke over 180 years of tradition.



The Black Roman Soliders

African soldiers who served as part of the Roman army were stationed at Hadrian's Wall during the 2nd century AD



The Spy Who Watched You ?

In January 2019, The Guardian Newspaper publishes witness testimony that the founder, Peter Hornsby, of "The Flamingo" which ran from 1961-1965 was an agent for the intelligence service, MI6. It claims it used the magazine to push an anti-communist agenda among Black and West Indian communities.



Fanny the Famous Model

Fanny Eaton (23 June 1835 – 4 March 1924) was a Jamaican-born artist's model and domestic worker. She is best known for her work as a model for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their circle between 1859–67. Her public debut was in Simeon Solomon's The Mother of Moses, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1860



Edmonstone Teaches Charles Darwin A Lesson or Two

Charles Darwin is almost larger than life in his impact on scientific thinking. However did you know he was taught by a freed Slave, Black Teacher called John Edmonstone who taught Charles Darwin the very basics of the natural science? He taught taxidermy at Edinburgh University in the 19th Century



Black Ban In Britain

Did you know that despite the service of British West Indian Soliders in the First World War, Black Soliders were banned from taking part in London's victory celebrations on 19 July 1919?



The Opening Shots.....Literally

Did you know that Alhaji Grunshi DCM MM, serving in the Gold Coast Regiment, was the first soldier in British service to fire a shot in the First World War in August 1914?



Sanderson's Spectacular Six

"Tessa" Sanderson, CBE ,former javelin thrower is the only Athlete in Track & Field to compete in six Olympic Games in the javelin (1976–1996). She won the gold medal in 1984 for Great Britain.



Captain Fantastic

Andrew Watson (1856 –1921) is widely considered to be the world's first black person to play association football and also at international level. He played three matches for Scotland between 1881 and 1882. He was actually the Captain of Scotland in his first match.



February 2019

Less than twelve out of 3,000 professional footballers in the top four divisions are of south Asian – countries such as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh – origin.



A Racing 3rd, 2nd and 1st

When Guyanese born Sprinter Harry Edwards won a Bronze in the 100 and 200 yards dashes at the Olympics Games in Antwerp in 1908, he became Britain's first ever non white Track Medalist.



A Stamp of Approval

On 6 April 2013 , the first Black Mayor elected in London, John Archer, was honoured by Royal Mail via a special stamp in the as one of six people selected as subjects for the “Great Britons”



A Black and White Matter

On 15 May 1979, an all black team came together for one game to honour a friend.It would surely be inconceivable now but no-one batted an eyelid 30-odd years ago when an All White Team played each other for Len Cantello’s testimonial match came up with a novel way of marking his decade of service to West Bromwich Albion.



The Massive Mosque In Morden

The Morden Mosque in, London is not only Britain's largest mosque,but also the largest mosque of western Europe. The mosque covers an area of 5.2 acres (21,000 m2) and the full complex can accommodate up to 10,000 worshipers



Colour By Numbers

The 2011 Census shows that overall, black communities (including Black African, Black Caribbean, Black American or Black European) make up 3.4 percent of Britain’s overall population which now stands at 56.1 million – an increase of seven percent since 2001.



Billy The First

Billy Boston is credited as the first Black Rugby League player to represent the Great Britain and Ireland Lions on their Rugby League Tour to Australia in 1954



Racial Diversity In Parliament At Last ?

The 2015 UK General Election produced the most ethnically diverse British parliament in history. There are now 41 black and ethnic minority MPs out of a total of 650. Asians heritage MP's now 28 but just 9 MPs who can claim African ethnicity .



The Angel Princess

Did you know that Ethopian Princess Tsehai Haile Selassie fourth child of Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Asfaw of Ethiopia,was a UK state registered children's nurse? She was employed at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children during the London Blitz of 1940/41.



Self Defence Before Offence

The Bradford 12 Trial in April 1982 and the verdict on 16 June 1982 caused legal history because it successfully established the doctrine that you were legally entitled to defend yourself against an attack before it was even planned let alone take place. Look at the Our Heritage TV Timeline for more details on this truly historic case.



First Class Nowrojee

The first Indian student to enter British Higher Education was credited as Dhunjeebhoy Nowrojee in 1843 at the Free Church College in Edinburgh. He studied Theology and was ordained in 1846



A Cut Above The Rest ?

Did you know that at its peak Channel 4 All Black Cast Comedy "Desmond's" (1989-1994) - attracted over 5.6 million viewers every week ? The series starred Norman Beaton as barber Desmond Ambrose. Desmond's shop was a gathering place for an assortment of local characters.



Greatest of All Time ?

When Randolph Turpin or Randy Turpin,became world middleweight champion by defeating Sugar Ray Robinson on 10 July 1951, it was regarded and is still regarded as the greatest upset in Boxing History. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001.



Still Undisputed Heavyweight Champion ?

Britain's Lennox Lewis who boxed between 1989 and 2003 is STILL as of January 2019, the last undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World -holding all recognized Titles - the WBA, WBC, IBF and Ring Magazine lineal Heavyweight Champion. He won 38 of his 45 professional contests.



Most Indian Resturants Are Not Actually

South Asians have had lasting impact on popular British culture with the spread of Indian cuisine. However, most of the 9,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, are run by Bangladeshi's.



Jay Sean's not Down

In 2009, Jay Sean's American debut single "Down" topped the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first solo artist of South Asian origin and first UK urban act to top the Hot 100. It sold more than three million copies in the United States that year eventually reaching six million sales in the United States,This made him the most successful British/European male urban artist in US chart history at that point.



MOBOS Keep Their Mojo

The MOBO Awards  "Music of Black Origin", established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell, has become one of Europe’s biggest and most influential music award ceremonies, celebrating excellence in black music in the UK and internationally in the musical fields of hip-hop, grime, RnB, soul, reggae, jazz, gospel, and African music.



Britain's Richest Man is Asian

Britain based Indian Lakshmi Mittal is currently Britain's richest man and the fifth richest man in the world. He has an estimated wealth of around $55 Billion.



Bus Company's Dream Move

On the 28 August 1963 the Bristol Bus Company lifted the employment colour ban. This was the same day that Martin Luther King Jr made his “I have a dream speech” in the United States.



Not A Patch on Apache Indian

Apache Indian was a 90's Hip Hop Star who infused reggae and hip hop with Indian popular music to create a sound that transcended genre and found a multicultural audience. He is the only Indian artist to have achieved 6 top forty hits in the National UK charts



Israelites Are No.1

The first Jamaican performers to reach number one in Britain were Desmond Dekker and the Aces with "Israelites" in 1969



The Mangrove Trial

After marching on a police station in 1970 to protest unfair police treatment and discrimination Crichlow and eight others including Darcus Howe were charged with incitement to riot in 1971. Their trial lasted 55 days and eventually the Mangrove Nine were acquitted. The case is still seen as the most significant ever for UK Black Civil Rights due to highlighting the racism that was  rife in the London Metropolitan police.



Academic Poor Standards

In 2017, The Higher Education Statistics Authority revealed that universities are employing more black staff as cleaners, receptionists or porters than as lecturers or professors.



The Real First Asian MP ?

David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre, was an Anglo-Indian held to be the first person of Asian descent to be elected to the British Parliament to represent the Sudbury constituency in July 1841, but was removed in April 1842 due to bribery in the election process. Hence why Dadabhai Naoroji is credited as the first Asian to be a Brtish MP, more than 50 years after the actual first Asian MP was elected



Hamed Is No.1

Boxer Naseem Hamed who held multiple world championships at featherweight, including the WBO title from 1995 to 2000; the IBF title in 1997; and the WBC title from 1999 to 2000;reigned as lineal champion from 1998 to 2001; IBO champion from 2002 to 2003; is ranked as the best British featherweight boxer of all time by BoxRec. In 2015 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.



Naoroji The First

Dadabhai Naoroji , known as the Grand Old Man of India, was a  Liberal Party member of Parliament (MP) between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP.



The First Black Londoner?

The earliest known record of a Black person living in London is of "Cornelius a Blackamoor" whose burial on 2nd March 1593 was recorded in the parish register at St Margaret's Church in Lee. 



Britains First Mosque

Abdullah Quilliam was a 19th-century convert from Christianity to Islam is noted for founding England's first mosque and Islamic centre in 1889.



The Lascars - The first UK South Asian Migrants

38 South Asians Sailors ( Lascars) were reported coming to work in England in 1760 to work for the British East India Company.Between 1803 and 1813, there were more than 10,000 lascars from the Indian subcontinent visiting British port cities and towns



The Blacked Beggars

The likes of Billy Waters and Joseph Johnson made an artistic spectacle out of their poverty - they became underworld celebrities, and were so well rewarded that by the 1850s many white beggars had begun to black up.



Khan 's Historic Military Honour

(Jemadar) Abdul Hafiz Khan was 18 years old and served with the 9th. Jat. Regiment, Indian Army. He died bravely in 1944 and became the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross - Britain's highest Military Honour



Rag To Riches

A parliamentary report in 1815 claimed that one enslaved person had been able to return to the West Indies with a fortune of £1,500



More than 8 out of 10 Sikhs own their own home

In 2004 it was reported that UK Sikhs had the highest percentage of home ownership, at 82%, out of all UK religious communities



Biggest Black Protest In Britain

In the wake of the deaths of 13 young people in an arson attack in 1981 the New Cross Massacre Action Committee mobilised 20,000 people in protest.



The Race Riots 1919

White and Black community clashed in 1919. Following WW1, men who were demobilised in Cardiff found there was a shortage of work and resented competing for jobs with black workers. Riots in Liverpool, Newcastle, Newport and Cardiff saw black people driven from their homes and violently attacked, and several people killed in the midst of the chaos.



The Historic Calypso Show

The 1948 London West End Musical "Calypso" was the first London play to have a West Indian theme and a Caribbean Cast.



The Coloured Bar in Oxford Street

Did you know that Jocelyn Barrow led a successful campaign to remove the Colour Bar that existed in all the shops in the iconic Oxford Street and Regent Street in the early 1960's? Black or Asian Workers were not allowed to work in shop fronts serving customers.Barrow was the General Secretary for the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination(CARD). CARD played a major role in persuading the Government to pass the 1968 Race Relation Act which covered employment.



Labouring Hard At Sea

Did you know that before the 2nd World War started, 1 in 4 of Labourers in British Shipping were Indian ? This numbered around 50,000 workers



Visiting The Doctor For Herbal Remedies

In London in the 1850's, a common sight was a Doctor Bonkanky who was an Indian Street Herbalist who had a remedy for most aches and pains from headache to toothache.



Dancing In The Streets and Houses

Calypso is seen as the first musical culture bought to the UK by Afro-Caribbean migrants. Although associated most with Trinidad & Tobago, the sound in fact originated from African "Highlife" Music.



Rehman The First

Zeshan Rehman was the first British Asian to start a Premier League match. It was for Fulham in a goalless draw at Anfield against Liverpool on 17 April 2004.



Leashley The First ?

According to public records, the first Black man recorded as a Prize Fighter was a Joe Leashley -a man of African descent who defeated a Tom Treadway in June 1791. He was reported as having great skill, craft and knowledge of the Art before knocking out his opponent after 35 minutes. No such thing as 3 minute rounds then.



A Blatant Act of Discrimination

Did you know that the 1968 Commonwealth Immigration Act was steamrolled through Parliament in just three days?. Its sole aim was to restrict the right of Kenyan Asians holding British Passports to enter Britain.



The Somerset Open & Shut Case Against Slavery ?

Somerset v Stewart (1772) 98 ER 499 is a famous judgment of the Court of King's Bench in 1772, which held that chattel slavery was unsupported by the common law in England and Wales, although the position elsewhere in the British Empire was left ambiguous.So it confirmed Slavery was NEVER legal in England and Wales.



Changing Britain

10 Years after the landing of The Windrush in 1948, there were around 125,000 West Indians in the UK. In that same period around 55,000 migrants from India and Pakistan also arrived.



Right Up Your Street ?

South Asians have also played a pivotal role in rejuvenating a number of UK street markets. According to the New Economics Foundation, Queen's Market in Upton Park, East London is officially the most ethnically diverse.



First Among Equals

When Baron Singh of Wimbledon was introduced in the House of Lords on 24 October 2011, he became the first member of the House of Lords to wear a turban



Welch Sweet Music

Elisabeth Welch  was one of the first Black people to have her own BBC radio series in 1935, Soft Lights and Sweet Music, which made her a household name in Britain.



Sancho The Pioneer

Ignatius Sancho was a composer, actor, writer and businessman. He was believed to be the first Black person ever to have voted in Britain in 1774 and 1780. Sancho was also the first African writer whose work was published in England



The 1958 Anti Black Riots

The Notting Hill area of London and in Nottingham saw a short but vicious outbreak of anti-black rioting in the summer of 1958. The following year a young black man named Kelso Cochrane was murdered in North Kensington. His killer was never found.



Paul The Firsts

Paul Ince was the first black player to captain England, when he took the armband in a tour match against the USA in 1993 and was also the first black Briton to manage a top flight team in England (Blackburn Rovers) in 2008



Indians Dock in England

Immigration of small numbers of South Asians to England began with the arrival of the East India Company to the Indian subcontinent in the 17th century. Indians came to Britain, for educational or economic reasons, during the British Raj, with most returning to India after a few months or years



13th Century Skilled Craftsmen

In Northamptonshire, financial records from 1205 show King John employed a man called 'Peter the Saracen' as a 'maker of crossbows'. The term 'saracen' was used to describe someone of North African or Middle Eastern origin. It suggests there may have been a presence of skilled African craftspeople in England dating back to the middle ages



The Real Thing

The Real Thing , based on number of sales, were the most successful black rock/soul act in England during the 1970s



Sikhs Bloody Sacrifice

In WW1 and WW2 , over 82,000 Sikhs died in both World Wars fighting for Britain and the Empire.



Arjun's Time in New York

Arjun, the British Asian singer-songwriter, performed at Times Square in New York, USA, in September 2014, before a small gathering of 200,000 people



The First Black Pro Footballer

Britain's first professional black footballer emerged from the North East. Arthur Wharton was born in Ghana but moved to Darlington to train as a Methodist preacher. He became the Amateur Athletic Association's 100 yards champion in 1886, bringing him to the attention of Darlington Football Club. He played as goalkeeper, before turning professional at Rotherham Town and later playing for Sheffield United. He was inducted into the Footballer's Hall of Fame in 2003.



Alridge The Actress Who Broke The Mould

In the 1890's, Ira Aldridge was one of the highest paid actors in the world at a time when black roles - such as Othello - were played by white men with blackened skin.



Khaliq Wins Historic Title

Jawaid Khaliq  became the first British Asian boxing world champion winning the International Boxing Organization(IBO) welterweight title in June 2001



History of Race Riots In Britain

There have been 15 Race Riots in Britain since the arrival of HM Windrush in 1948: 1958 Notting Hill race riots 1975 Chapeltown riot 1980 St. Pauls riot 1981 Chapeltown riots 1981 England riots 1981 Moss Side riot 1981 Toxteth riots 1985 Brixton riot 1985 Broadwater Farm riot 1985 Handsworth riots 1989 Dewsbury riot 2001 Bradford riots 2001 Harehills riot 2001 Oldham riots 2005 Birmingham riots



Love Thy Neighbour.....unless They Are Black ?

Love Thy Neighbour was a British television sitcom, which was broadcast from 13 April, 1972 until 22 January, 1976, spanning seven series and 54 episodes. The series was produced by Thames Television for the ITV network. It was hugely popular at the time of its broadcast; during an era in which Britain struggled to come to terms with its recently arrived population of black immigrants, Love Thy Neighbour exemplified this struggle. It aroused great controversy for many of the same reasons as the BBC's earlier Till Death Us Do Part had done.



11th Century African Presence in the UK

A skeleton of a female found in England may indicate the existence of a very small number of black people in Britain dating to the 11th century. In 2013, a skeleton was discovered in Fairford, Gloucestershire, which forensic anthropology revealed to be that of a sub-Saharan African woman. Her remains have been dated between the years 896 and 1025. Local historians believe she may have been a bonded servant



The Yorkshire African Connection

In 2007, scientists found the rare paternal haplogroup A1 in a few living British men with Yorkshire surnames. This clade is today almost exclusively found among males in West Africa, where it is also rare.



Amazing Beachy Head Discovery

In 1953, the remains of the Beachy Head Lady were found in East Sussex. The skeleton, which is thought to have originated from Sub-Saharan Africa, has been dated to around 245 AD



Home Away For Asians

Workers mainly from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan arrived in the late 1950's and 1960's. Many worked in the foundries of the English Midlands and a large number worked at Heathrow Airport in west London. This created an environment to where the next generation of families did not lose their identity as easily. An example would be Southall which is populated by many Sikhs.



The Early Employment Restrictions for Migrants

The Navigation Act of 1660 restricted the employment of non-English sailors to a quarter of the crew on returning East India Company ships.Seems the restriction of migrant workers happened 358 years before Brexit.



Hughes Huge Home For Minorities

In 1856 The Strangers' Home for Asiatics, Africans and South Sea Islanders was opened in Commercial Road, Limehouse under the manager Lieutenant-Colonel R. Marsh Hughes.



Salman Slammed For Satanic Verses

The publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses in 1988 caused major controversy. Muslims condemned the book for blasphemy. On 2 December 1988 the book was publicly burned at a demonstration in Bolton attended by 7,000 Muslims, followed by a similar demonstration and book-burning in Bradford on 14 January 1989.In 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwā ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie



Moody - The Activist Doctor

In 1931, Dr Harold Moody founded the League of Coloured Peoples in 1931, the first Black pressure group and the largest British Pan-African organisation in the 1930s and 1940s.



Desai The Greatest Trade Unionist of All Time ?

Jayaben Desai  was a prominent leader of the strikers in the epic 2 year Grunwick dispute in London , 1976-1978. The dispute about low pay and "Zoo like " treatment of the mainly East Indian Workers. The strike captured the imagination and support of the wider Trade Union movement that had previously marginalised immigrant workers. This was seen as a turning point in UK Race Relations.



Cuffay - A Cut Above The Rest

William Cuffay  was a Black tailor who lived in London. He was one of the leaders and martyrs of the Chartist movement, the first mass political movement of the British working class. 



Serjeant Making History

Since 1415 Serjeant at Arms has been responsible for security and keeping order within the parliamentary estate which includes the House of Commmons. The current Serjeant ,Karmal El-Hajji is the first with a black or minority ethnic heritage.



WASU -The Birth of Leaders

The West African Student Union (WASU) was one of the most important political organisations in Britain from the 1920s until the 1960s. Members included Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Joseph Appiah who played an important role agitating for an end to colonial rule in Britain's West African colonies.



One Million Reached

The tripling of Britain’s black population from 300,000 to 1 million from 1961 to 1964 led to increased racial and class tensions, especially in London’s Afro-Caribbean community. These tensions led to more police repression and the creation of the British Black Panther Party..