On This Day

In this section, we remember significant achievements and moments from Black and Asian history

Barbour - James Secretarial Support

23 July 1942 - Civil Servant Caroline Amy Aileen Barbour-James becomes Secretary of League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) . Caroline known as Amy was born in London on 25 January 1906 to John and Caroline Barbour-James.

Amy lived in Harrow and died on 4 May 1988.

See full biography in Hall of Fame.


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Bhutto In Bradford

22 July 2005 - The former Prime Minister and World Stateswoman,Benazir Bhutto  at Anams Restaurant in Bradford.  Ms Bhutto was a regular visitor to Britain and often resided in Bradford during her self imposed exile from Pakistan.

On 27 December 2007, Benazir Bhutto was killed while leaving a campaign rally for the PPP at Liaquat National Bagh in the run-up to the January 2008 parliamentary elections

It's Not Black or White

21 July 1978 -  After a campaign started from the late 60's and complaints about offensive and racist television, the Black and  White Minstrel Show come to  and end on BBC Television . The programme became to  seen more widely as an embarrassment, despite its huge popularity at the time. The BBC1 TV show was cancelled in as part of a reduction in variety programming (by this point the blackface element had been reduced). It continued off air as a travelling variety show. 

Brixton Erupts Again

20 July 2001 - Violence erupts after peaceful protest against fatal shooting of unarmed man. Two police officers in hospital last night after violence involving up to 120 rioters in Brixton, south London. In bursts of aggression, mainly by youths, shop windows were smashed and vehicles vandalised. Hours earlier, a similar number of people had gathered outside Brixton police station in an initially peaceful afternoon protest against the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed man, Derek Bennett.



Coloured Barred At The Victory Parade

19 July 1919 -The London Victory Parade is  organised by a Peace Celebrations Committee appointed by the War Cabinet. It  was seen as the high point of a series of celebrations to mark the end of the war which had only officially ended on 28th June with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

The Author & Historian, David Olusoga ( See Hall of Fame for full Biography) tells us in his Book "Black & British" that the Black Soliders despite fighting alongside their British & Commonwealth colleagues, "...were not permitted to march among the ranks of the victorious armies."   The hidden colour bar was now being seen as part of the establishment.

Khan Is Top Of The World

18 July 2009 -Amir Khan moves up to the light welterweight division to fight Andreas Kotelnik at the MEN Arena in Manchester for the WBA light welterweight title. Khan won by a unanimous decision, 120–108, 118–111, 118–111, and became the third-youngest Brit to win a world title, at the age of 22.

Auntie Esther Dies

17 July 1994 -Esther Bruce , one of the oldest black women born in Britain, who received public recognition late in life with her best-selling autobiography Aunt Esther's Story (1992) dies.

Largest Indian Restaurant In The World Opens

16 July 2001 - The Aakash Resturant in West Yorkshire opens boasting to be the largest Indian Resturant in the World and it is listed as such in the Gusiness Book of Records.Mr Tabassum opened "the world's biggest curry house" in a converted chapel in 2001 after a £1.75 million restoration project.

In 2001, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared that "Chicken Tikka Masala is now a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences." He went on to explain that "Chicken Tikka is an Indian dish. The Masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served in gravy." The claim that Chicken Tikka Masala is a British "National dish," however met with both acclamation and skeptical opposition.

Rock Against Racism

15 July 1978 -The Rock Against Racism Northern Carnival takes place. It  was a free music concert and march held culminating on 15 July 1978 and featured artists such as Reggae Band Steel Pulse and Punk Band The Buzzcocks. Over 35,000 people attended. The idea followed a racist outburst by leading Rock Gutarist Eric Clapton. 

Death of First Black Mayor Of London

14 July 1932 -John Archer, British politician and political activist,elected Mayor of Battersea in 1913, becoming the first black mayor in London, dies. See Hall of Fame for full biography

Raheem Costs A Lot Of Sterling

13 July 2015  - Raheem Sterling becomes English football’s  first "£100 million man ­" after Liverpool finally agreed his transfer to Manchester City. Sterling, 20, will move to City for £49 million on a £200,000-a-week contract, earning him a further £10.4 million yearly salary in his 5 year deal hence the £100m man tag. .

Kung Fu Makes History

12 July 1974 - Indian Born British based Music composer, Biddu earns international breakthrough  with his"Kung Fu Fighting" performed by American Carl Douglas reaches No.1 in the UK Charts. The song became one of the best-selling singles of all time with eleven million records sold, helped popularise disco music,]as the first worldwide disco hit from Britain and Europe. It also established Biddu as one of the most prolific dance music producers from outside the United States at the time. It became No.1 in the United States in November 1974.

Black Collective Voice In Theatre

11 July 1979 - The Black Theatre Co-operative is formed. It went on to become  a collective that gave opportunities to actors, writers and directors and staged popular theatre reflecting a multi-cultural Britain. In addition to its theatre work the company also developed a strong presence on British television. Celebrated staged performances include Welcome Home Jacko (1979), Redemption Song (1984) and the Channel 4 television series No Problem! (1983-85).

Duggal Murdered In Eltham

10 July 1992 -15 year old Rohit Duggal is murdered in Eltham, South London in a Gang attack. It was not recorded as racially motivated by police but the Crown Prosecution Service made some reference to racial motivation during trial. Peter Thompson later arrested and given life sentence for murder.

Secole Put In Hospital

9 July 2004 -Site dedication event on the grounds of St Thomas hospital takes place for the Mary Seacole statue. Since the time she was voted one of the 100 Great Black Britons of all time in 2004 there had been a major fundraising campaign to raise £400k for her statue reflecting her contribution to modern day nursing and as a war heroine.

Horrett Horror Attack

8 July 1996 -A man  attacks three children and four women with a machete at an infant school teddy bears' picnic. It was later discovered to be Horrett Campbell, 33, a paranoid schizophrenic.

In December 1996, he was  found guilty of seven counts of attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment for the attack at St Luke's infants school, in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton.

Ali Makes A Semi

7 July 2018 -  Deli Alli scores the winner in the World Cup Quarter Final to send the England Football Team into their first Semi Final since 1990 and only their fourth ever Semi Final ever. 

Morris The First Ever

6 July 1992 - Bill Morris becomes the first ever Black General Secretary of a major British Trade Union - the Transport & General Workers Union ( from 2007 renamed Unite). He was re-elected in 1995, ahead of Jack Dromey. He remained in the post until his retirement on his 65th birthday, 19 October 2003, when he was succeeded as general secretary by Tony Woodley. 

Lewis Best Of British

5 July 2015 - Lewis Hamilton wins the 2015 British Grand Prix 

Lewis Leaves Mayor Johnson After Misconduct

4 July 2008  Deputy Mayor of London, Ray Lewis resigns following allegations of financial misconduct. on the 3rd July,  Mayor of London Boris Johnson, announced an independent inquiry into multiple allegations including financial misconduct, to be headed by Martin Narey, the former chief of the Prison and Probation Service. 

The allegations included allegations that Lewis was entrusted with £25,000 from a woman in the congregation in the Parish of St Matthew, West Ham in the Diocese of Chelmsford. Lewis also claimed in his official biography to be a Justice of the Peace, which was later denied by the Ministry of Justice. The financial allegations are denied by Lewis as 'complete rubbish' and as an attempt to 'smear' his reputation.

Windrush's Hostile Victims

3 July 2018 - A  parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee report is published. It codemns the “appalling treatment” of thousands of Windrush victims and shows that the Home Office has become a callous and hostile institution in need of “root and branch reform”,.

The introduction of a barrage of hostile environment policies at the same time as legal aid was removed for immigration cases meant the Windrush generation were unable to get help when they found themselves classified as illegal immigrants, consequently losing their jobs and homes or being denied NHS treatment and unable to travel, the report found.

With thanks to The Guardian for the above information and photograph byYuk Mok/PA.  

Khan Family Murdered In Southall Blaze

 2 July 1981- Mrs. Parveen Khan, 28 years old, her daughter Aqsa, 10, and her sons, Kamran, 11, and Imran, 2, die after petrol was poured through her letter box fire. The husband, Yunus, 45, is  hospitalised suffering from burns.

The violence began nine days ago in London's Southall district, 17 miles west of Walthamstow, when a group of white youths went into the predominantly Asian area for a rock concert. No one is arrested or charged for the murders.

Batson Breaks The Mould

1 July 2002 - Brendon Batson is appointed as Managing Director of West Brom Albion in their debut season in the Premier League and the highest profile football management appointment for a Black man in Premiership history . 

Connie Makes Her Mark

30 June 2008 - A commemorative blue plaque in honour of community activist Connie Mark MBE, was installed by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, in association with Care UK and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, at Mary Seacole House in Hammersmith where Connie used to be a resident.

Mrs. Mark came to Britain in 1954 after working as a medical secretary for the British Army Medical Corps in Jamaica. As well as her pioneering work and contribution in highlighting Caribbean culture in post war Britain, she was also patron for a number of organisations including founding the Friends of Mary Seacole – later known as the Mary Seacole Memorial Association. See Hall of Fame for full biography. And alsoTimeline Entry 28 December 2018.

Mubarek Report Published.

29 June 2006 - The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry took almost two years to complete and reported six years after the 19-year-old's murder in Feltham Young Offenders' Institution. Mr Justice Keith identifies in his 700-page report at least 19 members of the Prison Service whose professional failings played a part in creating the circumstances leading up to the death. Saying that he had been "uncompromising" in naming names, the chairman commissioned an appendix to the main report listing these individuals and the role they played.

The chairman of the inquiry made 88 recommendations. These included:

  • End enforced cell-sharing as a high priority

The Prison Service should consider whether to recognise a concept of institutionalised religious intolerance along the lines of institutionalised racism adopted by the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The Prison Service and Commission for Racial Equality should work harder on key issues to improve equality, including possible asking outside bodies to investigate allegations of racism

Inmate mental health assessments should address the risk which they pose to staff and other inmates

Appoint key officers to oversee the proper flow of information between prisons and within them

Link the Police National Computer to the prison estate to help share security information