On This Day

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

Taking Roots

3 October 1989 - Nigerian Cartoonist, begins a regular series of cartoons in the The Voice Newspape, Britains biggest Black Newspaper.."Our Roots" which highlights the importance of Black history. The aim of the feature remains to focus on Black achievers in the diaspora. The series played a crucial role in  educating and informing  about Black history through illustrations with about 50 to 70 words to accompany the pictures.


 

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The Thoughts Of Private Ekpenyon

2 October 1943 -Ita Ekpenyon who volunteered as a St Marylebone Air Raid Warden in 1939, publishes a 14 page pamphlet on his experiences.

Originally from Nigeria, Warden Ekpenyon served in Post D2, Portland Place, St Marylebone until war's end in 1945. He served during heavy raids in the West End from September 1940 onwards and was later promoted during the later V-weapon attacks during 1944-45. He also made several BBC radio broadcasts to West Africa in 1943.


 
Black History Month Launched

1st October 1987 The first Black History Month is observed in the UK.

 

With thanks to Patrick Vernon and the Voice Online for the picture


 
Plaque For First Black Magistrate

1 October 2019 -A plaque is  unveiled to commemorate the life of Britain's first black magistrate.

Eric Irons was born in Jamaica in 1921 and then settled in Nottingham following RAF service in World War Two.

Mr Irons, who died in 2007, was a campaigner for social justice, became the country's first black justice of the peace in 1962 and was made an OBE.

A ceremony on the first day of Black History Month marked the unveiling at the National Justice Museum.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information.


 
PM Asked To Apologise

30 September 2015 -The Prime Minister David Cameron faced demands from campaigners to apologise and pay financial reparations for Britain's role in the historic slave trade in the Caribbean, during a state visit to Jamaica


 
Black Poppy Launched

29 September 2010 - the BlackPoppyRose is  launched  by Selena Carty. Created to be a symbol that represents the contributions made by the African/Black/Caribbean/Pacific Islands communities to various wars since the 16th century. A symbol that signifies pride, honour and glory, with the hope that future generations will be inspired by these largely untold historical legacies.

 


 
Mother Shot By Police In Brixton

28 September 1985 - Mrs Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce is  shot by Inspector Lovelock of the Metropolitan Police Service  during the course of an armed raid on her family home in Brixton, South London.  The police were searching for Mrs Groce’s older son, Mr Michael Groce, who was not at the family home and did not in fact live there.   

Five of Mrs Groce’s children – aged 8, 11, 14, 18 and 21 years at the time – witnessed the raid and/or the aftermath of their mother’s shooting.  As a result of the shooting Mrs Groce suffered injury resulting in paralysis from the waist down.  She was subsequently confined to a wheelchair.  The impact of the shooting on the family has been catastrophic.

See Timeline 6 October 1985 


 
TEMBA Theatre Launches

27 September 1972 -Alton Kumalo (originally from Rhodesia and South Africa), frustrated by the lack of opportunities for black actors, forms  the Temba Theatre Company. For 20 years until its closure after Art Council funding was axed, it produced a number of crlitically acclaimed productions for  Black  and later diverse communities,

 

See Hall of Fame.


 
Indian Army Arrives On Western Front

 26 September 1914 - The first 28,500 Indian Army troops arrived on the Western Front . They played a crucial role in holding the line and are said to have arrived just ‘in the nick of time’ as recalled by  Lord Hardinge in the House of Lords, July 1917, IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2383, p. 19; Philip Mason, A Matter of Honour (London, 1986), pp. 412–14.

 

With thanks to the British Library for the above information.


 
Teenager Imran Khan Dies After Stabbing

25 September 1998 - Imran Khan (15), Glasgow, Scotland dies  eight days after being stabbed in street fight between a group of Asian boys and four white youths. Colin Gilmour serving seven years for his attempted murder, while his brother Craig was given two years for slashing a second Asian boy in the group.


 
Rushdie Free From Fatwah After Nine Years

24 September 1998 -Salman Rushdie is a free man after the Iranian government announced  that it would do nothing to threaten his life and dissociated itself from the offer of a reward to his killers.

After spending nearly nine years living under sentence of death and with 24-hour Special Branch protection, Mr Rushdie emerged from the Foreign Office last night and declared: "It looks like it's over. It means everything, it means freedom."

With  thanks to he Guardian for the above information. 


 
Rock Against Racism Epoch Concert

24 September 1978 - the latest Anti Nazi League "Rock against Racism" Concert takes place as Black and White Artists/bands continue to stand side by side in music against the National Front.  


 
Michael Kiwanuka wins the 2020 Mercury Prize

24 September 2020 - Singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka wins the 2020 Mercury Prize for his soul-searching third record, Kiwanuka.

A lush, immersive album of politicised soul, it sees the star exploring themes of self-doubt, faith and civil rights.

Released last November, Kiwanuka beat best-sellers like Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia and Stormzy's Heavy Is The Head to win the £25,000 prize.

"It's blown my mind," said the singer. "Music is all I've ever wanted to do, so I'm over the moon."

Kiwanuka won on his third attempt, having been nominated for each of his previous albums: 2012's Home Again and 2016's Love & Hate.

"I was kind of resigned to the fact [that] if I don't win one this year, probably I'll never win one," he told BBC 6 Music.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information  


 
Captured Africans Memorial Unveiled

23 September 2005 - The Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project (STAMP) erect  a Captured Africans Memorial in Lancaster to commemorate the victims of the Slave Trade.

‎During the slave trade, Lancaster had the fourth-largest port in Great Britain. The memorial, sculpted by Kevin Dalton-Johnson, is built into the shape of a ship .

With thanks also to The Root for the above information.


 
MOBOS Celebrate 10th Anniversary

22 September 2005  - 10th Anniversary of the MOBOS was celebrated. Winners included: 

Best Album: Lemar - Time To Grow  Best Hip Hop: Sway  Best Reggae Act: Damien Marley  Best Single: Lethal B - Pow (Forward)  Best Newcomer: Kano  UK Act of the Year: Lemar   


 
Watson In Tragic Boxing Rematch

21 September 1991 - Following an eagerly awaited rematch on 21 September 1991 at White Hart Lane, Michael Watsons life changed forever. This time the vacant WBO super middleweight title was up for grabs. In round 11, with Watson ahead on points and seemingly on the verge of a stoppage victory, he knocked Eubank down with a right hook. Moments later, Eubank was back on his feet and connected with a devastating uppercut, which caused Watson to fall back and hit the back of his head against the ropes. Referee Roy Francis stopped the fight in round 12, after which Watson collapsed in the ring. There was no ambulance or paramedic at the event. Doctors wearing dinner jackets arrived after some eight minutes, during which time the fallen fighter received no oxygen. A total of 28 minutes elapsed before Watson received treatment in a hospital neurosurgical unit. He spent 40 days in a coma and had six brain operations to remove a blood clot. After regaining consciousness, he spent over a year in intensive care and rehabilitation and six more years in a wheelchair while he slowly recovered some movement and regained the ability to speak and write. Peter Hamlyn, the consultant neurosurgeon who operated on Watson, said in 2010, "I think back to those first days, and the milestone moments. The first eight months were so depressing. He couldn't hear, couldn't speak, couldn't walk. Slowly, he clawed it all back. So extraordinary.


 
Blue Plaque For Laurie Cunningham

20 September 2016 - English Heritage unveil Blue Plaque for  England international footballer Laurie Cunningham at 73 Lancaster Road, Stroud Green, London N4 4PL, London Borough of  Haringey.

The late ex West Brom, Manchester United  and Real Madrid star who died in Spain following a car crash in July 1989 at the age of 33,   has been credited as the first black man to play for England in a full competitive international match.

 


 
Hamza Makes History In Premier League

19 September 2017 - Hamza Choudhury, a British Footballer whose parents are of Bangladeshi descent, plays for Leicester City, making him the first player of Bangladeshi descent to play in the Premier League. See Hall of Fame for more details on Hamza.  


 
Ofili Turner Prize First

18 September 1997 - The Holy Virgin Mary  a painting created by Chris Ofili in 1996  is  one of the works included in the Sensation exhibition in London, Berlin and New York in 1997–2000. The 1996 painting was "enhanced" with Elephant Dung. The subject of the work, and its execution, caused considerable controversy in New York, with Rudolph Giuliani – then Mayor of New York City – describing Ofili's work as "sick". In 1998, Ofili was the first black artist to be awarded the Turner Prize.


 
Ms Dynamite Wins A Mercury

17 September 2002 - Rising R&B star Ms Dynamite wins the Mercury Music Prize for her debut album, A Little Deeper.


 
16th Asian Awards Held On The 16th

16 September 2016 -Hosted by Asian Business Publications, Ltd (ABPL), the Asian Achievers Awards is  held  at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel . The Event continues to  highlight individuals who are making a difference and excelling in their respective professions.

Since launching in 2000, the Asian Achievers Awards has helped to raise millions of pounds for charity and this year the chosen charity partner is the Indian Ocean Disaster Relief (IODR). The money raised will go towards victims of the tragic Nepal earthquake.

Winners from 2015 include noted author Romesh Gunasekera; human rights campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera; cricket star Moeen Ali; businessman and philanthropist Lord Rumi Verjee and Lance Corporal Tuljung Gurung, who was awarded the Military Cross for his heroics on the Afghan front.


 
Witter Wins To Capture World Title

15 September 2006-  Junior Witter claims the vacant WBC light welterweight title when he outpoints American Demarcus Corley at the Alexandra Palace in Wood Green. The reigning champ, Floyd Mayweather Jr., had relinquished the belt in order to move up to welterweight. See Hall of Fame for biography.

 


 
Gymiah Defects To The Lib Dems

14 September 2019 -Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah  joins the Liberal Democrats.    Six MPs have defected to the party in recent weeks, including former Tory MP Philip Lee, and ex-Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna.    Mr Gyimah was one of the 21 Tories who had the Conservative whip removed after rebelling against Boris Johnson in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.    Last December, the East Surrey MP quit as science and universities minister in a row over Theresa May's Brexit deal.  The 43-year-old briefly stood in the race to become Conservative Party leader after Mrs May quit.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information 


 
M People Mercury Prize

13 September 1994 -  M People win the Mercury Music Prize ( an Award for the Best Music Album in the UK & Ireland) for their album  Elegant Slumming.


 
Hamilton Avoids Serious Injury In 'near death' Race Crash

12 September 2021 -  McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix after a frightening crash between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Red Bull's Verstappen flipped up beside Hamilton as the pair battled for position, the rear of Verstappen's car landing on Hamilton's Mercedes, the halo head protection device possibly saving the seven-time champion from injury.

"I feel very fortunate today," said Hamilton. "Thank God for the halo which saved me, and saved my neck."

The Briton added: "I am so grateful I am still here. I feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today. 

"I don't think I've ever been hit on the head by a car before - and it is quite a big shock for me.

"We are taking risks and it's only when you experience something like that that you get the real shock of how you look at life and how fragile we all are.

"If you look at the images of the crash, my head is really quite far forward in the cockpit."

 

With thanks to The BBC for the above information