On This Day

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

November 2013

13 November 2013 -John Archer Blue Plaque unveiled at his former home. He was the former Mayor of Battersea and the first black person to hold a senior public office in London. He lived at 55 Brynmaer Road in Battersea for almost 20 years, including the period of his most significant political achievements.


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November 2015

12 November 2015 -'Jihadi John' real name, real name is Mohammed Emwazi. an ISIS fighter, believed to be from Britain,is killed in a US Drone strike in Raqqa , Syria. Emwazi  appeared in a number of Islamic State videos.

He was first seen in the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley, and was heard speaking with a London accent. 

November 2014

11 November 2014 - The Black Cultural Archives host a 100th Anniversary Memorial Event of the beginning of the 1st World War to honour the nearing 2 million Solidrs of African & Carribean descent and nations that fought across the two great wars.

November 1967

10 November 1967 - Obi Egbuna launches the Black Power Manifesto, published by the Universal Coloured People's Association. As spokesperson for the group, he claimed they had recruited 778 members in London during the previous seven weeks. In 1968 Egbuna published Black Power or Death.

Egbuna also saw the socialist and communist student movements of the 1960s as problematic to the Black Power Cause. Although ideologically rooted in a similar Marxist intellectual tradition, he saw the student organisations as “socialist snobs” who decree from “the premise that only they have read and can understand Marx”. This intellectual snobbery was, according to Egbuna, “doing a great harm to the cause they claim to be upholding” by ignoring race as a key reason for oppression of black workers:

November 2016

9 November 2016 - 19 year Old Haseeb Hameed became the youngest debutant to open for England in a Cricket Test match, when he played in the first Test against India at Rajkot. 

November 2012

8 November 2012 -The Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust  installs a memorial of Noor in Gordon Square. HRH The Princess Royal unveiled the memorial at a moving ceremony attended by over 450 people, including Noor's family, veterans, M.Ps, peers, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and guests from India, USA, Germany, Netherlands, France and Russia. Noor was a secret agent in the Second World War. She was infiltrated into France by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) .See Hall of Fame for biography

November 2009

7 November 2009 -In a true David vs Goliath battle, the smaller David Haye outsmarts and outspeeds the lumbering Nikolai Valuev to win a wide decision, even wobbling his Russian opponent in the final round to become the WBA heavyweight champion.

November 1944

6 November 1944 - The Islamic Cultural Centre Centre is  officially inaugurated by His Majesty King George VI. The Centre was built  on a piece of land presented as a gift to the Muslim Community by the British Government. 

November 2009

5 November 2009 - The Octavia Foundation in partnership with the Nubian Jak Community Trust  unveila Blue Plaque to commemorate and celebrate the life and achievements of Amy Ashwood Garvey.

The unveiling took place at 1 Bassett Road, London W10 , conducted by Jamaican High Commissioner, Burchell Whiteman and the Mayor of RBKC, Timothy Coleridge.

Amy Ashwood Garvey was the first wife of Marcus Garvey and lived at 1 Bassett Road from 1934 until 1960. She was a highly influential figure in west London during her lifetime, both as a campaigner for human rights and a pan-Africanist.- See Hall of Fame for a Biography of Amy Garvey.

November 1996

4 November 1996-  Britiains second Blackweekly Newspaper is esablished. It was said at the time  "People have grown up with the Voice, but now they've grown out of it," says the New Nation's editor, Richard Adeshiyan. "We know about all the problems for blacks in Britain, and the Voice tends to be just a doom-and-gloom sheet. We are not in the business of protest journalism." Instead, the 64-page colour tabloid will "champion the good things black people are doing".  

With sales down to about 6,000 from a peak of around 21,.000 per week and a singidicant loss of public sector adverts, the Newspaper went into  admistation in 2009.  However it relaunched as an Online Publication in February 2016 

November 1982

3 November 1982 -  Ebony (Channel 4) black magazine series begins broadcasting. 

November 2008

2 November 2008 - Lewis Hamilton passes Toyota's Timo Glock in the final corners of the race to finish fifth, securing him the points needed to take the Drivers' World Championship for the first time. Hamilton becomes the youngest world champion in Formula One history by the skin of his teeth after a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix. The 23-year-old Englishman's title Hamilton received praise from many in the Formula One community, including former Champions Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. The McLaren driver also received official congratulations from Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown


November 1938

1 November 1938 - Chuni Lal Katial  a South Asian doctor and politician, becomes the first UK's South Asian mayor, after being elected mayor of Finsbury.

October 1978

31 October 1978 -Empire Road a soap-style drama created by Michael Abbensetts and set in Birmingham's West Indian and Asian communities, begins a two-series run on BBC2.

The series was the first British television series to be written, acted and directed predominantly by black artists. A soap opera, similar in format to Coronation StreetEmpire Road depicted life for the African-Caribbean, East Indian and South Asian residents of a racially diverse street in the city of Birmingham.

Cast members included Norman Beaton, Corinne Skinner-Carter, Wayne Laryea, Joseph Marcell, Rudolph Walker and Rosa Roberts. The programme also provided early TV exposure for Julie Walters who appeared in a few episodes. 

The eponymously named theme song was recorded by Matumbi and also released as a single in 1978.

The general premise of the series concerns the day-to-day life of a residential property landlord who also owns a minimarket - where his brother-in-law is a junior partner - and sometimes deals with social concerns of the time, namely race issues, family issues and mixed relationships. Problems that arise are usually solved or at least calmed by the protagonist family's patriarch using reasoning based on his life experience, wisdom and common sense. Some of the younger characters affectionately regard him as a benign 'godfather' figure. The patriarch's son runs a dry-cleaning business.

October 1997

30 October 1997 -Patricia Janet Scotland becomes First BME female government Minister –as Baroness Scotland of Asthal

October 1993

29 October 1993 , billed as "The Tulsa Shootout",  for the WBO Heavyweight Championship. -Michael Bentt  beats  Tommy Morrison. Morrison had reached an agreement to face the undefeated Lennox Lewis for Lewis' WBC heavyweight title.However, before moving on to face Lewis, Morrison chose to first defend his WBO title against the virtually unknown Michael Bentt, who was a highly decorated amateur, but had only 11 fights in five years as a professional.

October 2012

28 October 2012 - A blue plaque, organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, is  unveiled at Tottenham Old Town Hall in tribute to Bernie Grant


Circa October 27 1943 - Nigeria’s Nurse Ademola (Pictured),  trained as a midwife at Guy’s Hospital during the Second World War. There was a small black presence in British hospitals long before Windrush - See Timeline 25 August 1939  


October 2012

26 October 2012 - A jubilee celebration is  held to honour MP Diane Abbott's 25 years in parliament at Goldsmiths, University of London, . It features a series of concerts by Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kadija Sesay, Tunday Akintan and others.

October 2010

25 October 2010 -  a New annual 5 day International Black Film Festival is launched in Birmingham. The BIF FESTIVAL incorporates Music, Live Arts and Education, it provides platforms for practitioners and artistes .The FESTIVAL comprises five core elements: Film Screening, Music Events, Performance Events, Educational Events, and the Awards Programme. Short Films, First Features, Documentaries and Music Videos are eligible for nomination from the film makers and wider community.

October 2017

24 October 2017 - Businesswoman Gina Miller is named as Britain's most influential black person. The 52-year-old led the successful Brexit legal challenge which ruled parliament had to vote on whether Theresa May could trigger Article 50.

Ms Miller topped the 2018 Powerlist of 100 people, which recognises those of African and African Caribbean heritage. British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and grime artist Stormzy have also been included in this year's list.

Those named were decided by an independent panel - including former High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs and former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell. They rated nominees on their "ability to change lives and alter events".

October 2014

23 October 2014 - Held in London, Skepta’s £80 music video for ‘That’s Not Me’ wins Best Video. Best Grime Act went to Stormzy, who joined just a handful of artists to win a MOBO Award while still unsigned. After winning Best Newcomer in 2013, Krept and Konan returned to be crowned Best Hip Hop Act.Ellen Eyres won the Best Newcomers Award. The Actor Idris Alba was also presented with an Inspiration Award. 

October 1988

 22 October 1988 - DannyRod and Ray Wallace appear for Southampton FC in a match at The Dell against Sheffield Wednesday in the English 1st Division. This was the first time three brothers had played in the same team in English professional top-flight football since 1920

October 1901

21 October 1901 - Trafalgar Day -  An  Annual procession celebrating the anniversary of the famous naval battle fought by the British off Cape Trafalgar, Spain, in 1805. Under the command of Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758-1805 ), they defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets thus eliminating the threat of Napoleon’s invasion of England.

The victory that cost Lord Nelson his life was commemorated bythe column erected in his  honour in London's Trafalgar Square. Some black sailors are visible among the marchers; they are among a handful of black faces appearing across the Mitchell & Kenyon collection of films, at a time long before mass immigration.

With thanks to the British Film Institute for the above information


October 2010

20 October 2010  - The MOBO Awards are presented from Liverpool this year and UK Acts again do well:

Best Newcomer: Tinie Tempah (Pictured) Best Video: Tinie Tempah ft. Labrinth – Frisky  Best Jazz Act: Empirical  Best Gospel Act: Guvna B  Best UK Act: JLS  Best Album: JLS  Lifetime Achievement: Billy Ocean