On This Day

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

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



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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

October 1974

19 October 1974 - Sweet Sensation become the first all-black British soul band to score a UK number one hit with their song "Sad Sweet Dreamer". 

October 2014

18 October 2014 -Efua Dorkenoo, OBE ( affectionately known as "Mama Efua" and campaigner against female genital mutilation dies of cancer at the age of 65. See Hall of Fame for a Biography.

October 1979

17 October 1979 -  US President Carter writes to congratulate British American Sir Arthur William Lewis for being awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics.   

October 1992

16 October 1992 - Sher Singh Sagoo,  Deptford, south London dies after Gang attack in Deptford market where Sagoo was a trader. One person charged with manslaughter, CPS discontinued prosecution on grounds of 'insufficient evidence'. 

October 1999

15 October 1999 - The Metropolitan Police Force announce a £50,000 out-of-court settlement to Winston Silcott, wrongly convicted of leading the murderous attack on Pc Keith Blakelock during the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot.

October 1998

14 October 1998 -  the 3rd Annual MOBO Awards takes place. UK Black Artist winners include:

Best Reggae Act: Glamma Kid (pictured)

Best Hip Hop Act: Pheobe One

Best Newcomer: Lynden David Hall

Best R&B Act: Beverley Knight

Contribution to Music: Carl Macintosh

Best Album: Adam F

13 October 1980

13 October 1980 - Ex Boxing World Heavyweight and World Cruiserweight  Champion, David Haye is born. a British former professional boxer who competed from 2002 to 2018. He held multiple world championships in two weight classes, and was the first British boxer to reach the final of the World Amateur Boxing Championships, where he won a silver medal in 2001.

October 2007

12 October 2007 - A memorial plaque on the site of  Henry Sylvester Williams, the first Black Councillor of Westminster Council and Political Activist was unveiled at his former London home at 38 Church Street, Marylebone,

October 2011

11 October 2001 -The Nobel Prize in Literature 2001 is  awarded to V. S. Naipaul "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories"



October 1982

10 October 1982 -The UK's first ever Gospel Concert Choir make their first public appearance at the Kensington Temple in London.Community Gospel Choir  struck a chord with young Christians at the time, and  the church was packed to capacity. It was meant to be a one-off performance, but due to the great public interest, the then 120 strong choir decided to make a go of it. More than 30 years later they are still going strong and appearances include performing at the 2009 FA Cup Final  Everton vs Chelsea.    

October 1993

9 October 1993 - Nigel Benn vs. Chris Eubank II took place. Both Benn and Eubank fought at middleweight and super middleweight around the same time in 1985–97, and became rivals on both the domestic and world boxing scene.

October 2017

8 October 2017 - Rapper and founding member of the influential UK garage group Pay As U Go Carte, Major Ace dies. The rapper, whose real name was Luke Monero, had been suffering from a brain tumour for almost three years. Major Ace and his Cartel were instrumental in shaping the grime sound.  After Pay As U Go Cartel disbanded in 2002, Wiley founded the seminal grime crew Roll Deep, which at times has counted Dizzee Rascal, Skepta and Jme as members. Major Ace later formed the grime group East Connection with Pay As U Go Cartel’s Maxwell D and Gods Gift.


October 1947

7 October 1947 - Evelyn Dove (pictured) 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.

October 2003

6th October 2003 Baroness Amos was made Leader of the House of Lords on 6 October 2003, following the death of Lord Williams of Mostyn, which meant that her tenure as Secretary of State for International Development lasted less than six months.More historically she was the first black leader in the UK to lead in Parliament( House of Lords).

October 1988

5 October 1988 -Duke McKenzie wins  the IBF World flyweight Title with an 11th round knockout over Rolando Bohol.

October 2000

4 October 2000 - the first MOBO Awards of the 21st Century again sees a variety of extremely talented Artists win coveted awards:  

Best UK Garage Act: DJ Luck and MC Neat featuring JJ - Masterblaster 2000 Best Newcomer: Craig David (Pictured) Best R&B Act: Craig David , Outstanding Contribution: Aswad ,Best Album -Gabrielle - Rise Best Video: Jamelia - Money


Photo: www.mobo.com

October 2003

3 October 2003 - Sees the opening of the Baitul Futuh Mosque (English: House of Victories, also known as the Morden Mosque. It is a mosque complex in Morden, London. It is Britain's largest mosque, while some news reports credit it as being the largest mosque of western Europe. It cost of approximately £15 million, entirely from national and international donations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the mosque covers an area of 5.2 acres (21,000 m2) and the full complex can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers. It is located in the south-west London suburb of Morden, London Borough of Merton, next to Morden South railway station, approximately 700 yards from Morden Underground station.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad launched an appeal for funds for the building on the 24 February 1995, and the land was purchased on the 29 March 1996. The foundation stone was placed by Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the then head of the Ahmadiyya Community on 19 October 1999, in a ceremony attended by 2000 guests, and inaugurated by the current head of the Ahmadiyya Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, on 3 October 2003. Although based at Fazl Mosque, Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivers his weekly Friday Sermon from Baitul Futuh. The opening ceremony was attended by over 600 guests; those present included High Commissioners, Deputy High Commissioners,Members of European Parliament, Members of Parliament, Mayors of London boroughs, councillors, university lecturers, and representatives of 17 countries.

The first Mosque appeared in the UK at Woking in 1896.

October 1982

2 October 1982 - Musical Youth become No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Pass The Dutchie'. The group were made up of Birmingham school boys, aged 11-16. The song was a cover of The Mighty Diamonds song called 'Pass The Kutchie', a slang term for a cannabis smoking pipe, but the word was changed to avoid the song being banned for it's drug reference. 

October 2017

1 October 2017 -Marks the 30th Anniversary of Black History Month in the UK ( BHM)

BHM began in the UK from 1987 and has now established a legacy covering different aspects of Black Politics and Grass Roots from activism, Young People, Arts and Culture, Fashion, Music, Education, Local Government, Civil Service, Education, Housing, The NHS and Medicine, Voluntary sector/Social enterprise, Social Care, Enterprise, Science and Technology, Law and Public Life. 

September 1907

30 September 1907 -  An unnamed Black Clergyman features on a postcard sent from Wheatley, Oxford. The message: “Many thanks for beautiful card. Should have been delighted to come, but felt I ought to stay for our Missionary Service. The gentleman on other side preached at an evening service in our church last night[Sunday 29th September]. Our Harvest Festival is next Sunday. Much love from F and EJ” [?]

Thanks to www.jeffreygreen.co.uk for the above information.

September 1942

29 September 1942 - concern over the treatment of 11,000 Black troops under US command and the discrimination they were facing is voiced by Labour MP Tom Driberg. The Primeminster Winston Churchill ( pictured) replies " The question is certainly unfortunate. I am hopeful that without any action on my part the points of view of all concerned will be mutally understood and respected."

On the 13th October 1942 after heated debate at the War Cabinet, it was decided that British Forces should not interfere in the treatment of Black Soliders under US command who were subject to issues of segregation and discrimination.  

With thanks to David Olusonga and his book " Black & British".  

September 1985

28th September 1985 The Brixton riot of 1985 started on 28 September in Lambeth in South London. It was the second major riot that the area had witnessed in the space of four years, the last in 1981. It was sparked by the shooting of Dorothy 'Cherry' Groce by the Metropolitan Police, while they sought her 21-year-old son Michael Groce in relation to a suspected firearms offence; they believed Michael Groce was hiding in his mother's home. After two days of riots, photo-journalist David Hodge had died, 43 civilians and 10 police officers were hurt. Amongst a number of fires, one building had been destroyed, 55 cars had been burnt out, and 58 burglaries had been committed including acts of looting. There were also riots in Peckham, Birmingham, Coventry, Bristol, Liverpool and Wolverhampton.

September 2005

27 September 2005 -A settlement is reached to end the dispute between in-flight caterer Gate Gourmet and the Transport and General Workers Union.

Details of the deal will be released after a staff meeting on Wednesday.

But if the deal is ratified by both sides, they say they will work together to "rebuild trust and confidence".

The dispute started in August when the caterer sacked 670 workers in a row over restructuring. Staff at British Airways then walked out in sympathy.

The Gate Gourmet workers had staged an illegal walkout to protest against the firm's hiring of temporary seasonal workers.

"Both the company and the union are pleased that a way forward has been found and, if the agreement is ratified, both sides have committed to working together to rebuild trust and confidence after all the difficulties of recent weeks," said Gate Gourmet and the union (T&G) in a joint statement on Monday.

The T&G said it would be holding a mass meeting of staff on Wednesday to discuss the settlement, adding it expected to release details of the deal following the talks.

With thanks to the BBC for the above information.