On This Day

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

Race Riots in Chapletown

22 June 1987- The Chapeltown "race riots" of 1987, were riots in Chapeltown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. 21-23 June 1987 "Rioting in Chapeltown area of Leeds. About 70 youths smash shop windows, loot and attack the cops after they arrest a young man and beat him." 22 June, "Rioting in Chapeltown continues until 4 A.M." and 23 June, "Rioting in Chapeltown, Leeds continues. Shops, cars and windows are petrol bombed and stoned. A sex shop, believed to be used for police surveillance is burnt out." It was not the first time such rioting had occurred. In 1981 the area was subject to widespread rioting, this was also occurring in London, Birmingham and Liverpool at the time.


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Voice Publishes Windrush 70th Anniversary Special

21 June 2018 - To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Arrival of HM Windrush in Tilbury, The Voice Newspaper publishes a special Edition. The Paper said its aim was to "..acknowledge the immense contribution of the Windrush Generation and their families to British society over the last 70 years" 

The issue is made available for free, digitally, via its App downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play 

Youths Riot In Peckham

20 June 1981- Over 500 youths involved in rioting in Peckham as riotous disorder breakout in some areas of the country. Again accusations of unfair treatment by the police is put forward as a key reason 

Bombay Dreams Debuts In The West End

19 June 2002 - Bombay Dreams opens at the Apollo Victoria, London. A Bollywood-themed musical, with music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Don Black and the book by Meera Syal and Thomas Meehan, and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The London production opened in 2002 and ran for two years. The musical also was produced on Broadway in 2004. The story centres around Akaash, a young man from the slums of Bombay who dreams of becoming the next big star in Bollywood.

UK Signs Up To Eliminate All Race Discrimination

18 June 1969 - The UK becomes a signatory to the United Nations International Convention that is committed to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. The Convention was launched on 2 January 1969.  

Pan African Federation Formed

17 June 1944 -The Pan-African Federation  a multinational Pan-African organization is founded in Manchester, United Kingdom.Peter Milliard and Ras Makonnen had called a meeting in Manchester of all black organisations and set up the Pan-African Federation.

Participating groups included:

Negro Association (Manchester) Coloured Workers Association (London) Coloured Peoples Association (Edinburgh) African Union (Glasgow) United Committee of Colonial and Coloured Peoples' Associations (Cardiff) Association of Students of African Descent (Dublin) Kikuyu Central Association (Kenya) represented by Jomo Kenyatta West African Youth League (Sierra Leone section) represented by Isaac Wallace-Johnson Friends of African Freedom Society (Gold Coast)


Its aims were:

To promote the well-being and unity of African peoples and peoples of African descent throughout the world To demand self-determination and independence of African peoples, and other subject races from the domination of powers claiming sovereignty and trusteeship over them To secure equality of civil rights for African peoples and the total abolition of all forms of racial discrimination. To strive to co-operate between African peoples and others who share our aspirations.

The Pan African Conference which was held in October 1945 was a consequence of this Federation.


New Era For Black Politics

16 June 1987 - The Voice Newspaper reports that the election of 4 new Black MPs may hail a new Black Cacus in Westminster.


Photo: Thanks to Voice Online

Kevin Gately Dies in National Front Protest

15 June 1974 -The National Front, a far right white nationalist party, stage a march in London in 1974 to protest against the government's amnesty for illegal immigrants.

In Red Lion Square the march erupted into violence  between National Front demonstrators and counter-protesters from the London Area Council of Liberation, the International Marxist Group and the International Socialists, and the police. Kevin Gately, a 21-year-old maths student at Warwick University was killed in unknown circumstances during the violent clashes. After Kevin Gately's death hundreds of students participated in anti-fascist demonstrations and an action committee was set up in his name by the students' union at Warwick University.

By the time of the march, the National Front had 20,000 members and was doing well in many local elections, including those in Deptford where it gained 44% of the votes.

His memorial plaque noted he was the first person to die in a UK Demonstration for at least 55 years.

With thanks to The Runnymede Trust  for the above information 

Its All Black & White On The Night

14  June 1958 -The Controversial Black & White Minstrel show is launched as a Light Entertainment Series on the BBC. The show involved White Male Performing in Blackface ie Black Polished faces to become Black Singers.   

Len Garrison Born

13 June 1943 - Len Garrison who went on to form the Black Cultural Archives  is born. 

A Webbe First For Welsh Rugby

12 June 1986 - Glen Webbe becomes the first black player to represent the Welsh national rugby union team when he makes his debut versus Tonga.

Flather The First

11 June 1990 -·Baroness Flather is the first female Asian peer, She became a life peer for the Conservative party as Baroness Flather, of Windsor and Maidenhead in the Royal County of Berkshire. 

Gill The First

10 June 1999 -- UK's first Asian female MEP , Neena Gill is elected. She represented the West Midlands between 1999 and 2009 

Double First For The Doctor

9 June 1975 - Dr John Anthony Roberts becomes the first known person of African ancestry to be the Head of his Chambers in England and Wales and later the first person of African ancestry to be made a QC in England and Wales.

George Lindo Freed

8 June 1979 -Mr George Lindo, 27, of Bradford, is freed from jail after his conviction of March 1978 was overturned on appeal. 

Mr Lindo had been jailed on 2 March 1978 by Bradford Crown Court, despite strong alibis, no direct evidence against him, and evidence of a false 'confession' obtained by detective constable David Brierley, who was later suspended from the police force for allegedly having concocted witness statements in a Yorkshire murder case. At the time of the trial the defence were not informed of Brierley's suspension by the police. The three appeal court judges said that the withholding of this information, which might have been material to the case, was a matter for the Attorney-General. 

His plight had been bought to national attention by the song of performing songwriter and poet Linton Kwesi Johnson hit record, "It Dread inna Inglan (For George Lindo)" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuL5Nzhtvl0

With thanks also to The Runnymede Trust for the above information.

BNP Wins Euro Election Seats

7 June 2009 - In the European election results 2009, the British National Party wins two seats as their leaderNick Griffin( pictured) is  elected.The far right party's leader  picked up a seat in the North West region in the early hours of this morning, after another candidate Andrew Brons won in Yorkshire and the Humber. Mr Griffin said that the presence of his party in Brussels would "transform British politics"

Marcus Garvey At The Albert Hall

6 June 1928 - Marcus Garvey gives  a speech given  at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in June 1928.

Born in Jamaica , Marcus Garvey founded and led the largest mass movement in Black history: the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).  He visited Britain temporarily, and worked as a journalist in London in the year preceding World War One. Garvey returned to live and organise in London, where he published The Black Man during the 1930s, and he died in the city in June 1940.

New Black Power Movement Formed In The UK

5 June 1967 - The Universal Coloured People’s Association(UCPA) is founded at a meeting of 76 people in Notting Hill. Many of those first members had been meeting regularly at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park for months. 

The founding members agreed to pay membership dues and elected Nigerian playwright Obi Egbuna as their president and Roy Sawh as his second in command. 

See Hall of Fame for full biography.

Malorie Blackman Appointed Children's Laureate.

4 June 2013 - Malorie Blackman is  crowned the new children's laureate. She is an Award Winning Author and seen as one of  country's very best children's writers or illustrators and gives them a chance to speak up for young readers. 

Terror Attack On The Bridge

3 June 2017 – Seven people are reported killed and 48 injured in an attack by three Islamist extremists at London Bridge. A hit-and-run vehicle on the bridge is followed by knife attacks at Borough Market. All three perpetrators are shot dead by police within eight minute

Clara Amfo praised for emotional anti-racism speech on Radio 1

2 June 2020 -BBC Radio 1 host Clara Amfo is praised for making a candid, emotional speech on air about George Floyd's death and her own mental health.

Amfo said she had been so affected by Mr Floyd's death that she had missed her show on Monday 1 June.

"I didn't have the mental strength to face you guys yesterday," said the DJ, her voice breaking with emotion.

"I was sat on my sofa crying, angry, confused... stuck at the news of yet another brutalised black body."

Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died last week after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin has been sacked and charged with third-degree murder.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information. See also Timeline 3 June 2020. 

New Hope For England Women

1 June 1998: Hope Powell is appointed as the first full-time coach for the England women's international sides.  Her first game in charge was a 1-0 defeat to Sweden at Dagenham & Redbridge FC on 26 July. An experienced international with 66 caps and 35 goals, she was the youngest ever England coach and the first female England coach. Hope started out with Millwall Lionesses at the age of eleven and eventually won The FA Women's Cup twice, including the League and Cup double as captain of Croydon in 1996.

With thanks also the the FA.Com for the above information.


George Floyd Death In USA Sparks London Demonstrations

31 May 2020 -   On Sunday thousands of demonstrators broke social distancing regulations to gather in Trafalgar Square for a “Kneel for Floyd” protest, while hundreds marched through Peckham and Brixton in south London on Monday 1 June.

Both protests were organised by London chapters of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The spokesperson said the protests were organised to "show solidarity with the people of the US, particularly black Americans" and because "the injustice in the United States has refocused the similar problems we have here in the United Kingdom”.

He added: “Since 1990 almost one person a week has died at the hands of the police or prison system in Britain, and we need accountability and reform here as well.

“This crisis has to stop if we don’t want to go in the same direction as the United States.

The continued unrest has been fuelled by widespread anger in response to Mr Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25. The 46-year-old African-American was filmed gasping for breath as a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

With thanks  to The Evening Standard for the above information. See also Timeline 2 June 2020

Boateng Makes Political History

30 May 2002 - Having been made  Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in 2001, Paul Boateng is promoted to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury making history as Britain’s first black cabinet minister. He said “My colour is part of me but I do not choose to be defined by my colour.” His appointment was greeted with praise by civil rights activists who said that his appointment gave hope to young black youths and would inspire them to become involved in politics. 

Bellew Bounces Back

 29 May 2016 - Tony Bellew challenges  for the WBC cruiserweight title, vs  Ilunga Makabu (19-1, 18 KOs), who had not lost since his debut back in 2008, at Goodison Park in Liverpool. Bellew overcame a first-round knock-down to deliver a thunderous knockout of Makabu and become WBC cruiserweight champion, winning his first world title.