On This Day

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

Footballer Chris Zebroski Jailed

17 April 2015 - Newport County footballer Chris Zebroski has been jailed for four years and four months for two attacks. The 28-year-old striker admitted four charges of robbery, attempted robbery and assault relating to two incidents.

Swindon Crown Court heard he crashed his BMW into a taxi in December and attacked a witness who filmed him when he got out of the car and tried to take his mobile phone.

He also assaulted and attempted to rob two men in February. After being jailed, Zebroski had his contract terminated by Newport.

Zebroski, whose former clubs include Cheltenham, Bristol Rovers and Millwall, hit the taxi of Icowalik Vladimirej in Swindon on 14 December. 2014. Another driver, Bala Maddu, thought his car had been hit so began filming the exchange between the two men.


More On This Day Entries

Kenlock Launches Black Power Photos Exhibition

16 April 2013 - Photographer Neil Kenlock ( See Hall of Fame for biography) launches his " The Amazing lost legacy of the British Black Panthers" photo exhibition of the movement that existed in Britain between 1968-1972.

See below for more.


Red Plaque For FireFighter

15 April 2018 -A red plaque is  unveiled in honour of George A Roberts by London Fire Brigade on New Cross Fire Station in South East London where he was stationed in World War Two.

See Hall of Fame for Biography

Indian Workers Spied Upon

14 April 1942 - File 273/42 - Indian Workers' Union or Association: reports on members and activities


This intelligence report is featured in the India Office Records in the files of the Public and Judicial Department. These contain numerous surveillance reports of individuals and organisations based in Britain who were campaigning for Indian independence as well as for better working conditions for Indians in Britain, especially those in menial jobs in factories.

Founded in 1937, the Indian Workers’ Association (IWA) had a twofold purpose. It promoted the struggle for Indian independence among working-class Indians resident in Britain, and also campaigned to protect workers’ rights and their welfare. Its early membership included mainly Punjabi Sikhs and Muslims, some working initially as peddlers and later working in factories or construction in the Midlands during World War Two.

The document offers details of the IWA and the main people involved in its activities. The India Office Record files link the organisation to the Ghadr movement; some of its activities were linked to fundraising for the families of Sikhs who had been imprisoned or executed in India by the colonial authorities. The India Office kept the organisation under close surveillance, fearful of the IWA’s agitations in Britain and India. It also kept records of members of the IWA whose activities could be potentially seditious.

In terms of workers’ rights and welfare, the IWA provided support to members facing employment issues or discrimination at work. The organisation was also heavily involved in cases where Indians faced conscription and campaigned for them not to be drafted into the army.

Love Thy Neighbour.....unless They Are Black ? Launches

13 April 1972  -Love Thy Neighbour  a British sitcom, which was transmitted from 13 April 1972 until 22 January 1976, spanning seven series. The sitcom was produced by Thames Television for the ITV network. The principal cast included Jack Smethurst, Rudolph Walker, Nina Baden-Semper and Kate Williams. In 1973, the series was adapted into a film of the same name, and a later sequel series was set in Australia. A very controversial programme that would never be broadcast today - just like the BBC series it was seen to counter - Till Death Do Us Part - because of the severe racial stereotypes throughout. 

Sajid Makes History

12 April 2012 - Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani bus conductor, becomes the first Asian male to lead a government department, when he is appointed Minister for Culture and Sport by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

GLC Festival Celebrate Culture

11 April 1982 -  The Greater London Council  (GLC) host a Easter Carnival. The GLC was at the forefront of promoting Multiracial London and held regular festivals and concerts in pursuit of this objective.




With thanks to the National Archives -Catalogue Reference:LMA/GLC/DG/PRB/24/82/005

Enninful Is In Vogue

10 April 2017 - Edward Enninful is  confirmed as the new editor-in-chief of British Vogue . Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse announced him as Alexandra Shulman's successor, calling Enninful "an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist". See Hall of Fame for biography. 

Sikh Busmen Win Right to Wear Turbans at Work

9 April 1969 British Sikh busmen in Wolverhampton win the right to wear turbans on duty after long-running campaign. Conductors and drivers who are practising Sikhs will also be allowed to have long beards another requirement for strict adherents of their faith. Wolverhampton's Transport Committee dropped its ban after the leader of a Sikh group, Sohan Singh Jolly, had threatened to burn himself to death in protest. Was introduced into the Police Force in 1970 and worn first by Kenyan born Harban Singh Jabbal. London Transport after similar protest allowed the Turban to be worn 1964.

Death of Bernie Grant

8 April 2000 - Death of Bernard Alexander Montgomery Grant (17 February 1944 – 8 April 2000). Known simply as Bernie Grant, he was a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Tottenham from 1987 to his death in 2000. He became the first ever Black Leader of an English local council in 1985. 

His Funeral took place on 18th April 2000 (Programme cover pictured) -See Timeline  18 April 2000.

DeGale Wins Belt Back

7 April 2018 -Britain's James DeGale regained his IBF super-middleweight title with a unanimous points decision over Caleb Truax in Las Vegas.

DeGale, 32, lost his belt in a shock points defeat by the 34-year-old American in December 2017.

But he did not underestimate Truax a second time and went the distance, despite a bad cut, to secure the win.

With thanks to the BBC for the above information.

Large Scale Nationality Bill Protest

6 April 1981 Lead by the Campaign Against Racist Laws, 10,000 protestors march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, to protest against the Nationality Bill. The Bill became the 1981 Nationality Act on 30th October 1981. This Act defined British nationality into three types but for many it was seen as further restricting the rights of black families to settle with the family of their choice.

250 Years of the West India Committee

5 April 1985 - The West India Committee, formed in London celebrated its incredible 250th Anniversary. The West India Committee was established in Bishopsgate, London to protect trade in the British West Indies. However, by 1836, the West India Committee coordinated fundraising to end slave ownership and slave labour. After emancipation in the British West Indies, the Committee reached out to slaves from Portuguese and Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and assisted them in being granted asylum in declared safe havens.

Sound Of Blackness Launched by Black Cultural Archives

4 April 2017 -Black Sound  an exhibition from the Black Cultural Archives, is launched to celebrate and reflect on 100 years of the Black Sound in Britain. It  remembers the players, the promoters, the producers and the punters who helped propel black music in the UK. London. The Exhibition ran from April to November 2017. 


Photo: Smiley Culture, c.1980s. © Ian Watts. Courtesy of Black Cultural Archives


Dosanj Makes History

3 April 1999 - Southampton Saints' reserve team Ladies Keeper, Aman  Dosanj comes on as a half time sub to represent  England U-16s in a five-nations tournament in Dublin. In doing so she notably became the first British Asian to play football for England at any level. Dosanj described her international debut as "the proudest and most memorable day of my life. See Hall of Fame for biography on Aman Dosanj.

Riots in Bristol

2 April 1980 – Riots come to St Pauls in Bristol. The St Pauls riot occurred when police raided the Black and White Café on Grosvenor Road in the heart of the area. After several hours of disturbance in which fire engines and police cars were damaged, 130 people were arrested. 25 persons were taken to hospital, including 19 police and members of the press. The riot occurred against a background of increasing racial tension, poor housing and alienation of black youth. At the height of the disturbances, some 2,000 youth  were involved As a result of the disturbances local authorities and the national government began to pay attention to these issues. The Black and White Café was eventually closed down and demolished in 2005.

Death of Darcus Howe

1 April 2017 - Darcus Howe, the broadcaster, writer and civil rights campaigner, dies aged 74. His family announced his death in a statement that read: “Darcus died quietly and unexpectedly in his sleep on the evening of Saturday 1 April. Our private grief is inseparable from our public pride.”

Howe, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, lived in Brixton, south London, for 30 years and was well known for his Channel 4 series Black on Black and late-night current affairs programme The Devil’s Advocate.

In a hugely varied and influential journalistic career, he was also an editor of Race Today, wrote columns for both the New Statesman and the Voice, and served as chair of the Notting Hill carnival. His television work included the multicultural current affairs documentary The Bandung File, which he co-edited with Tariq Ali, and more recently White Tribe, a look at modern Britain. See Hall of Fame for full biography 

Kingsley Burrell Dies In Mental Health Detention After Police Arrest

31 March 2011 - Kingsley Burrell, 29,  dies after a cardiac arrest at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Just four days earlier, he had been sectioned after calling police and claiming two men had put a machine gun to his head.

He had dialed 999 from a supermarket in Winson Green, Birmingham, in March 2011, saying he was being threatened by gunmen.

However, when police arrived they decided no firearms offences had taken place and described Mr Burrell as being in an "agitated state".

He was taken to a mental health unit before being moved to hospital.

Inside the ambulance, there was an altercation between officers and Mr Burrell. Officers said he had "gone berserk" and had to be restrained but his family insist he was attacked.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information

See Also Timeline  12 October 2016

Death of Douglas Williams

30 March 2020 - Douglas "Brother Dougie" Williams, "Mr.Tottenham" Community Activist,  for more than 30 years, popular DJ on SLR Radio dies. One of the causes close to him was his campaign to promote more effective parenting within the Black Community . From tackling gun and knife crime, issues of mental health, promoting better education, improving personal relationships, Douglas Williams would organise an event or support other activists at their events and across communities. His spirituality was a source of strength and inspiration to him.  


Kingsley In Asian Oscar First

29 March 1982 - Ben Kinglsey becomes the first UK Asian to be nominated and win the Best Actor Nomination for his incredible performance in the also Oscar winning epic "Gandhi" . Sir Ben Kingsley as he is known now has since won a Grammy, BAFTA, two Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards.. 

Famous Mgutshini Murdered At Rail Station

28 March 1980 - Famous Mgutshini is stabbed to death outside Liverpool Street Station. The police denied a racial motive by calling his assailant mentally unstable.

Leeds Football Club Launches Anti-Racism Campaign

27 March 1987 - A campaign against racist football fans is launched by Leeds United . The club said that it would be handing out 40,000 leaflets to fans warning them of the consequences of racist chanting and abusive behaviour. The campaign was launched to tie in with the new Public Order Act; the provision on incitement to racial hatred had come into effect in April 1987.


With thanks to The Runnymede Trust for the above information.



Marcus Garvey Moves To London

26 March 1935 - Black Nationalist, Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. relocates to London to run his organisation from there.

Marcus Gravey(17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940) was a Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator. He was the founder and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL, commonly known as UNIA), through which he declared himself Provisional President of Africa. Ideologically a black nationalist and Pan-Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism.

With UNIA in increasing financial difficulty, he moved to rented accommodation at 53 Talgarth Road, Hammersmith, in 1935. At home recovering from a stroke he read in a newspaper his own premature, and uncomplimentary, obituary. He died shortly after.in 1940. In 1964 his body was returned to Jamaica for reburial in Kingston's National Heroes Park.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940) was a Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator. He was the founder and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL, commonly known as UNIA), through which he declared himself Provisional President of Africa. Ideologically a black nationalist and Pan-Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism.

Jeptha The First ?

25 March 1907 -  Andrew Jeptha becomes the  first black boxer to win a British boxing title, winning the welterweight title in London However, Jeptha is not often recognised as the first black British boxing champion as he was born in South Africa and later returned to live there ( without his British Wife ) where he died in 1920 aged just 41. 

See Also Timeline 15 February 1929.

Sikh Children Make Legal History

24 March 1983 - Historic decision by House of Lords in Nandla et al vs Lee. Lords rule that School who denied two Sikh children a place at school because they wore Turbans, had discriminated against them on grounds of race. The case was bought under the Race Relations Act 1976. It was held that Sikhs were a race for the purposes of the Act and thus were racially discriminated against.