On This Day

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

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.


 

More On This Day Entries

England Cancel South African Over Player Ban

17 September 1968 - South Africa's refusal to admit mixed race England south African born Cricketer, Basil D'Oliveira leads to the cancellation of the tour and South Africa's eventual ban from international cricket.


 
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.


 
Terror Blast At Parsons Green Station

15 September 2017– A blast and fire on a tube train at Parsons Green station is treated as a terrorist attack. A number of people suffer burn injuries, while others are injured during the trample to escape. There are 29 injures in total, but no deaths and no reports of any life-threatening injuries. The UK terror threat is raised to its highest level as police hunt the perpetrator, with hundreds of officers looking through CCTV footage


 
Sampha Completes The Mercury Process

14 September 2017 -Sampha's debut album, Process, wins the 2017 Mercury Prize


 
Distinguished War Conduct Awards awarded.

13 September 1914 -Distinguished Conduct Medals  awarded to Sergeant Miydiyo of 4th Battalion during the battle against German forces at Kisii, Kenya, and Colour Sergeant Kumani of 1st Battalion on 7 October 1914 at Gazi.The King's African Rifles (KAR) was a multi-battalion British colonial regiment raised from Britain's various possessions in formerly British East Africa to the present-day African Great Lakes region from 1902 until independence in the 1960s. The Regiment fought with distinction in both World Wars against the armies of Germany, Italy, Vichy France and Japan. Rank and file Africans were called Askaris.

Photo: National Portrait Gallery


 
Inayat Khan Dies

12 September 2016 - Hidayat Inayat Khan ,British-French classical composer, conductor and Representative-General of the International Sufi Movement dies aged 99. See Hall of Fame  for full biography  


 
Terror In New York Brings Global Horror

11 September 2001 - Two planes deliberately attack the Wolrd Trade Center within minutes of each other.   2,996 people were killed (including 19 terrorists) and more than 6,000 others wounded. These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on American soil since the attack on Pearl Harboron December 7, 1941.

Amongst the 67 UK Victims was Sara Ali, 35 from Balham, London ( pictured)  Avnish Raman Patel and Hashmukh Parmar.

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Sus Laws Reviewed

10 September 1979 -Royal Commission established by the new Conservative Goverment to look into the "Sus Laws"

In those areas where no such power existed, police not infrequently used the so-called “ways and means Act” – which some claimed to be a euphemism for deceit – in order to obtain compliance from those they wished to stop and search. Meanwhile Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824, which controversially became known as the ‘sus’ law, enabled police to stop and search certain individuals they suspected of frequenting or loitering in a public place with intent to commit an arrestable offence.


 
Race Relations Board Loses First Prosecution.

10 September 1969 -  The Race Relations Board loses it's first prosecution under recent  Race Relations legislation. Judgement was given against the Race Relations Board on a technicality. The defendants, Messrs. George H. Haigh & Co., when developing a new housing estate in Huddersfield, had entered into lease agreements with prospective customers but had refused to do so with the complainant on the grounds of his colour. A case was brought by the Race Relations Board. According to Runnymede Director, Dipak Nandy, the rest of the judgement deserved emphasis.

"First, Judge McKee decided unequivocally that discrimination had occurred. Secondly, he rejected two of the three arguments presented by the defendants... that at the time of the alleged act of discrimination there were no completed houses for sale, and that an incomplete house was not 'housing accommodation' under the terms of the Act. Thirdly, the only reason for dismissing the Board's application was that the committee which had investigated the case had, at the time, not had formal approval from the Home Secretary. Thus, as Judge McKee put it, this case 'was and must remain unique in that a technical defence which had nothing to do with the merits had been raised that could never again be put forward.' Such a situation, therefore, cannot arise again.

Finally, the chief executive of Messrs. Haigh & Co. is reported to have said that, as a result of this case, his firm's policy of not selling houses to coloured persons would have to be altered. The main objective of the Race Relations Act is not to punish the discriminator, but to alter discriminatory conduct. It is clear that, although the Board lost the case on technical grounds, the main objective of the law has been achieved in this case."

With thanks to  The Runnymede Trust for the above information.

 


 
Rascal The First Rapper To Win Mercury

9 September  2003 - Underground urban artist Dizzee Rascal has become the first rapper to win the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for his Album Boy in da Corner.

 


 
Connolly Becomes Britain's First Black Headteacher

8 September 1969 - Yvonne Connolly became Britain's first black headteacher in 1969.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBeZigeTL4g

When she was made headmistress of a London primary school she received racist abuse from some people but refused to let them define her relationship with the children she taught. This soon turned to death threats that a Bodyguard was employed to take her home. 


 
Prince Charles Launches Lawrence Lectures

7 September 2000 HRH Prince Charles gives the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture at the Princes's Foundation, in Shoreditch London.


 
First Jamaican King Arrives To Settle In Brixton

6 September 1952 - Leslie King was the first Jamaican immigrant to settle in London's Brixton area. (Photo by Charles Hewitt/Picture Post/Getty Images)


 
Fusilier Meade Killed In Iraq

5 September 2005 -Fusilier Donal Meade , 20, from south east London, is killed by a roadside bomb.Fusilier Meade from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had been travelling in a convoy which was hit about five miles east of Shaibah airbase, in Basra province.  

With thanks to www.dailymail.co.uk for the above information and photo.


 
Gunner Dies On Duty

4 September 2006 - Gunner Samuela Vanua, from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, dies in a roadside explosion near Ad Dayr, north of Basra.

His commanding officer, Lt Col Jon Campbell, said he got to know the 27-year-old in July when they had been on patrol together.

"I was impressed by his excellent attitude, infectious cheerfulness, conduct and confidence," he said.

With thanks to www.dailymail.co.uk for the above information and photo.


 
Distinguished War Conduct Awards awarded.

13 September 1914 -Distinguished Conduct Medals  awarded to Sergeant Miydiyo of 4th Battalion during the battle against German forces at Kisii, Kenya, and Colour Sergeant Kumani of 1st Battalion on 7 October 1914 at Gazi.The King's African Rifles (KAR) was a multi-battalion British colonial regiment raised from Britain's various possessions in formerly British East Africa to the present-day African Great Lakes region from 1902 until independence in the 1960s. The Regiment fought with distinction in both World Wars against the armies of Germany, Italy, Vichy France and Japan. Rank and file Africans were called Askaris.

Photo: National Portrait Gallery


 
West End Success Highlights Race Discrimination

3 September 1903 - Following the sucess of the 100 member cast of the production, In Dahomey  . The show attracted black londoners who would meet in the nearby pubs. Another group of black men went into one of those pubs – and were refused service. Some newspapers reported on this: “A Colour Line in London?” (Westminster Gazette, 9 September 1903), “The Coloured Man’s Complaint” (Daily News, 9 September), and “Racial Question in the West End” (Weekly Dispatch, 13 September).

 

With thanks to www.jeffreygreen.co.uk for the above information


 
Bruno's World British First

2 September 1995 - Frank Bruno becomes World Heavyweight Champion and Britain's first of the 20th Century by defeating holder Oliver McCall at Wembley. Billed as "The Empire Strikes Back", the  boxing match contested  for the WBC Heavyweight Championship.

In the opening rounds, Bruno unloaded a barrage of left jabs that left McCall stunned. McCall absorbed the punishment, put up little defense and waited until the fifth round to throw a meaningful punch. But by then, Bruno was confident and ahead on points.

As the fight wore on, it became apparent that McCall's last hope to retain the title was to win by a knockout.

McCall hurt Bruno with an uppercut in the 11th, and in the 12th, McCall shoved the local hero around the ring and unloaded a hard right to Bruno's head. McCall banged Bruno with another body shot and a left-right combination. Bruno, bleeding from the mouth, hanging on desperately, turned the final minute into a dance of attrition.

Judge Malcolm Bulner gave Bruno a 115-113 victory. Newton Campos and Fay Solis each had Bruno the winner by 117-111. Bruno became only the third British-born boxer to win a world heavyweight title along with Bob Fitzsimmons and Lennox Lewis—and he was the first to win it on British soil.


 
Blue Plaque For Freddie Mercury

1 September 2016 -  A Blue Plaque of Freddie Mercury is erected  by English Heritage at 22 Gladstone Avenue, Feltham, London, TW14 9LL, London Borough of Hounslow 

Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest stars in the history of rock music. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – written by Mercury and performed with Queen – remains one of Britain’s best-loved songs. Mercury started to explore his musical talents as a teenager when he moved with his family to 22 Gladstone Avenue in Feltham, where he is now commemorated with a blue plaque.

With thanks to English Heritage for the  above information 


 
Seni Lewis killed by Police

31st August 2010  -Olaseni Lewis, known as Seni to his family and friends, dies after being restrained by up to 11 policemen whilst he was seeking help as a vulnerable voluntary patient at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, Croydon.He had been admitted early in the evening of Tuesday 31 August 2010 and had been at the hospital for only a few hours before this incident occurred. See Also 1 November 2018


 
Muhammad Ali's Last UK Tour

30 August 2009 - Muhammad Ali, who has Parkinson's disease, makes the last  of his "UK Farewell Tour"  appearances at fundraising dinners held in his honour at Wembley Stadium, Other stops included Stoke's Britannia Stadium (Aug 27) and Old Trafford (Aug 26). In 1991, Ali appeared at the bedside of Watson in the London hospital where the injured British fighter was in a coma.


 
Christine Claims World Gold

29 August 2007 -Great Britain's 400m Runner Christine Ohuruogu claims Gold in a dramatic Final in Osaka, Japan.  Williams, Ohuruogu and  Sanders closed quickly on the other athletes. Williams held the lead up until the final five metres, where she tied up quickly, allowing the two British athletes to take the first two medals on a dip. Ohuruogu surprised the field to take the gold medal with a personal best, just 24 days after her 12-month suspension for missing three out-of-competition doping tests expired.


 
Holmes Secures Legend Status

28 August 2004 -  British athlete Kelly Holmes secures a place in Olympic history by winning the 1500m gold in Athens. The runner won the 800m just a few days before and became the first Briton in 84 years to achieve the Olympic middle-distance double.

 

 


 
Sus Is Scrapped after 157 years

27 August 1981 -The  sus Law is  repealed on 27 August 1981, on the advice of the 1979 Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, when the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 received Royal Assent.

In England and Wales, the sus law (from "suspected person", see below) was the informal name for a stop and search law that permitted a police officer to stop, search and potentially arrest people on suspicion of them being in breach of section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824.

The power to act on "sus" was found in part of section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824, which provided that:

every suspected person or reputed thief, frequenting any river, canal, or navigable stream, dock, or basin, or any quay, wharf, or warehouse near or adjoining thereto, or any street, highway, or avenue leading thereto, or any place of public resort, or any avenue leading thereto, or any street, or any highway or any place adjacent to a street or highway; with intent to commit an arrestable offence

— section 4, Vagrancy Act 1824

"[S]hall be deemed a rogue and vagabond" and would be guilty of an offence, and be liable to be imprisoned for up to three months. This effectively permitted the police to stop and search, and even arrest, anyone found in a public place on the grounds that they suspected that they might intend to commit an offence.

In order to bring a prosecution under the Act, the police had to prove that the defendant had committed two acts:

the first, that established them as a "suspected person" (by acting suspiciously), and the second, that provided intent to commit an arrestable offence.

Two witnesses were required to substantiate the charge, which were usually two police officers patrolling together.

The law caused much discontent among certain sections of the population, particularly black and ethnic minorities, against whom the law was particularly targeted by the police— The sus law had attracted considerable controversy prior to the early 1980s race riots (in St Pauls, Bristol, in 1980, and in Brixton, London; Toxteth, Liverpool; Handsworth, Birmingham; and Chapeltown, Leeds in 1981).

This led to campaigns against the law including the "Scrap Sus" campaign led by Mavis Best(see Hall of Fame ) and Paul Boateng.

In 1980, the House of Commons' Sub-Committee on Race Relations and Immigration began hearings into the law. In the case of the race riots, the alleged abusive use of the sus law was believed to be a contributory factor to those events.The sus law was repealed on 27 August 1981, on the advice of the 1979 Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, when the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 received Royal Assent