In this section, we remember significant achievements and moments from Black and Asian history
24 May 2008 - The 50th Anniversary of the formation of the West Indian Standing Conference (WISC) - an organisation that campaigns and champions the principles of Race Equality in the United Kingdom.
The organisation claim that the concept of race equality was designed by its originator, Joseph Alexander Hunte, as a panacea to halt the spread of racial riots of 1958 in Notting Hill, London and Nottingham.
The Prime Minister The. Rt Hon. Gordon Brown, the Leader of the Opposition Rt Hon. David Cameron and the Leader of the LibDems, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg all write acknowledging WISC’s contribution to the advent of Race Relations in the United Kingdom.
See Hall of Fame for Biography
The Street Report on Anti-Discrimination Legislation commissioned in 1967, is published. The report noted that in the United States opened up jobs to minority groups and recommended that in the UK, the ( Labour) Government did the same via legislation. One of Authors, Geoffrey Howe went onto become a Foreign Secretary and Chancellor in the Conversative Governments between 1979-1992.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is commisioned by Royal Charter to honour the hundreds of thousands of men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First World Wars to ensure they will never be forgotten. At the end of the Second World War in 1945, it was honouring 1.7 million Men and Women.
John Charles of West Ham becomes the first black player to represent England football team at any level. It was not Viv Anderson or latterly discovered England Schoolboy Benjamin Odeje in 1971 (or indeed the unrecognised Cliff Marshall who debuted in the same Schoolboys Match vs Northen Ireland at Wembley). And even going further back Paul Reaney of Leeds who made his full debut for England in 1968 but was never recognised as Black. John Charles played in back to back England Youth Team Friendly Matches vs Israel in Tel Aviv on 20 May and 22 May 1962.
At around midnight, a white gang ambushed 32-year- old Antiguan carpenter Kelso Cochrane on a Notting Hill slum street. The news of an innocent Black man stabbed in West London reverberated from Whitehall to the Caribbean. And when the police failed to catch the killer, many black people believed it would have been different if the victim had been white. Protests in Whitehall bought the deep feelings of resentment to a national audience . See Hall of Fame for biography.
In Dahomey opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London on 16 May 1903. . The show set a standard for black dance/song/acting that lasted into the 1920s when the jazz-influenced shows from New York were brought to London. Many black entertainers claimed to have been in the 1903 show, for a truncated version had been presented to the king at Buckingham Palace on 27 June, a mark of honour absent from the U.S.A.
12 May 1981 - the organisation INQUEST is formed and later becomes a Registered Charity in 1995. Inquest, sometimes styled INQUEST, is a charity concerned with deaths in custody or detention in England and Wales, It offers specialist advice and support to bereaved families and others.Was inspired as a result of the Deptford Fire of 1981 where 13 Black Teenagers lost their lives
9 May 1993 - Britain's first Black Community Arts & Dance Project, The Black E, celebrates its 25th Anniversary.
The Black-E (formerly The Blackie) began with the commitment to combine a contemporary arts centre with a community centre. When - having taken over the former Great George Street Congregational Church, Liverpool, in October 1967 and held its public launch in May 1968. The choice of a home and base in one of the finest 19th Century buildings in the city, together with a commitment to both preservation and renovation, provided a re-affirmation of the natural links between the past, the present, and the future. The proximity of the building to Britain's oldest established African-Caribbean community - and to Europe's oldest Chinatown - meant that cultural diversity would be celebrated as a natural phenomenon.
8th May 1945- Ambrose Campbell and his West African Brothers Band enthuse the Crowd celebrating Victory in Europe VE Day at Piccadilly Circus -the day World War 2 virtually ended. Ambrose Campbell claimed: "People didn't know what was going on but they joined in. I suppose it was curiosity. Everybody had been waiting for that day so everybody was happy and jumping around and dancing and kissing each other, so we thought we'd join the celebration. We had a huge crowd following us around Piccadilly Circus."
6th May 1965 -Death of Una Marson (1905-1965). Una was the first Black female broadcaster at the BBC from 1939 to 1946. Una Marson, born in Jamaica , was a poet, publisher and activist for racial and sexual equality. She was a secretary to the League of Coloured Peoples as well as many other organisations including the Women's International League for Peace.
Altab Ali, a 25-year-old Bangladeshi a clothing worker, is brutally murdered. In Adler Street by three teenage boys as he walked home from work. A local park was renamed Altab Ali Park in 1998.]At the entrance to the park is an arch created by David Peterson, developed as a memorial to Altab Ali and other victims of racist attacks. The arch incorporates a complex Bengali-style pattern, meant to show the merging of different cultures in East London. A month later, Ishaque Ali is brutually murdered in Hackney.
Sheku Bayoh, 31, dies from suspected asphyxiation on a street in Kirkcaldy, Fife leaving behind Scottish partner and young child. He had been detained, handcuffed and put in leg restraints following an altercation with a female police officer and a colleague, and had been allegedly wielding a knife. See www.ourheritage.tv/timeline for more details
The Times reported that Eddie Manning “a coloured man, described by a Scotland Yard officer as an important drug trafficker in the West-End, [was] sentenced at Marylebone on Saturday to six months’ imprisonment with hard labour”. On 22 July 1922 the News of the World said he was “a drug vice chief”. In 1954 ex-superintendent Robert Fabian in his London After Dark memoirs said “The first drug trafficker I ever met was Eddie the Villain”
30 April 1963 - The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ black or Asian bus crews in the city of Bristol, England. In common with other British cities, there was widespread racial discrimination in housing and employment at that time against "coloureds". Led by youth worker Paul Stephenson and the West Indian Development Council, the boycott of the company's buses by Bristolians lasted for four months until the company backed down and overturned the colour bar.