On This Day

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

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.




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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.

Asian Tory MP Candidate Accused of English Defence League Plot

23 March 2015 - Afzal Amin, the Conservative candidate for Dudley North, resigns from the party after being accused of allegedly conspiring with the English Defence League to win votes

Historic Queen Counsel Appointment

 22 March 1988 - Len Woodley became Britain's first Queen's Counsel of Caribbean origin .

Ex UK Oversea Student Becomes Gold Coast President.

21 March 1952 - Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is elected the first Arifican Primeminister(PM) of the Sahara when he is elected as PM of the Gold Coast. Nkrumah had spent many years in Britain studying and vigorously arguing the case for African independence.  He was later to become the first leader of an independent Ghana in 1957.   

Death of Trevor Russell

19 March 2019 -Popular London entrepreneur and philanthropist, Trevor Russell, the man credited with running one of the most successful nightclubs in the capital, “Night Moves – The Right Moves” in Shoreditch, east London, in the 1980s and 90s, has died aged 73. See Hall of Fame for Biography

Marcus Garvey Visits London

20 March 1912 -  Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator, Marcus Garvey arrives in London following a long cruise to England . He rented  a room along Borough High Street in South London, he visited the House of Commons, where he was impressed by the politician David Lloyd George. He also visited Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park and began speaking there. There were only a few thousand black people in London at the time, and they were often viewed as exotic; most worked as labourers. Garvey initially gained piecemeal work labouring in the city's docks. 

Special Restrictions Ordered for 'Coloured' Seamen

18 March 1925 -The Special Restriction (Coloured Alien Seamen's) Order is described by Laura Tabili as 'the first instance of state-sanctioned race discrimination inside Britain to come to widespread notice' (p. 56). The work of the Home Office Aliens Department, the Order was issued under Article II of the Aliens Order of 1920 and stated that 'coloured' seamen who did not possess documentary proof of their status as British must register as 'aliens' in Britain 'whether or not they have been in the United Kingdom for more than two months'. Police were to apprehend 'coloured' men disembarking from ships and report them to the police if they failed to show their documentation. In practice, it was not easy for 'coloured' seamen to prove that they were British subjects because sailors were not required to carry passports and, unlike those of their white counterparts, 'coloured' seamen's discharge certificates were not considered proof of their nationality because of allegations of trafficking in these papers.

Reasons for the issue of the Order are various and debated. In a letter dated 14 August 1926, the Under-Secretary of State cites the demands made at the end of the First World War by the National Sailor and Fireman's Union that 'steps should be taken to restrict the admission to this country of coloured seamen who could not establish that they were British subjects, since they competed in the overstocked labour market for seamen and were a source of grave discontent among British sailors', and claims that the accumulation of 'coloured seamen' in certain ports 'was a continual source of irritation and...likely to lead to a breach of the peace' (HO 45/12314). However, by the mid-1920s, employment in the shipping industry was beginning to pick up, which calls these reasons into question. Further, historians have recently questioned the role of the Union in pushing forward this piece of legislation, arguing that it was the state that played a more significant role.

State officials, determined to deport 'coloured' seamen, interpreted and enforced the rules rigidly, depriving these men of their citizenship. The India Office and Colonial Office received numerous protests from seamen who claimed that police were using the order to target men who were obviously British subjects. Further, officials erroneously applied the rules to non-seamen, for example registering 63 Glasgow-based Indians, most of whom worked as peddlers and labourers, as 'aliens'. Indians in Liverpool protested in the form of a public rally and through founding the Indian Seamen's Union, led by N. J. Upadhyaya. The India Office, fearful of the public outcry triggered by the Order in India, reprimanded the Home Office, even suggesting that all Indians should be issued with passports - a suggestion that was not received favourably by the Home Office. Finally, it was agreed that Indian seamen registered as 'aliens' could apply to the Home Office to have their British nationality verified. They would then be issued with a Special Certificate of Identity and Nationality which would enable their registration to be cancelled. The Order was finally revoked in 1942.

With thanks to the Open University for the above information

Manchester Arena bombing: Hashem Abedi guilty of 22 murders

17 March 2020 -The brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi is  found guilty of murdering 22 people.

Hashem Abedi had denied helping to plan the "sudden and lethal" blast which killed or injured "nearly 1,000".

The Old Bailey heard the pair worked together to source materials used in the suicide blast after an Ariana Grande show at the venue.

Prosecutors said Hashem was "jointly responsible" with his brother for the attack on 22 May 2017.

The Manchester-born siblings "stood shoulder to shoulder" in the plot, with younger sibling Hashem "just as guilty of murder" as the bomber himself, the court heard.

Hashem, 22, was also found guilty of one count of attempted murder, encompassing the remaining injured, and conspiring to cause explosions.

He was not in court for the unanimous verdicts after he dismissed his legal team last week and decided to take no further part in the trial.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information  

Bruno Loses Crown To Tyson

16 March 1996 Frank Bruno meets Mike Tyson again , billed as "The Championship: Part I", with this time Frank Bruno as the first time defending  WBC Heavyweight Champion at the  MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

Mike Tyson was the aggressor for the entire fight. In round 1, Tyson continuously attacked Bruno with right overhand punches, forcing Bruno to grapple with Tyson several times in the round in order to weather the storm. In the final 30 seconds of the round, the two men would go toe-to-toe with Tyson connecting with a power right hand that staggered Bruno. Bruno would regain his composure and exchange punches with Tyson until the bell sounded. During their first round exchange, Bruno would receive a cut over his left eye. Tyson would continue to attack Bruno in round 2, with Bruno again grappling with Tyson at a frequent basis in an effort to slow Tyson down. Less than a minute into the third round, Tyson dodged a Bruno jab and proceeded to unleash a 13-punch combination that caused referee Mills Lane to stop the fight and award Tyson the victory via technical knockout.


Black Crime Wave Claim Police

15 March 1982 -  The Metropolitan Police publish crime figures which suggested that young Black Men were responsible for the overwhelming majority of Street Crime  

Sections of the press , like the Daily Mail ceased on this to publish the Headline "BLACK CRIME". 


Integrated Communities Strategy Launched

14 March 2018 - Five English councils are told they must adopt new integration plans to deal with problems of segregation.

The government's Integrated Communities Strategy will see £50m invested in schemes to improve community relations over the next two years.

Bradford, Blackburn, Peterborough, Walsall and Waltham Forest in London have been selected for special help.

The plan includes schemes to encourage pupils to form lasting relationships with those from different backgrounds.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid (pictured), launching a consultation paper on the plan, said Britain "cannot ignore the fact that in too many parts of our country, communities are divided".

With thanks to the BBC for the above information. 

Queen Leads Celebration of UK-India Year of Culture

13 March 2017 - Academics from Cardiff  University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion and the Welsh School of Architecture  attend the official launch of the UK-India Year of Culture.

Celebrating the best of British and Indian culture, guests from the worlds of sport, fashion, show-business, the arts and academia joined HM The Queen, Prince Phillip and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the launch. A celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and India, the UK-India Year of Culture saw cultural events, exhibitions and activities take place in both countries throughout 2017.


With thanks to Cardiff University for the above information.

Britain's First Black Newspaper Launched

12 March 1958 -From above a Barbers shop at 250 Brixton Road,exiled communist and now UK based Claudia Jones, launches Britain’s first black newspaper 'The West Indian Gazette

Blue Plaque For Kwame Nkrumah

11 March 2005 - Blue Plaque For Kwame Nkrumah is unveiled by English Heritage.

Kwame Nkrumah was a prominent leader of the independence movement in the British colony Gold Coast and, later, served as the first Prime Minister of the subsequently independent country of Ghana. He lived in London from 1945 to 1947, where he co-organised the fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester. During his time in London, he became a spokesperson for several groups that were criticizing the British Empire, such as the West African Students Union or the International African Service Bureau, where he worked closely with Kenyatta.

His Blue Plaque is at 60 Burghley Road in Kentish Town, where he lived from 1945 to 1947.

With thanks to  English Heritage for the above information.

9th UK Asian Music Awards Held

10 March 2011 -The UK Asian Music Awards  event was held  at The Roundhouse, London and was sponsored by Lebara Mobile. The award winners were

Lifetime Achievement Award: Apache Indian

Commitment to Scene: Cornershop

Best Video: Jay Sean ft. Nicki Minaj – "2012 (It Ain't the End)"

Best Radio Show: Bobby Friction – BBC Asian Network

Best Urban Act: Mumzy Stranger

Best Desi Act: Jaz Dhami

Bestselling British Single: Punjabi By Nature ft. The Dhol Foundation - "Kaun Nee Jaandah"

Best International Album: DJ Sanj – American Desi

Best International Act: Miss Pooja

Best Music Producer: Sukshinder Shinda - Jadoo

Best Newcomer: Jernade Miah

Best Club DJ: DJ Kayper

Best Alternative Act: Rumer

Best Male Act: Jay Sean

Best Female Act: Preeya Kalidas

Best Album: Punjabi By Nature – CCutrowd Pleaser

Daily Mirror Launches Walter Tull Campaign

9 March 2013 -  the Daily Mirrror features the campaign of  Phil Vasili and Northampton South MP Brian Binley, first launced in December 2006, for Walter Tull(left in picture)  to be posthumously awarded the Military Cross. 95 Years after he was killed in action.



Death of Joey Benjamin

8 March 2021-Former England fast bowler Joey Benjamin dies at the age of 60 following a heart attack.

Benjamin was born in St Kitts but made his name in English cricket, signing for Warwickshire after a spell in the minor counties before enjoying a career-best stint at Surrey between 1992 and 1999. See Hall of Fame for Biography

Ouseley Report Recommends People's Programme

7 March 2005 -The Ouseley Report released recommended a "people's programme" to bring harmony to the city of Bradford -scene of fierce race rioting in July 2001. The government subsequently commissioned the Cantle report which made 67 recommendations. 

4th UK Asian Music Award Takes Place

6 March 2008 -The 4th UK Asian Music Awards is held at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The award winners were:

Lifetime Achievement: Heera

Outstanding Achievement: Shin - DCS

Commitment to Scene: Nitin Sawhney

Best Website: Desi Hits

Best Video: Jay Sean - "Ride It"

Best Asian Underground Act: Shaanti

Best International Act: Adnan Sami

Best Urban Act: Jay Sean

Best Radio Show: Adil Ray - BBC Asian Network

Best Producer: Swami

Best Newcomer: H-Dhami

Best Female Act: Hardkaur

Best Club DJ: Jags Klimax

Best Album: Sukshinder Shinda - Living the Dream

Best Act: Sukshinder Shinda (pictured)

Oti The First For 82 Years

5 March 1988 - Chris Oti becomes the first black player since James Peters eighty two years before to represent England at Rugby Union when he made his international debut against Scotland at Murrayfield in March 1988.

Bellew Shocks Haye

4 March 2017 - Tony Bellew causes a huge upset by stepping up two weights and stopping an incapacitated David Haye in the 11th round in a gripping, all-British heavyweight grudge fight at the O2 Arena. 

Haye, on his third fight in his boxing comeback, appeared to injure his right Achilles in the sixth round but fought on courageously despite virtually being a sitting target.

It emerged on Sunday that Bellew had also suffered a bad injury during the fight - breaking his hand as early as the second round. However, it didn't prevent him from dominating the battle.

Bellew, the WBC cruiserweight champion, showed patience in picking his moment to finish off Haye and the end came in the close stages of the 11th with a flurry of punches that sent his rival out of the ring. Haye climbed back into the ring, but his corner threw in the towel.

Death of Keith Alexander

3 March 2010 - Keith Alexander the  first full-time black professional manager in the Football League, dies from Brain Damage.Alexander, who suffered a brain aneurysm in 2003 when manager of Lincoln City, was taken to hospital before a match in March 2009 after complaining of feeling unwell but was later given a clean bill of health.Alexander was reported to be feeling unwell as he returned from a game at Notts County on 2 March 2010. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital after he had collapsed, and died shortly after at the age of 53. It was reported that Alexander had been suffering from a bout of hiccups three weeks before his death.Alexander had been due to take charge of his 100th game for Macclesfield Town the following weekend. 

McQueen Makes History At Oscars

2 March 2014 - British Film Director Steve Mcqueen  becomes the first Black Director to win an Oscar Academy"Best Film" Award for  his 2013 film "12 Years a Slave", a historical drama adaptation of an 1853 slave narrative memoir. The film had previously earned him a BAFTA Award for Best Film, and Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. 

Death of John La Rose

28 February 2006 -  John La Rose  (27 December 1927 – 28 February 2006) dies. He was a political and cultural activist, poet, writer, publisher, founder in 1966 of New Beacon Books, the first specialist Caribbean publishing company in Britain, and subsequently Chairman of the George Padmore Institute.

See Hall of Fame for his Biography.