On This Day

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

Death of Winifred Atwell

28 February 1983 - Death of Winifred Atwell (27 February or 27 April 1910 or 1914 – 28 February 1983) . She was a Trinidadian pianist who enjoyed great popularity in Britain and Australia from the 1950s with a series of boogie-woogie and ragtime hits, selling over 20 million records.

See Timeline for Biography


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McCammon Wins Landmark Tribunal Case

27 February 2012 -  Professional Football launches landmark tribunal case, believed to be the first race discrimination claim brought by a professional footballer.Mark McCammon, 33, claims that he and other black players at Gillingham FC were treated differently to white players. comes amid widespread concern over racism in football.McCammon, an international forward who has represented his homeland Barbados, signed a three-year contract with League Two club Gillingham in 2008. But after three seasons in which he played just 52 league games – mainly due to injuries – and scored five goals, he was released.

Mark McCammon was awarded £68,000 in August 2012 over his dismissal by the club in 2011. He claimed he was refused treatment and docked wages.

The club lodged an appeal against the ruling it sacked the striker in an act of racial victimisation, saying the case did not look at the main issues.

At an Appeal Hearing in September 2013  a judge upheld the original tribunal's decision.

Blue Plaque For Welch

27 February 2012- The singer Elisabeth Welch is commemorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque in south-west London. .it was unveiled in Ovington Court, Kensington, which was her home during the 1930s when she rose to fame on the cabaret circuit. Whilst American born, Welch was based in Britain for 70 years and was known as Britain's first Black Star. See Hall of Fame for Biography. 

Malachi's tooth fairy money helps house Ilford's homeless

26 February 2020 - A £5m homeless centre opens in east London and it all began with a £5 donation from a boy.

Ten-year-old Malachi donated his tooth fairy money to the Salvation Army which was topped up by Redbridge Council and the Salvation Army to create Malachi Place.

The building has 42 flats to help homeless people get a home in Ilford and is now housing its first tenants.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information. 

Sade Wins Grammy

25 February 1986 - Sade is presented with the Grammys Award for the 1985 Best Newcomer Artist. Sade's debut album, Diamond Life, was released in 1984, reaching No. 2 in the UK Album Chart, selling over 1.2 million copies in the UK, and won the Brit Award for Best British Album in 1985. The album was also a hit internationally, reaching No. 1 in several countries and the top ten in the US where it has sold in excess of 4 million copies. In late 1985, Sade released their second album, Promise, which peaked at No. 1 in both the UK and the US. It was certified double platinum in the UK, and quadruple platinum in the US

Gabrielle's First Two Time

24 February 1997 - Having won Best Newcomer in 1994 at the Brit Awards, Gabrielle becomes the first two time winner of a BRIT for he Best Female Solo Artist Award

Eddie Amoo Dies

23 February 2018 -Eddie Amoo ,Lead singer with the Real Thing, the band that shot to fame in the 1970s with hits such as You to Me Are Everything dies. See Hall of Fame for Biography of Real Thing

Sandee Wins Brit Again

22 February 2017 -  Emil Sandee once again wins Best Female Artist at the Brit Awards in the 02 

Compensation For Guantanemo 17 ?

22 February 2017 - UK Government do not deny or confirm that the 17 detainees from Guantanemo Bay have been paid £20m in compensation for their detention without trial.

Stormzy in Grenfell Challenge At The Brit Awards

21 February 2018 -  South London grime superstar Stormzy does "the double" as he wins  best British male and best British album for Gang Signs and Prayer at the Brit Awards Ceremony held at the London 02 Arena. Then makes national news in freestyle criticism of the PrimeMinister Theresa May asking "Where is the money for Grenfell?".

Jamal Edwards SBTV Founder Dies At Age of 31

20 February 2022- Jamal Edwards SB.TV founder and Loose Women's Brenda Edwards' son dies aged 31

Jamal Edwards MBE, Entrepreneur was the founder of the online urban music platform SB.TV and had several celeb pals - including Ed Sheeran, Will.i.am, Professor Green and Rio Ferdinand - due to his pioneering work in the music industry.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the author who was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours list in 2014 for his work in music and his business - including from his mum's Loose Women co-star Denise Welch.

The telly star typed: "My heart aches for my friend Brenda. I can’t bear it. Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother."

A fan added: "A pioneer in taking Black British music and culture digital via SBTV. Thank you for being the helm of visual content and a home for artists that didn’t feel seen in the mainstream. The impact is felt and will be for generations to come. An eternal talent. RIP Jamal Edwards."

A second penned: "A true pioneer. Such sad news. Rest in peace, Jamal Edwards."

"This is devastating news. RIP to the cultural behemoth that was Jamal Edwards. I seriously cannot believe we’ve lost such an important and universally loved figure in Black British culture," another devastated fan joined in.

Just three days ago, Jamal took to Instagram to upload a throwback snap of himself and hitmaker Ed Sheeran.

"Happy Birthday to the OG, Ed. Blessed to have you in my life brother. You know you've been mates a long time when you lose count on the years! Keep smashing it & inspiring us all G!" he penned in the birthday tribute.

With thanks to The Daily Mirror for the above information


Cancer Ends MC Stormin's Life

19 February 2018 - Grime artist MC Stormin  tragically dies following a two year battle with skin cancer at the age of 33. See Hall of Fame for biography.

The artist, who was a pioneer for the music genre thanks to his distinct voice, revealed in 2016 that he was battling stage 2 skin cancer, which had spread to his neck.

A few months later, in November of 2016, there was cause for joy as he revealed he was cancer free. Sadly, the cancer returned and he died at the Hospice he was staying on 19th February 2018 With thanks to Daily Mail online for the above information  

Death of Black Archives Founder

18 February 2003  - Lenford Kwesi Garrison, dies aged  just 59. He was named as one of the "Greatest Black Britons", according to a list produced by Every Generation Media. The Jamaican-born photographer and educationalist was  one of the founding members of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA), a lasting legacy that combines everything Garrison was passionate about.


Thanks to the Voice Newspaper for the above information. See also our Hall of Fame. 

Basant Kite Festival Comes To London

15 February 2003 - The traditional and seasonal Basant Kite Festival  of  the Punjab region, Pakistan, comes to London.  It falls on Basant, also called Basant Panchami and Vasant Panchami. According to the Punjabi calendar it is held on the fifth day of lunar month of Magha (in late January or early February) marking the start of spring.

Basant is celebrated in Ralwalpindi, Pakistan and elsewhere with the flying of kites.

The Basant Kite Festival is popular in many areas of the Punjab region and is celebrated with much fanfare.

The other traditions are common to other regions celebrating Basant: it is traditional for people to wear yellow. It is also customary to eat rice coloured with saffron. Other sweet dishes include gajjar da halwa and laddo. People decorate their houses with yellow flowers too. These traditions can also be observed in Uttarkashi where Basant is a farmers festival. People pluck yellow flowers and decorate the main doors of the house with it welcoming the spring and the new sowing season.

Four Teenagers Guilty Of Jermaine Goupall Murder

14 February 2018 -  Four teenagers including a  Girl are found guilty of the murder and manslaughter of 15 year old Jermaine Goupall on 8 August  2017(See Timeline)

Saskia Haye-Elliot, 18, of North Downs Crescent, in New Addington, Samuel Oliver Rowland, 18, of Epsom Road, Waddon, and Adam Benzahi, 21, of Wrythe Lane, in Carshalton, all denied murder, as did a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.

But Rowland, Benzahi and the 17-year-old were each unanimously found guilty of murder, while Haye-Elliot was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter by a majority verdict of 10 to 2

Daniel Luke, 18, was cleared of all charges.

Javid Resignation Shock

13 February 2020 - Sajid Javid  resigns as Chancellor after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson asked him to sack all of his advisers in a move by No 10 to seize control of the Treasury.

Javid ( pictured right) has been replaced by his deputy, Rishi Sunak(pictured left), the chief secretary to the Treasury.

Javid has been in post since last summer and repeatedly clashed with Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, over issues such as restraints on spending.

His shock departure comes just weeks before he was due to deliver his first budget. Sunak will now take on that responsibility despite having entered parliament less than five years ago.

With thanks also to The Guardian for the above information. 

Imran Khan Dies After Racist Attack

13 February 1998 - Imran Khan (15) , Glasgow, Scotland dies eight days after being stabbed in street fight between a group of Asian boys and four white youths. Colin Gilmour serving seven years for his attempted murder, while his brother Craig was given two years for slashing a second Asian boy in the group.

Sade's Diamond Award

11 February 1985 - Sade Wins Best Album at the BRIT Awards with Diamond Life

Death of Stuart Hall

10 February 2014Stuart McPhail Hall, FBA  a Jamaican-born cultural theorist, political activist and sociologist dies. See Heroes section for full biography. 

Cadet Killed In Car Crash

9 February 2019 - The music world mourns the loss of British rapper Cadet. An official statement posted on the rappers Instagram page indicates that he passed away in the early hours of February 9 as a passenger in a taxi, while making his way to an upcoming gig.

“We the family of Blaine Cameron Johnson otherwise known as Cadet (Underrated Legend) would like to share the sad news that during the early hours of 9th February 2019 he passed away as a passenger in a taxi, en route to a performance. Right now, we the family appreciate your patience and will share with you any information as and when we can. Thanks for all your support in advance. Love, The Johnson Family.”

With thanks to Mobo.com for the above information.

Football Pioneer Tony Collins Dies

8 February 2021 - Death of Anthony Norman Collins at the age of 94.  He managed Rochdale between 1960 and 1967, becoming the first black manager in the Football League and leading them to the 1962 Football League Cup Final, their only major final appearance.

See Hall of Fame for Biography.

History Changing DNA Discovery

7 February 2018 - A cutting-edge scientific analysis shows that a Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark brown skin and blue eyes.

Researchers from London's Natural History Museum extracted DNA from Cheddar Man, Britain's oldest complete skeleton, which was discovered in 1903. University College London researchers then used the subsequent genome analysis for a facial reconstruction.

It underlines the fact that the lighter skin characteristic of modern Europeans is a relatively recent phenomenon. No prehistoric Briton of this age had previously had their genome analysed.

As such, the analysis provides valuable new insights into the first people to resettle Britain after the last Ice Age.


With thanks to the BBC for the above information.

Death of Bashir Ahmed

6 February 2009 -Bashir Ahmad who made history when he was elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent the Glasgow region at the 2007 election,dies. He was the first MSP to be elected from Asian-Scots, Muslim and non-White backgrounds. See Hall of Fame for more information

PM criticises "State Multiculturalism"

5 February 2011 -David Cameron criticises "state multiculturalism" in his first speech as prime minister on radicalisation and causes of terrorism.

The Labour MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker, asked if it was wise for Mr Cameron to make the speech on the same day the English Defence League staged a major protest in his constituency.

There was further criticism from Labour's Sadiq Khan whose comments made in a Daily Mirror article sparked a row.

The shadow justice secretary was reported as saying Mr Cameron was "writing propaganda material for the EDL".

Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi hit back, saying that "to smear the prime minister as a right wing extremist is outrageous and irresponsible". She called on Labour leader Ed Miliband to disown the remarks.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain's assistant secretary general, Dr Faisal Hanjra, described Mr Cameron's speech as "disappointing".

Honeyghan Not So Sweet vs Starling

4 February 1989 -Lloyd Honeyghan loses  his World Welterweight title to former Don Curry victim and arch-rival Marlon Starling at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

 There was bad blood between the two fighters and Honeyghan boxed wildly against the defensively excellent Starling. He was stopped in the ninth round after taking heavy punishment throughout the fight.