Black history

Seventy-one years ago, a ship called the Empire Windrush pulled into the Tilbury docks in Essex. It had travelled from the Caribbean; around 500 people disembarked, ready to start new lives in Britain.

It was the beginning of new wave of immigration to the UK from countries which were then still part of the British Empire. They had been invited by the Government to help the country rebuild after World War Two. Once they had arrived, Caribbeans took up posts in the brand new NHS, London’s transport system, construction sites, factories, and countless other essential areas.

Today, people who arrived from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971 are known as the Windrush generation.

Black History Month takes place every October. The month is all about celebrating the enormous contributions made by black individuals, including the Windrush generation. It is also a time to learn more about figures from black history, including civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.

Who are your black heroes? And why is it important to celebrate Black History Month?

Find more stories and resources by using the Black History Month tag.

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Activities

  1. Class debate: Is Black History Month still necessary?
  2. Write about a black celebrity, politician, artist or historical figure who inspires you. What have they achieved and why does it matter?
  3. Write a timeline of the history the Windrush generation, including last year’s political scandal.