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National Windrush Day on 22 June 2023 marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the passengers of the HMT Empire Windrush docking in England on 22nd June 1948 at the Tilbury Port in Essex carrying 1027 passengers from Jamaica to Britain. The arrival of the Windrush is a pivotal moment in British history as over 500,000 people from the Caribbean emigrated to Britain from 1948 to 1971 to help the country rebuild and fill in the labour shortage after the second world war and changed the cultural make-up of the country. Those who arrived during this period were come to be known as the “Windrush Generation” a term first coined by Sam B. King and Arthur Torrington who established the Windrush Foundation. 

Many of the Windrush Generation faced racism and discrimination in housing, education, and employment, exemplified by the ‘no Blacks, no Irish, no dogs’ signs that were often in the windows of houses on the market for rent and being forced to accept jobs below their skill set to make money. The Windrush Generation resisted and sparked movements to fight against the racism and discrimination that they faced for example, creating The Pardner System to help the growing Black Caribbean community by houses, The Bristol Bus Boycott, Black Dimension magazine and the British Black Power movement led by prominent figures such as Darcus Howe.

At SEO London, we believe that Windrush should be part of British teaching curriculum as a significant part of British history, and we should all be working towards a goal of ‘net-zero’ racial discrimination in the next 25 years. 

You can learn more about Windrush and why it matters today in the recent report published by British Futures: 

Publish Date

Monday, 26 June 2023

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