Black history

Seventy-one years ago, a ship called the Empire Windrush pulled into a port in Essex. It had travelled from the Caribbean. Around 500 people got off, ready to start new lives in Britain. You can see some of those new faces in the photo above!

The ship’s arrival was the start of new wave of immigration to the UK. The people had been invited by the Government to help rebuild Britain after World War Two. Once they arrived, Caribbeans began working in all sorts of different jobs, including in transport, factories and the brand new NHS. Often, though, they were over-qualified for the work they had to take on in their new home.

Today, people who arrived from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971 are known as the “Windrush generation” in honour of that first ship.

Next month (October) is Black History Month. It is a time to celebrate the many achievements made by black Britons, including the Windrush generation. It is also a time to learn more about black British history, from the Victorian nurse Mary Seacole to footballer Walter Tull, to the black soldiers who fought in World War One.

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

Read Our Story

Assembly

Why is Black History Month important? Children tell CBBC Newsround about their heroes from the black community. Who are yours?

Activities

  1. Design and make a poster to celebrate Black History Month to put up in your classroom or school.
  2. Choose a black celebrity, politician or historical figure that you admire. Write a fact file about their life and achievements.