Day of virtual activities to celebrate the Windrush generation in Northampton from home

Documentaries, songs, poems and speeches from residents will be shared on Facebook

Friday, 19th June 2020, 12:08 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 12:10 pm
Northampton borough councillor and Northampton diverse communities forum chairman, James Hill

The Windrush generation will be celebrated with a day of virtual activities hosted by Northampton's diverse communities forum on Monday (June 22).

Documentaries, songs, poems and speeches from residents will be shared throughout the day on the Northampton Windrush Day 2020 Facebook event.

The aim is to celebrate, commemorate and educate communities on the leading role the Caribbean migrants from the 1940s and their descendants have played in making Britain stronger, culturally richer and more inclusive.

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Northampton diverse communities forum member Morcea Walker MBE

Forum chairman and Northampton borough councillor, James Hill, said: “My grandparents were part of the Windrush generation and as such, this event holds a lot of personal significance for me.

"I am delighted that despite the current restrictions we are still able to celebrate and recognise the huge contributions the Windrush generation have made to British society.”

The celebration commemorates the arrival of the Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury in east London on June 21, 1948, and its passengers disembarked a day later.

The ship carried several hundred Caribbean migrants, many of them veterans of the Second World War.

Since then, the Windrush has come to symbolise the first movement of mass migration to the United Kingdom in the post-war era.

Forum member Morcea Walker MBE added: “I am so pleased that in spite of Covid-19, efforts are still being made to recognise the contribution of almost half a million people who moved from the Caribbean to Britain between 1948 and 1970.

“I am a proud daughter of the Windrush, and I celebrate the contributions made by those pioneers who helped Britain in its growth and development not only at the time of Windrush but throughout history to present day.

“This celebration also highlights an important part of black British history to the wider community who may not know about these heroes and places the spotlight on the racist and despicable treatment experienced by the Windrush generation under the Hostile Environment Policy which ultimately destroyed many black people’s lives.”

An information-packed schedule will start with the Windrush song, London is the Place for Me by Lord Kitchener, at 10.27am – in reference to 1,027 passengers aboard the Windrush when it docked at Tilbury.

Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for community engagement and safety Anna King said: “ Whilst public gatherings are no longer possible, and we are all discovering a new normal – we are delighted to put together a small scale digital programme of educational activities for everyone to enjoy and experience in the safety and comfort of their homes.

“British Caribbean communities, their descendants and those who followed them have made and continue to make a tremendous contribution to Britain, not just in the vital work of rebuilding the country and public services following World War Two but in enriching our shared cultural, social, economic and religious life."