The Windrush: 65th Anniversary

The Empire Windrush brought the first wave of Jamaican’s (492) to the shores of Britain. Jamaican’s were the largest group of black migrants to arrive from  Caribbean to the UK. This year not only marks the 65th Anniversary of this momentous event; but it also allows the media to pay homage to the sacrifices that Black British people have made in order to live in Britain.

The Empire Windrush

The Empire Windrush

The phrase;

No IRISH

No BLACKS

No DOGS

was very common in the 1948 for Blacks looking for housing. Racism in the 1950’s was very overt, and often led to bullying and violent attacks. At the time the white majority felt like black people were taking all their jobs and women. In 1950’s Britain interracial dating was looked down upon, white women often had abortions, or put their black babies into foster care, to avoid being ostracized from the white community.

Black people were generally forced to live in shared accommodation in congested city areas. Jamaican’s brought a new work ethic to Britain despite facing the adversity of racism. In 1968 British Politician Enoch Powell stood against immigration in his powerful ‘Rivers of Blood‘ speech. With family members to look after in London and back in the Caribbean, black men were forced to ‘put up, and shut up‘ with racism. Eventually as cultures started to mix more, attitudes towards black men gradually changed over time.

Racist attitudes from the past may look like they have disappeared, but many Brit’s still argue that old school racism is alive and well. For example: it was only 20 years ago when the Metropolitan Police were accused of being institutionally racist, in the way they dealt with the murder of Stephen Lawrence.  You can give your opinion in the poll below or leave your view in the comments section:

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