Event Description



During the month of October, we will be displaying key significant events that have shaped Black history till today.

These will be visible in the main walkway as stickers on the floor.


Some of the key dates displayed:

  • 1241 - The earliest known drawing of a black Briton is made in the Domesday Book.
  • 1508 - A poem written by William Dunbar called Ane Black-Moir, tells us there were black people in Britain at that time.
  • 1555 - A group of African people are brought to Britain to learn English so they can act as interpreters for English traders.
  • 1672 - The Royal African Company is created in England to manage the slave trade.
  • 1700s The population of black and Asian slaves, servants and seamen increases. Britain depends on the slave trade as it allows the economy to thrive.
  • 1760s - 20,000 black people live in Britain, including up to 15,000 in London. Black people are often shown and written about as less than human.
  • 1765 - The campaign for the freedom of slaves begins in Britain.
  • 1766 – Nigerian born Olaudah Equiano buys his freedom, and writes about the horrors of slavery which drive the movement forward
  • 1772 - A decline in slavery begins in England.
  • 1775-1783 - African American slave soldiers who fought for Britain in the American Revolutionary War arrive in London but have no money and are forced to beg on the streets.
  • 1792-1815 - Black soldiers and seamen settle in London after fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 1833 - The Slavery Abolition Act, led by William Wilberforce, becomes law in Britain. The equivalent to £17 billion is given back to the ex-slave owners in ‘compensation’
  • 1834 - There is a decline in the black population due to restrictions on immigration from Africa
  • 1880s - New black communities are formed in Liverpool and Cardiff.
  • 1886 – Arthur Wharton becomes Englands first Black professional footballer
  • 1913 - John Archer becomes the first black mayor of London.
  • 1914-1918 - The First World War brings an influx of people from different countries around the world.
  • 1939-1945 - People from the Caribbean and West Africa arrive as wartime workers and servicemen in the army, navy and air force.
  • 1950s-1960s - There is a huge migration of people from all over the Caribbean to work in hospitals and on transport and railway networks (Windrush generation). They often struggle with racial prejudice.
  • 1965 – Malcolm X visits Smethwick, Birmingham to address racial tensions shortly before he was killed
  • 1976 - The Race Relations Act is passed and the Commission for Racial Equality is established. British Asian people from Malawi settle in Britain.
  • 1980s - Somali refugees arrive in Britain.
  • 1987 - The first black members of parliament are elected, including the first black woman, Diane Abott
  • 1993 - The Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act is passed.
  • 2001 - The Race Relations Amendment Act states all public services must actively promote racial equality.
  • 2006 - The Racial and Religious Hatred Act makes it illegal to stir up hatred against someone because of their race or religion.
  • 2018 – The Windrush scandal occurs after members of the Windrush generation are asked to leave the UK due to not having paperwork.
  • 2020 - 210,000 people join in protests and counter demonstrations over the murder of Goerge Floyd




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