In this section, we remember significant achievements and moments from Black and Asian history
10 July 1951 -One of the greatest ever upsets in the history of boxing when rank outsider Randolph Turpin defeated the supreme Sugar Ray Robinson to become World Middleweight Champion. Champion Sugar Ray Robinson travelled to London on 10 July 1951, and risked his title against Turpin, who won the world title by beating Robinson on a 15-round decision.
Turpin became an instant national hero. His win over Robinson gave him such celebrity that even many people who were not boxing fans knew who he was. When he signed for a rematch with Robinson and chose Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales to train, the castle was constantly hounded by fans and tourists.
His days as a world champion didn't last long, however, and when he made his first trip outside his homeland for a fight, he lost his crown to Robinson by a tenth-round TKO with eight seconds left in the round at the Polo Grounds in New York on 12 September 1951.
9 July 2004 -Site dedication event on the grounds of St Thomas hospital takes place for the Mary Seacole statue. Since the time she was voted one of the 100 Great Black Britons of all time in 2004 there had been a major fundraising campaign to raise £400k for her statue reflecting her contribution to modern day nursing and as a war heroine.
7th July 2005 London is rocked by Terrorism. The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London, which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four British Islamist men detonated four bombs—three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus inTavistock Square. As well as the four bombers, 52 civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country's first ever suicide attack. The explosions were caused by homemade organic peroxide-based devices packed into backpacks. The bombings were followed two weeks later by a series of attempted attacks which failed to cause injury or damage. The 7 July attacks occurred the day after London had won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, which had highlighted the city's multicultural reputation.The Black & Asian people among the victims were - Anthony Fatayi Williams,Shahara Islam,Neetu Jain,Shyanuja Parathasangary,Sam Ly,Gladys Wundowa,Arthur Fredrick,Ojara Ikeagwu,Atique Sharifi,Ihab Slimane and Christian Small
6 July 1917 -, several black sailors were attacked in their lodging houses and on the streets in Canning Town, a dock neighbourhood in East London which housed one of the largest black communities in the country. The Daily Express firmly blamed interracial relationships as lying at the heart of the problem. Hostility to interracial relationships between black men and white women would also play a key role in the wider series of race riots that took place throughout the country in 1919.
"In consequence of the infatuation of white girls for the Black men in the district some of the inhabitants are greatly incensed against Blacks."
— Daily Express, 7 July 1917
3 July 1964 - "My Boy Lollipop" is released and makes it to No.2 in the UK Charts.
It was doubly significant in British pop history. It was the first major hit for Island Records (although it was actually released on the Fontana label because Chris Blackwell, Island's owner, did not want to overextend its then-meagre resources; in the US, the record appeared on the Smash Records subsidiary of Mercury Records), and Small was the first artist to have a hit that was recorded in the bluebeat style (she was billed as "The Blue Beat Girl" on the single's label in the US). This was a music genre that had recently emerged from Jamaica, and was a direct ancestor of reggae.
2 July 1930 -Una Marson self-publishes Tropic Reveries, her first book of poetry. Initially dismissed by some as trite, Marson’s poems – such as ‘In Vain’ and ‘Love Songs’ – challenged patriarchal views of womanhood
Jamaican-born Una Marson was a poet, journalist and broadcaster. An important figure in both the inter-war feminist and anti-colonial movements, her poetry reflected these themes.
See Hall of Fame for Biography
1 July 1919 - The Times reported on a trial at the Old Bailey resulting from a race riot in the East End of London a few weeks before. (The article is pictured and the full text has been transcribed here for ease of reading.) John Martin, a Jamaican serving in the Royal Navy, was charged with wounding a white sailor with a pistol during a disturbance outside a lodging house for black sailors in Limehouse, on May 27th. This incident was just one of the many episodes of racial tension and violence that were to be found in numerous port cities around the United Kingdom in the fraught and febrile year of 1919.
With thanks to www.paddydocherty.com for the above information.
30 June 2016 -The erection of a statue of Mary Secole at St Thomas' Hospital, London is unveiled , describing her as a "pioneer nurse",
Mary Jane Seacole OM (néeGrant; 1805 – 14 May 1881 was a British-Jamaican business woman and nurse who set up the "British Hotel" behind the lines during the Crimean War. She described this as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers", and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield. She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991. In 2004 she was voted the greatest black Briton.
29 June 1996- Henry Akinwande stops American Jeremy Williams in the 3rd round to win the WBO World Heavyweight Title which had been vacated by Riddick Bowe, Akinwande went on to defend the belt twice, with victories over Russian Alexander Zolkin by TKO and a decision over fellow Briton Scott Welch, who had won the WBO Intercontinental Title with a stoppage over the 46-year-old Joe Bugner.
27 June 1999 - Skunk Anansie becomes the first black British artist to headline Glastonbury.
“I can’t believe we’re headlining the last Glastonbury of the 20th Century!” wailed Skin as her band bestrode the Pyramid Stage. “Neither can we,” was the shrugging response of plenty of the crowd, but their politicised stadium punk proved a more durable match than many people expected.
With thanks also to NME for the above information.
26 June 1959 - the Committee of African Organisations (CAO) held a meeting at Holbourne Hall in London, calling for the British public to boycott South African products, especially fruit, which was widely available in towns and cities throughout the UK. Julius Nyerere, then leader of the Tanganyikan African National Union (later to become president of Tanzania) and Kanyama Chiume of the Nyasaland African National Congress were the main speakers, and the Congress Movement’s Tennyson Makiwane African National Congress (ANC) and Vella Pillay South African Indian Congress (SAIC) added their voices to the appeal. - See more at: http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/british-anti-apartheid-movement#sthash.4ZVaxhoX.dpuf
24 June 1989 – Race rioting breaks out in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, following a protest in the town against the Islamic community by members of the far right British National Party, formed 7 years ago as a splinter from the National Front.
The BNP held a rally in Dewsbury which was met with derision from the local Muslim community and a counter rally was held by the black workers group which recruited Muslim youths from Dewsbury, Savile Town and neighbouring suburbs, intent on disruption, including disruption of the rally of the BNP. The police managed to contain the rioting Muslims, wanting to avoid confrontations in the town centre of Dewsbury and rounded them up, pushing them over Savile Bridge and up Savile Road towards Savile Town and the Scarborough Hotel. This public house had long been regarded negatively by the local Muslim community as they did not agree with the sale of alcohol in the same area as them. A number of locals were in the public house that day playing their usual game of cards, including two women, when one of them went to leave the premises and noticed that the neighbouring Muslim fruit and vegetable shop had taken all of its produce inside and had pulled down the shutters, as had the two Muslim shops next door. He then looked down Savile Road towards Dewsbury and saw Muslims, armed with a variety of weapons descending on the pub. He ran inside to warn the other patrons, all of whom ran upstairs to the landlord`s living quarters, just as the first missile came through the window. Wardrobes and furniture were barricaded behind the only entrance door to the premises and this served to keep out the blows from whatever it was that was being used to attempt to break down the door. Meanwhile, downstairs, chairs were thrown on to the road outside, abd all the windows were smashed as was the bar, fixtures and fittings and bottles. Furniture was set fire to and the cars that were in the car park were smashed and destroyed. Throughout all this the police helicopter monitored the scene from the air. When all had been destroyed the perpetrators were moved along by police on horseback and only then were the publican and his patrons able to safely leave the upstairs room having feared for their lives.
A small number of white parents in the town had withdrawn their children from schools in Savile Town due to opposition to the number of children of Muslim parents in the schools. The BNP, formed seven years earlier as a splinter group from the National Front, organised a "Rights for Whites" demonstration in support of the parents.
23 June 2006 - The retrial of the two brothers begins in the Damilola Taylor case. The two brothers, then over 18, were named as Danny and Ricky Preddie, of Peckham, south London. Both defendants were very well known to police, being involved in multiple robberies.
On 9 August 2006, Ricky Gavin Preddie (born 1987, Lambeth, London) and Danny Charles Preddie (born 1988, Lambeth), after a 33-day retrial, were convicted of the manslaughter of Damilola Taylor.
During the retrial it was noted that, while the police did follow procedure collecting evidence, lapses occurred in the prosecution.
On 9 October 2006, an Old Bailey judge sentenced the Preddie brothers to eight years in youth custody for manslaughter.
Although it was widely reported in the media that Taylor's parents were unhappy that the sentences had not been longer, the judge, Mr Justice Goldring, went to some lengths to explain the factors he was forced to take into account. These included the age of the offenders at the time (12 and 13), and that there was no evidence to suggest that there had been a plan to kill Taylor. In addition, the weapon used had not been carried to the scene of the crime, but was found lying on the ground.
Both brothers were set to be paroled in 2010 after serving half of their sentence. Ricky was released on 8 September 2010, subject to probation supervision, and subject to recall to custody if he breached the conditions or if his behaviour indicated that it was no longer safe to allow him to remain in the community. Ricky was reported in 2010 to have told his mother he was deeply sorry for killing Damilola. Danny was released in 2011. Ricky was recalled on 13 March 2011 because he was seen in Peckham, and associating with gang members, both contrary to his parole conditions. He was released again on 25 January 2012. However, he was again recalled to prison in February 2012 after a stolen motorbike was discovered at his bail hostel, breaching the terms of release.
22 June 2017 - The first memorial dedicated to African and Caribbean soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars is unveiled in Windrush Square, Brixton. The memorial was the culmination of several years of effort by Nubian Jak and his Trust for a dedicated memorial for current and future generations to remember the huge service and sacrifice made by African and Caribbean soliders across the great wars.
20 June 1994 -BBC History Magazine publishes an article by ex serviceman and social historian John D Ellis highlighting the Black and Asian Soliders who fought for Britain in the 18th and 19th Century. John Ellis, a white historian, has been a long and outstanding Champion highlighting the difficult conditions, unfair treatement and inadquate recognition of the "forgotten soliders" that he highlighted continued across both World Wars of the 20th Century.
19 June 2002 - Bombay Dreams opens at the Apollo Victoria, London. A Bollywood-themed musical, with music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Don Black and the book by Meera Syal and Thomas Meehan, and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The London production opened in 2002 and ran for two years. The musical also was produced on Broadway in 2004. The story centres around Akaash, a young man from the slums of Bombay who dreams of becoming the next big star in Bollywood.
Monday 18 June 2018 -An annual Windrush Day celebrating the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants is announced by the Government.
Minister Lord Bourne told activists and others who had attended roundtable events over the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the generation that he makes the announcement with "great pride".
It comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of around 500 African Caribbean economic migrants disembarking from the Empire Windrush ship at Tilbury Docks in Essex on June 22, 1948. ( Historian, Kwaku, states it was actually June 21st and much more than 500 African Caribbean )
The annual Government-backed day will celebrate the generation and their descendants and be will be overseen by a panel with a Windrush Day grant, the Housing, Communities and Local Government minister told activists.
With thanks also to the Evening Standard for the above information
17 June 1917 - The black man's part in the war : an account of the darkskinned population of the British empire ; how it is and will be affected by the great war ; and the share it has taken in waging that war is published in London.
Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston GCMG KCB (12 June 1858 – 31 July 1927), frequently known as Harry Johnston, was a British explorer, botanist, artist, colonial administrator and linguist who traveled widely in Africa and spoke many African languages. He published 40 books on African subjects and was one of the key players in the Scramble for Africa that occurred at the end of the 19th century.
The Book stated that " it is the object of this little book to set forth to those who do not know, or are careless of the knowledge of the Black Man's loyalty to the British Empire in this dire struggle". It stated that had they not been held back by their colonial masters, their significant and disproportionate to their numbers efforts, would have been even greater in the current war.
16 June 1982 - The Bradford 12 jurors, after deliberating for a day and a half, re-turned verdicts of not guilty. The breakdown was eleven to one. The twelve members of United Black Youth League involved argued that they had made the petrol bombs in self-defence but, as the fascist march didn’t take place in Bradford, they were never used. Despite this, the twelve members of the United Black Youth League were charged with ‘conspiracy to cause explosives and endanger lives’. Through an active campaign and with supportive lawyers, the jury accepted this defence and all 12 were free.