Our Milestones – Part 10
Welcome: Dear friends and supporters, here’s the tenth excerpt from the Society’s souvenir booklet which was issued to all guests at the recent Recognition Awards event rolled out on Saturday, 29th October 2022.
It is entitled “Our Milestones,” and it is a collation of some milestones for the modern Black community starting from 1948 (when the Windrush Generation began arriving in the UK) and spanning almost eight decades. The Society hopes that this information will stimulate discussions about the arch of progress made since the community began to establish itself in the UK.
Our milestones: On the 22 June this year the national Windrush monument was unveiled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Waterloo station in the presence of a small group of guests, most of whom were of Caribbean background. The unveiling was a public statement or tribute from the government to the Windrush generation and their descendants for their contributions to the UK since the 2nd World War. Many people across the country witnessed this event via livestreaming.
This moment of history for the Black community inspired the question about other significant moments in the UK’s modern Black community since 1948. Outlined below are a few more of the significant moments, or milestones if you will, from the 7th and 8th decades of the modern Black community.
Decades Seven and Eight (2008 to 2027)
1. In 2021 Professor Sir Geoff Palmer became the first Black Chancellor in Scotland at Heriot-Watt University. He had already made history in 1989 when he became the first Black professor in Scotland. He is now the new Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University and the recipient of the Edinburgh Award 2022.
2. On 22 June 2022 the National Windrush Monument was unveiled in Waterloo station, London. To Reach Society the monument is a symbol of both the enterprise and the courage of the modern Black community in the UK.
3. On 6 September 2022 three Black politicians joined the government under Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister. They were Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer; James Cleverly, Foreign Secretary; and Kemi Badenoch, International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade. They made history in being the first Black politicians in the British Conservative party to occupy these most senior roles. All are British born and of Ghanaian (Kwarteng), Dual Heritage (Cleverly) and Nigerian (Badenoch) backgrounds.
The foregoing is the final issue in the newsletter series entitled Our Milestones. As the second half of the 8th decade approaches, I believe there will be other significant moments to celebrate in the modern Black community.
Dr Dwain Neil OBE, Chairman, Reach Society
4th December 2023
20th November 2023
20th November 2023