This year will mark the 5th annual National Windrush Day here in the UK celebrating the British Caribbean community. Marking 74 years since the windrush generation first arrived here. On 22 June 2022 we are taking the day to celebrate their contributions to British society.
History of the Windrush
After the British Nationality Act was enacted in 1948, which granted citizenship and residence to members of the British Empire, people from British Commonwealth countries began to travel to the UK.
The windrush refers to the day the HMT Empire Windrush ship arrived at the Port of Tilbury, Essex, carrying hundreds of Caribbean individuals on June 22, 1948. This was to be the start of a new life for a whole generation of people from the Caribbean in the UK.
Why is it important?
The Windrush made way for a complete demographic shift in British culture. Now Britain was to be home to hundreds more Caribbean individuals making it the start of our modern day multicultural society.
It is also important to celebrate the contributions that the individuals from the Windrush generation made to British society. After the destruction from World War II it was people from the Windrush who aided in Britain’s recovery, including nurses, drivers and skilled labourers. Bringing with them their skills and hard work, this generation's efforts helped to rebuild British society with their contributions.
What’s on & how to celebrate
Since the official introduction of Windrush Day in 2018, communities across the UK are encouraged to get together and celebrate the contributions of the Windrush Generation. Many events and activities such as performances and exhibitions take place with the help of government funding, to aid in the celebrations on this day.
If you’re in London why not take a trip down to the National Maritime Museum or the Southbank Centre for some brilliant performances. If you’re looking for something a little more active the Radiate Festival is also taking place in Burgess Park on the 25th and 26th.
The London Transport Museum currently has a wonderful exhibition focusing on the generations of Caribbean people who worked and continue to work for London Transport.
If you find yourself a little further north on the 25th then don’t miss out on festivities held at Alexandra Park, Manchester.
And for those of you who can’t get out, The Windrush Foundation will be running an online event on the 22nd, celebrating and appreciating the Windrush generation.
Take a look and see what’s on near you.
And if you’re too late for this year's events there’s always next year!