On this day in 1948, 492 Caribbean people arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex on the Empire Windrush ship to help rebuild Britain after World War II – although the ship’s records show that more than a thousand passengers were on board.
An estimated half a million people from the Caribbean followed them. The transition, however, wasn’t smooth. Afro-Caribbean immigrants faced violence and intolerance from the majority of the white population. Black people were also banned from many pubs, clubs, and churches.
Thanks to Patrick Vernon OBE – British social commentator and political activist of Jamaican heritage – Windrush Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom every year on June 22. It marks the arrival of Afro-Caribbean immigrants and honours the British Caribbean community and the contribution they have made to British society and culture.
Although Windrush Day isn’t a public holiday, the United Kingdom observes the day with parades, dances, and other events. Help make Windrush Day a public holiday by signing this petition!