Councils in north-west London celebrated Windrush Day 2021 by paying tribute to the communities who helped rebuild Britain following the Second World War.
Brent Council held a special online event to mark the occasion, with contributions from councillors and community leaders.
Windrush Day is celebrated each June 22 – the anniversary of when the Empire Windrush ship docked at Tilbury in 1948, carrying around 500 migrants from the Caribbean who travelled to the UK at the behest of the British Empire.
Cllr Lia Colacicco (Lab, Mapesbury), the Mayor of Brent, said it was important to acknowledge the fact the Windrush generation and their descendants “helped build the society we know today” as well as the “hardships” they have had to face.
She said the racism and inequality experienced by those who came to Britain in the 1940s onwards and the battle for citizenship and recognition many have endured.
As part of the council’s celebrations for 2021, attendees at the online event were treated to a conversation between Linett Kamala and her mother Annie Thompson about Annie’s experiences of travelling to the UK from Jamacia as a teenager and her life here since.
This was followed by a singalong workshop led by Reggae Choir founder Fola Phillip, covering songs which have shaped Anglo-Caribbean history.
Cllr Margaret McLennan (Lab, Northwick Park), deputy leader of Brent Council, said: “This is the fourth Windrush Day we have celebrated in the UK.
“Every year, it makes me think about what has changed since Empire Windrush arrived all those years ago.
“Structural racism is a fight that people from the Windrush Generation know all too well. While there has been some positive change since then, there is still a long way to go.
“In Brent, we are committed to improving the experience of Black communities. We have a ten-year Black community action plan in place, and we will work tirelessly to deliver a fair and equal Brent where all our residents can thrive.”
In neighbouring Harrow, the council acknowledged Windrush Day by raising a special flag outside the civic centre.
Cllr Peymana Assad (Lab, Roxeth) tweeted: “It’s vital that we honour the contributions of the Windrush generation and raise awareness of the issues they still face.”