The Caribbean global Diaspora


A few weeks ago Jamaica’s junior Minister of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arnaldo Brown, announced that his Government intends setting up a comprehensive database of its professionals and investors living overseas.

The work will be undertaken in conjunction with the Geneva based inter-governmental body, the International Organization on Migration.

The best of Black Writers’ Festival


Something for the weekend.

An impressive array of international writing talent comes to the Bristol and Bath area this month in a festival which celebrates literature from around the world.

A dozen of the best writers and performance poets from across the African Diaspora will be taking part in the Yardstick Festival in Bristol and Bath libraries from 27th – 30th June.

Windrush day: Celebrating diversity


The 65th Anniversary of the Empire Windrush pulling into Tilbury Docks has sparked a campaign which calls for an annual celebration of our truly multicultural Britain. A petition has been drawn up and within 25 hours is over 3000 strong. Petition organisers such as Patrick Vernon state:

Gove will not break promise on Seacole and Equiano


Over the last few days, there has been much speculation about changes to the draft history curriculum. The Guardian reported that Michael Gove was considering significant changes to curriculum particularly for 7-11 year olds, which critics such as Runnymede trust and Operation Black Vote have argued was too Eurocentric, white and male. Latest plans suggest that the Curriculum will incorporate a world history that is able to sit alongside historical events of both Britain and Europe.

Amol Rajan: Britain’s first BME newspaper editor


Amol Rajan becomes the first person of colour to head up a national newspaper. To acutely understand  what the media generally looks like just walk into a national media newspaper, TV, or radio station and you’ll usually find more BME individuals in the kitchens, as cooks, cleaners or as security staff, than you’ll ever find as journalist, technicians or presenters.

Mau Mau compensation: Can we learn from history?


Yasmin Alibhai  Brown, writing in the Independent last week wrote a compelling argument about who writes our history, and even after the tragic  facts are clear, how the deniers will keep denying. Above Alibhai Brown tells us that unless we are brave enough to tell the whole truth , then history and worse still tragic history has a way of repeating itself.

Speaking truth to power


This will be my last article for Operation Black vote, and I would like to thank everyone at OBV for nurturing me and giving me a home to work from. I would also like to thank the readers and supporters of OBV for reading my articles and supporting me through this process.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE: OBV alumni receives award


What a pleasure it was on Friday afternoon when I received a call from Jasvinder Sanghera the founder of Karma Nirvana, and long time activist against forced marriages and honour based violence. She telephoned to inform me that:

“Simon, I have some good news for you”, she said, “although the news is embargoed until Saturday I can tell you that as part of the Queens Birthday Honors list, I’ll be awarded a CBE."

An abuse of Islam



The recent killing of drummer Lee Rigby horrified the country. Furthermore,  his murderers shameful justification of their actions based on their Islamic faith sickened people of all faiths.

Operation Black Vote graduate Zena Agha, a British Muslim, powerfully articulates her response to the shocking incident and clearly explains why his actions are not in my name.

Francine Fernandes

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