The Birth of the Yorkshire Asian corner shop


When Rashid Chowdry arrived in Yorkshire from Pakistan in 1960, he was virtually penniless, didn’t know a soul and couldn’t speak much English.

Soon afterwards he landed a job as a bus conductor and, having saved much of his earnings, was able to set up a corner shop.

It was 1963, a momentous year in global terms but in Huddersfield a little bit of history was being made as Mr Chowdry opened the town’s first Asian shop.

Jon Daniel: My Afro Supa-Heroes


As the British-born child of West Indian immigrants, Jon Daniel's search for an identity in the late 60s and early 70s suburbia of East Sheen, south-west London, was something of a challenge.

We were one of very few black families in the area,"

he says.

Syrian Conflict: Putin rescues Obama from the brink of war


It looked as though there was no way out for President Barack Obama: Either he faced a humiliating defeat at a Congressional vote for military action, which would in effect render him a lame duck President, or enter a dark hole of an armed conflict against the Assad regime unable to know how it might end. Either chose potentially disastrous. And then, out of the blue America’s Secretary of State John Kerry makes an unguarded, unscripted comment that allowed Russia’s President Putin to save the day.

Jesse Jackson marks Martin Luther King anniversary in Tottenham


Over 300 attended Operation Black Vote's and the Bernie Grants Art Centre's 50th year commemoration of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech. The crowd, who had gathered at the Bernie Grants Art Centre in Tottenham, waited eagerly for the appearance of the great man himself. Something was afoot in the air, there was a real buzz of anticipation- were we really breathing the same air as the Revered that has led the Civil Rights Struggle for nearly 50 years?

Minority election: could black voters swing it in UK in 2015?


In the next general election, 168 marginal seats could be decided by non-white voters. After the Hispanic vote swung the US election for Barack Obama in 2012, the UK's three major parties know how crucial minority votes will be. But are they doing enough to win them?


Simon Woolley recalls his first viewing of the research that could alter the course of the 2015 general election. "I couldn't believe it," he says. "I told them to go away and check it again, and then again. No one expected this."

Has British Parliament just given succour to Assad


Has British Parliament just given succour to Assad or have Cameron and Clegg seriously miscalculated? Olivia Boland writes.

The failure of the Coalition Government to win the vote in Parliament for its motion regarding a principal agreement to take military action against Syria signals a new chapter in British history, a chapter that brings in the beginning of the end of the Special Relationship between the British government and the US government in their joint imperial explorations.

Britain’s Somalis: The road is long


Somalis fare much worse than other immigrants; what holds them back?

Dr Martin Luther King: A dream deferred?


As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s 1963 world famous ‘I have a dream speech’ and mass march on Washington, there is a temptation to simply remember the dream speech and forget the radical politics of King himself. Since 1963 and more so since Kings assassination in 1968 there has been a concerned Disneyesque attempt to portray King as above politics.

He has overtime become canonised as meaning all things to all people in the kind of historical revisionism that sprays vanilla all over radical black history.

Stop playing political football with black and ethnic minorities


When I read that the ethnic minority vote may hold the key for the 2015 elections, I was delighted. For too long, these votes have been taken as given by all political parties especially Labour.

A study carried out by cross-party organisation Operation Black Vote showed the number of black and minority ethnic (BME) voters had grown by 70% since the last election. Using the 2011 census, it calculated that in England and Wales there are168 seats where the black and ethnic minority population holds greater sway than the majority.

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