100 Great Black Britons hoping to leave a mark in Britain's classrooms


Black History Month may have ended but the momentum behind the recently released 100 Great Black Britons has continued with some measure, with the book quickly becoming a bestseller. The book, written by Patrick Vernon and Angelina Osbourne was published last month, and sought to highlight the achievement, influence and legacy of Black Britons on these isles with focus on individuals from a broad range of disciplines. The book sees activists, poets, authors and athletes all acknowledged under one cover and is the sequel to the initial instalment produced in 2003.

The latest edition is released under noticeably different circumstances however with the Windrush scandal, the Grenfell tragedy and what co-author Patrick Vernon felt to be a growing intolerance for black people in Britain proving key motivating factors to begin the 2019 campaign behind the book. Additionally, the black lives matter protests which re-emerged this year placed the topic of race relations at the forefront of the national agenda.

But there was also a strong desire to educate and inform the new generation who may be unfamiliar with notable black figures in British history, due to the comparative absence of Black British history from the national curriculum.

Part of the campaign's focus on this occasion has been to actively ensure that the contents of the book do not go amiss where it's perhaps needed most - the area of education. This has been behind the massive drive to get copies of the book out to Britain's secondary schools.

Yvonne Davis, a retired primary school teacher and part of the books short-listing panel has been behind the gofundme looking to fund the ambitious plan of delivering a copy to all 8,205 secondary schools in the UK - independent, special and pupil referral units included. The target for the gofundme is £215,000 with the figure currently standing at £12,870 at the time of writing. While this is still some way off and may even appear disappointing to some, the gofundme is still open for donations and beyond this, an average donation of £31 per donor highlights that those invested in the cause see it as a credible campaign worthy of support.

The campaign also accommodates for Schools, who will be able to request a copy of the book as the campaign builds up and can currently enter competitions designed to engage students with Black British history.

To learn more about the motivations of co-author, Patrick Vernon, listen to our 30 minute sit down with him to discuss all things Black Britain.

To find out more who is featured in the top 100 list see the link.

For the pre-school to young adults competition.

For the teacher's category supported by the NEU.

To help fund Yvonne Davis’ GoFundMe campaign to get a free copy of the ‘100 Great Black Britons’ book, to every secondary school in Britain.

Mayowa Ayodele


A call to action...

For 24 years OBV have fought to ensure black and minority ethnic participation and representation in civic society. Efforts in continuing to do so though, relies on your help. That way we can continue this fight for greater race equality. What would give us a tremendous boost is if today, you made that small donation yourselves, but even more importantly if you encouraged others to do likewise.