A united Black Britain forced Windrush rethink


When Black activists, Black politicians and the broader Black community comes together to speak with one voice, no one, repeat, no one can ignore us.

The crescendo of voices, some overtly, some behind the scenes, has forced the hand of Prime Minister Theresa May to override her Ministers and demand an end to the continuing injustice to those of the Windrush generation over punitive immigration policy.

Many have found themselves in a Kafkaesque immigration nightmare, having lived, worked and contributed to the UK, only to be on the receiving end of a pernicious immigration drive that has chosen to ignore the rights and contribution of that windrush generation, but instead focus on a technical error - often made by the Home Office - and proceed in deporting citizens who have been here for decades.

Those on the frontline of this battle have been the activist and Black history historian Patrick Vernon, whose petition reached an astonishing 100k. Lee Jasper’s twitter account went into overdrive to highlightt the  issue. Many Black MPs led by Diane Abbott and David Lammy also played their part, as did the collective leadership of the Caribbean Embassies. One often forgotten unsung hero is Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, and former activist Nero Ughwujabo. His quiet leadership elevates issues concerning BME communities to the highest level.

And we must not forget the journalism of the Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman, who was almost the sole journalist prepared to relentlessly cover this story.

But the real credit must go to the response of the Black community which rarely sings with one unified voice in a way that can not be ignored.

I hope we learn the lesson of greater unity that will help us deal with the many challenges the Black community faces.

Simon Woolley