100 Great Black Britons relaunches for 2017

This is a brilliant idea. I’m a governor of a local school and over the years I’ve facilitated thousands of workshops in school. Even in London, we struggle to name more than a handful of cultural icons of colour. I was horrified to see that Mary Seacole’s status was under threat again. I’m white and I want to know more. For me the story of Ira Aldridge was the one which opened up the idea people of colour had been present, visible and changing the mould from much earlier than many of us think.

Media Diversified

On the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, Patrick Vernon talks about why he’s relaunching the campaign and explains how to nominate

Back in 2002, I established Every Generation, one of the first websites in the UK looking at black genealogy. The project was based on my experience as volunteer mentor working with African and Caribbean boys and young men in Brent and Hackney who were either on the verge of being excluded from school or had low self-esteem in finding work.

I soon realised the importance of role models for young black Britons and in 2003 100 Great Black Britons was launched to wide acclaim and saw Jamaican nurse and entrepreneur Mary Seacole voted number one.

The original project was in response to the BBC’s 100 Britons campaign in 2002, which saw the public voting for Winston Churchill as the greatest Brit of all time. Not one person of…

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