what is windrush day?
saturday June 20th 2020
Monday marks 72 years since The Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex. Around 500 settlers from Jamaica came to Britain for what they expected to be a life of opportunity following the second World War, with many more joining them as the years went by. But, instead of a being welcomed with open arms, they were met with was years of racism, discrimination, uprisings and eventually, in 2018, a government scandal, that forced some of them into deportation. Even though they had been invited here by adverts in the paper and politicians such as Conservative Health Minister, Enoch Powell, who in 1963 actively recruited Nurses from the Carribean and India to rebuild the “Mother Country’s” NHS.
*Sidenote - Five years later in 1968, Powell gave his “Rivers Of Blood” speech in which he spoke angrily against mass immigration.
But why do we celebrate the 22nd June as Windrush day?
Well, because the people that came from the Caribbean have helped to make our society what it is today. Their journey is an integral part of the history of this country and needs to be spoken about more. However, nothing I write could explain the importance of this day enough. So instead, I ask that you read this article by David Olusoga instead.