Windrush Day 2020 Resources for Home Educators
Windrush Day is on 22nd June and celebrates the arrival of HMT Windrush, which brought people from Jamaica, who had been encouraged by the British government to live and work in the UK after the end of the second world war.
Here is a selection of resources you can use to bring this important moment in British history to life, as well as give context to the event:
Short Video from David Olusoga refuting the false idea that Black Britain started with the Windrush generation. (I wish I could find a decent copy of the documentary series Black and British which he presented in 2016, though I have included the accompanying book in the section below. Update: they are back on iplayer!)
Who are the Windrush generation? (This is a really good starting place for explaining about the Windrush scandal and what the British Government did to the Windrush generation in 2018.)
Windrush Generation poem by Theophina Gabriel – BBC Stories (A poem about the Windrush scandal.)
Black Nurses The Women Who Saved the NHS Full BBC Documentary 2016 – How women from the Caribbean saved the NHS.
“A book to celebrate the inspiring legacy of the Windrush pioneers. In June 1948, hundreds of Caribbean men, women and children arrived in London on a ship called the Empire Windrush. Combining historical fact with voices from the Windrush Generation, this book sensitively tells the inspiring story of the Windrush Generation pioneers for younger readers.”
All Aboard the Empire Windrush. Level 4 – Rising Stars Reading Planet by Jillian Powell (Key stage 2 reader)
“It is 1948 and Preston is about to set sail on a journey that will change his life forever. He and his parents will travel on The Empire Windrush from Jamaica to start a new life in Britain. Join Preston on board and discover …
who was on this famous ship;
how the passengers entertained themselves on the long journey;
and what they thought of England when they arrived!
You will also learn how the Windrush passengers have contributed to British life today.”
The Empire Windrush – Collins Big Cat Progress by Clive Gifford (Key stage 1 Reader.)
Coming to England by Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE
“Floella Benjamin’s classic memoir, Coming to England, includes a foreword by the author and some additional historical information. It is beautifully illustrated by Michael Frith.
Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War.”
(There is a picture book version of the story, due out in October 2020.)
“The story of Windrush must not be sterilised, or overly simplified. It is not only a story of successful integration, sport and cultural icons, or even everyday heroes like my mother, any more than it is only a story of Home Office failure, of systemic racism, or the consequences of slavery.“
Black and British by David Olusoga
“In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.”
Five Things I Wish I’d Learnt At School About Empire – a zine about British Colonial histories by IrregularZines on Etsy
This A5 black and white zine has 16 pages of text and original photo montage artwork. The zine is sold at cost value to help everyone fill in the blanks in black British history. If you donate to The Advocacy Academy and send IrregularZines a screenshot, they will include extra goodies in your envelope.
100 Great Black Britons is asking children and young people to create unique projects to explore black British history. Entering the competition would be a good way to put your new black British history knowledge to good use. They also have a resources page that includes lesson plans and recommendations.