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29 October 2020

100 Great Black Britons

1 October 2020

October is Black History Month and Malorie Blackman, Bernardine Evaristo, Jackie Kay, Andrea Levy and Benjamin Zephaniah are among the literary talents recognised in the recently announced list of 100 Great Black Britons. See the full list on the 100 Great Black Britons website.

16 years after the original 100 Great Black Britons list, Patrick Vernon OBE and Angelina Osborne launched a new campaign to celebrate Black British History and Black Britons who contributed to shape Great Britain by their work and actions. The public was invited to vote for the Black Briton they most admire. 

The campaign was a huge success and they received thousands of nominations. In January 2020, a panel of experts were invited to do the final short cut of 100 Great Black Britons.

The recently published 100 Great Black Britons book by Patrick Vernon OBE and Dr Angelina Osborne (Robinson) acts as a companion to this vital and updated campaign. With a foreword written by David Olusoga, the book includes a list of Black British names and accompanying portraits that explores these individuals' contribution and legacy to British History.

A campaign to send the book to every secondary school in the UK has been set up by retired school teacher Yvonne Davis: see GoFundMe page Send 100 Great Black Britons to Every School.

 

The Royal Mail has also unveiled four special edition postboxes to mark Black History Month. The Scottish one is in Byres Road in Glasgow and was chosen for its central location within the city. The box features an image of Walter Tull, who had signed on to become the first black player for Rangers, before being tragically killed in action in his post within the British Army (where he was the first black officer to command troops in a regular unit). He featured in a set of stamps released in 2018, to mark the end of the First World War. See the Royal Mail website.