Windrush Day: 5 Black Caribbean Individuals Who Have Made a Difference

22nd June marks National Windrush Day, and 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain on 22 June 1948. Ikenna Okoye-Ahaneku, Black Student's Liberation Officer, highlights five Black Caribbean people who have inspired him by making a difference in the UK.

Windrush day

22nd June marks National Windrush Day, and 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain on 22 June 1948. Ikenna Okoye-Ahaneku, Black Student's Liberation Officer, highlights five Black Caribbean people who have inspired him by making a difference in the UK. 


Stuart Hall // Open University

  1. Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall (3 February 1932 – 10 February 2014) was a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, cultural theorist, and political activist. He was one of the founding figures of the school of thought named as British Cultural Studies or the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. During the late 1950s, Hall was a founder of the prominent “New Left Review” – a British bimonthly journal, where intriguing topics such as world politics, economy, and culture were discussed! Inspired by the life and work of Stuart Hall, the Stuart Hall Foundation (SHF) was made and is driven to helping public education, tackling race and inequality in culture and society through talks and events, and developing a network of SHF scholars and artists in residence.  


Khadijah Ibrahiim // Flickr

  1. Khadijah Ibrahiim

Khadijah Ibrahiim has Jamaican parents and was born in Leeds. She is a literary activist, theatre maker and writer. Khadijah started developing programmes about black history and poetry. One of her greatest creations is Leeds Young Authors, a programme for 13 to 19-year-olds, which after 20 years, has had great success because of her work as its artistic director. She is also the executive producer of the documentary “We Are Poets”. Khadijah and her work have appeared on BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4! 



Benjamin Zephaniah // Getty Images

  1. Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah was born on the 15th of April 1958, in the Handsworth area of Birmingham. He is known for his poetry as well as novels, plays, and other impressive works. His poetry is named “dub poetry” which means that it is performed – and the words are recited over the beat of reggae music. He was in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008! His parents were Jamaican and as a child he loved reggae music and the poetry of Jamaica. He began writing poetry when he was very young. By the age of 15, he had many fans in his neighbourhood. Quickly, he became famous and has released many great books, plays, poems and even had some acting roles, including in the hit show, “Peaky Blinders”! 


Bob Marley // Twitter: @bobmarley

  1. Bob Marley

Born in Jamaica, Bob Marley is regarded as the king of reggae, and his impact on music and culture is unquestionable. Marley combined aspects of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, also having a unique singing and songwriting style. He gave birth to countless classic songs such as “One Love”, “Three Little Birds” and “Buffalo Soldier”. “Get Up, Stand Up!” is the Bob Marley Musical that is watched and adored by thousands of Britons each year in theatres.


Raheem Sterling // Getty Images

  1. Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling MBE is a Jamaican born professional football player who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. He also previously played for Liverpool and Manchester City. He has won multiple Premier League titles with Manchester City, being a vital part of Manchester City’s recent success. He is regarded as one of the best players in the world and is someone who has worked tirelessly to reach the top of English football. However, his life isn’t without problems. Off the field, he has suffered racial abuse by fans and has been negatively portrayed by the British media. He also plays for England and has been a key player and captain, for Gareth Southgate and England.  



Written by Ikenna Okoye-Ahaneku, Black Students' Liberation Officer, BA Philosophy


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