British West Indian Regiment (BWIR), The (1915-1918)

On August 4, 1914, Britain joined the Great War. The First World War, 1914-1918, is usually viewed as a predominantly white European conflict. In fact, many Africans, Asians, black Britons, and Caribbeans fought for the British Empire. At the beginning of the war, the British War Office, however, was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist … Read MoreBritish West Indian Regiment (BWIR), The (1915-1918)

Allan Glaisyer Minns (1858-1930)

Allan Glaisyer Minns, an early black physician and civic leader, was the first elected mayorof African-descent in Great Britain.  Minns was born on October 19, 1858 on Inagua island, Bahamas to John Minns and Ophelia Elizabeth Bunch. His paternal grandfather, also named John Minns, emigrated from England to the Bahamas in … Read MoreAllan Glaisyer Minns (1858-1930)

Marvin Johnathan Rees (1972- )

Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, England, population 454,000, is the person of African descent who currently leads the largest city in Europe.  Born in April 1972, he and his younger sister were raised in Lawrence Weston and Eastern, two of the poorer wards in the city, by his single mother, Janet … Read MoreMarvin Johnathan Rees (1972- )

John Richard Archer (1863-1932)

John Richard Archer was a British politician, Pan-Africanist, and civic leader who became the first mayor of African-descent to be elected of Battersea, a civil parish and metropolitan borough in London, England.  Archer was born in Liverpool on June 8, 1863 to Richard Archer, a ship steward from … Read MoreJohn Richard Archer (1863-1932)

(Sara) Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815)

Saartjie (Sara) Baartman was one of the first black women known to be subjugated to human sexual trafficking. She was derisively named the “Hottentot Venus” by Europeans as her body would be publicly examined and exposed inhumanly throughout the duration of her young life.  Moreover. her experience … Read More(Sara) Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815)

British Black Panther Party (1968-1973)

Inspired by the Black Power movement in the U.S., the Nigerian playwright, Obi Egbuna, founded the British Black Panthers (BBP) in 1968 in London’s Notting Hill.  In Britain, people of Caribbean, African, or South Asian descent, who were mainly immigrants from former British colonies, were considered to be “black.”  The tripling of Britain’s black population from … Read MoreBritish Black Panther Party (1968-1973)

Linton Kwesi Johnson (1952– )

Linton Kwesi Johnson, political activist, poet and reggae artist, was born in Chapelton, Jamaica in 1952. After his parents’ divorce, Johnson was raised by his grandmother. Johnson left his small parish in 1963 and moved to London, UK to be with his mother, where he attended Tulse Hill secondary school. Johnson became increasingly aware … Read MoreLinton Kwesi Johnson (1952– )

Walt Braithwaite (1945- )

If you have flown on a commercial airliner in recent years, chances are you benefited from the engineering and computer science expertise of Walt Braithwaite. During his almost four decades at The Boeing Company (Boeing), Braithwaite helped transform the field of aerospace design from a manual time-consuming process to … Read MoreWalt Braithwaite (1945- )

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)

Known to his contemporaries as “The Black Napoleon,” Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history that created an independent state, the Haitian Revolution. Born into slavery on May 20, 1743 in the French colony of Saint … Read MoreToussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)