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Unsung Heroes (5th - 9th)

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This year, the students involved in putting together the SU’s Black History Month wanted to recognise and celebrate lesser known Black thinkers, visionaries, artists, activists and others, who more people should know.

 

These Unsung Heroes have been chosen for many reasons including their contributions in their fields, their work promoting racial equality and their bravery in the face of incredible adversity.

 

Every week, we will share our list of Unsung Heroes with information about their lives and their impact on history. Help us celebrate their incredible lives by reading more about them and sharing with your friends. This weeks Unsung Heroes are:

 

Claudia Jones (1915-1964)

Was a feminist, political activist, community leader, communist and journalist. Born in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1955 she was deported from the US and given asylum in England, where she spent her remaining years working with London's African-Caribbean community. She founded and edited The West Indian Gazette which she used to fight for equal opportunities for black people in the UK. She was one the main people to launch Notting Hill carnival in 1959 which began as an annual showcase for Caribbean talent.  

 

Sources:

 https://100greatblackbritons.com/bios/claudia_jones.html 

 

 

Ivor Gustavas Cummings (1913 – 1992)

Was a civil servant. From 1941 to 1958 he had chosen to be in charge of British colonial subjects from Africa and the Caribbean. Even before the Empire Windrush arrived, he was tirelessly active in aiding and advocating on behalf of African and Caribbean settlers. Cummings resigned from his position in the Colonial Office in 1958. 

 

Sources:

 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-ivor-cummings-1561396.html 

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/windrush-generation-ivor-cummings-pride-lgbt-brixton-memorial-a8971906.html 

 

Aime Cesaire (1913 – 2008)

A French poet and activist.  

 

Sources: 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/50/r4-sun-a-notebook-on-aime-cesaire 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-50377646 

 

 

Fela Kuti (1938 – 1997) 

A composer and mulit-instrumentalist who in the 1970s pioneered the first modern sound of Afrobeats music.  

 

Sources: 

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/oct/31/fela-kuti-musical-neil-spencer 

 

 

Olaudah Equiano (1745 - 1797) 

Abolitionist and writer. 

Sources: 

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Olaudah-Equiano 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/black_britons_01.shtml 

 

 

Arthur Roberts (1879 - 1982) 

Sources: 

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/i-saw-sights-that-i-never-saw-before-or-wish-to-see-again 

 

 

Olive Morris (1952 - 1979) 

Community activist. 

Source: 

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inspirational-life-olive-morris-who-22252734 

https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/26/google-doodle-who-was-olive-morris-community-activist-celebrating-68th-birthday-12903506/ 

 

Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955 - 1989)

Nigerian photographer. 

Sources:

 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/rotimi-fani-kayode-20378 

https://www.walthercollection.com/en/collection/artists/rotimi-fani-kayode 

 

 

If you would like to contribute to this list, share your story or be part of this years #BlackHistoryMonth celebrations email f.lakhani@angliastudent.com

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