On 22 June 1948, around 500 passengers disembarked from the MV Empire Windrush, docked at the Port of Tilbury. The Windrush Generation, as they came to be known, had left their homes and family in the Caribbean for a new life in the UK and to help rebuild Britain after World War Two.
Windrush Day was first introduced in 2018 to honour the British Caribbean community.
The day is a chance to remember and celebrate the contribution the Windrush Generation and their descendants have made to the country.
Luton International Carnival has long paid tribute to the Windrush Generation with costume and float designs. For example, Steel Pan In Motion dressed their float as the MV Empire Windrush ship, and St Kitts & Nevis & Friends carnival group in 2019 themed their wonderful display around remembering the Windrush Generation and also linking to the hat making tradition in Luton. Revellers Steelband also did a tribute in the 2016 Luton Carnival which you can see in the video below.
If you would like to make a carnival themed tribute headdress to mark Windrush Day 2020, Mahogany Carnival Arts group has created a stunning windrush ship head dress design which you can make at home or school from paper. Click here to visit Mahogany's website and try the design.
There are a number of events happening to mark the day, we have featured some of them below:
Windrush History Quiz Night: Monday 22nd June 7.30pm
Zoom hosted 4 part fun and interactive quiz, hosted by Richard Moseley to celebrate, commemorate and learn about the Windrush Generation and their contribution to British life. To register contact firstname.lastname@example.org https://lutoninharmony.co.uk/
National Theatre at Home: Small Island
Filmed live during its sold-out run in 2019, the National Theatre’s epic production of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel is streaming with National Theatre at Home to mark Windrush Day 2020. Click here for more information.
Windrush Day Lecture: Where are we now? Professor Stephen Small
This is the first in a series of annual events in Leicester making the anniversary of Windrush. Click here for more information.
Windrush Waves: Live Poetry In partnership with youth charity Poetic Unity, Black Cultural Archives will be hosting an evening of live poetry on their Instagram between 7-8pm 22nd June.