Social Justice

Windrush Day ‘is not valuable’, says Eddy Grant

Eddy Grant, himself a prominent member of the Windrush generation, has ideas he says would ‘eradicate the necessity’ for the annual celebration.

Eddy Grant criticised Windrush Day

Eddy Grant Photo: Amanda Richards

Windrush Day is “bollocks” and has no value in honouring the British Caribbean community, Electric Avenue singer Eddy Grant has told The Big Issue.

Windrush Day was instituted in 2018, in the wake of a major scandal when it emerged that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights.

Grant said the yearly celebration on June 22 did nothing to address the underlying issues.

 “Part of our problem is marketing. They let the media market these things as being valuable. They’re not valuable,” he said.

“I don’t like the idea of Windrush Day, Africa Day, or the day for women. What bollocks that really is.

“There is a greater issue, why don’t we just deal with the friggin’ thing and be done with it?”

After World War II,  anyone born in a British colony was given UK citizenship and many migrated to the UK . Those arriving in the UK from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971 have been labelled the Windrush generation.

Having come to live in London from British Guiana in 1960, Grant is among that cohort of people who altered the face of the country. Many took up jobs in the NHS and other parts of the British economy that were facing labour shortages.

“Every Black person who was part of that Windrush generation must feel absolutely proud every day for the manner in which they’ve changed England,” said Grant.

“England must respect the degree to which the Windrush generation has helped to propel it,” he added.

Grant said that he would like to see Windrush Day and its ilk replaced by better education in schools.

“There are many things that England should be proud of, and white people should be proud of,” he added.

“And there are many, many things that they should be ashamed of, and they should teach it in school. So that it eradicates the necessity for all of these special days.”

Watch Eddy Grant talk about his musical upbringing in the latest edition of The Music That Made Me.

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