Advertisement
Opinion

Floella Benjamin wants to ‘give hope’ for the future with Windrush edition

Trinidadian-British actress, author, television presenter, singer, businesswoman and politician Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE guest edits our Windrush generation edition.

I am honoured to be the guest editor of The Big Issue to highlight the story of the Windrush generation and to give hope to future generations. We are on the threshold of the very first official Windrush Day and I am so thrilled and happy to have reached this milestone in British history.

The mass migration of people from the West Indies changed the face of Britain and it came at a great price for the Caribbean pioneers who made the journey. 

I am very much part of the Windrush generation because I came to Britain as a 10-year-old in 1960 from Trinidad.

Many of my childhood experiences in that new culture and unbelievably hostile environment gave me the determination and resilience to become the woman I am now.

For years in Parliament I had been suggesting a Windrush Day but my proposals were rejected on the grounds that we already had a Black History Month.

I argued that this was missing the point, because the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury [in Essex] in 1948 marked a turning point.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Caribbeans came here to help rebuild Britain, including working in the newly created NHS. So for those who had to overcome so much adversity, it has great significance.

I am delighted that the government has announced thatJune 22 will now be an annual Windrush Day.

Furthermore the Prime Minister, Theresa May,asked me to chair a Windrush Commemoration Committee, to create a permanent and significant monument as a legacy to the Windrush generation.

On the first official Windrush Day I will be announcing where it will be located.

@FloellaBenjamin

Read the rest of the Floella Benjamin OBE’s editorial in the Big Issue, available from your local vendor until Sunday.

Advertisement

Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.

Recommended for you

Read All
Is it too much to hope for an accessible safety net that protects us all from poverty?
Joanne Barker-Marsh

Is it too much to hope for an accessible safety net that protects us all from poverty?

Scotland can become a powerhouse of green energy but we need a brave plan for renewables
Paul McNamee

Scotland can become a powerhouse of green energy but we need a brave plan for renewables

Boris Johnson's parties may sink the Conservatives but we can’t let it tank our trust in democracy
Ellie Mae O'Hagan

Boris Johnson's parties may sink the Conservatives but we can’t let it tank our trust in democracy

'People fall into addiction because they feel lost, alone, unhappy or just baffled by life'
Sam Delaney

'People fall into addiction because they feel lost, alone, unhappy or just baffled by life'

Most Popular

Read All
Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am
1.

Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am

What are the Kill the Bill protests?
2.

What are the Kill the Bill protests?

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'
3.

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party
4.

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party