Windrush Day 2020: A day celebrating the Windrush Generation
Updated: Jul 10
Monday 22 June, marks the second-ever Windrush Day, a day which celebrates the Windrush Generation and their legacy.
Having only started in 2018, today marks the 72nd anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush arriving at Tilbury Docks in Essex carrying the first Caribbean migrants in 1948.
Many of those who were ex-servicemen who fought with the UK in the Second World War and had been invited to a bomb-damaged Britain to fill labour shortages. In addition, many arrived as children, travelling on their parents’ passports and with no documents of their own.
This annual event came about in wake of the Windrush scandal in 2018. When many of those invited to Britain were suddenly wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, and in most cases, wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office.
This scandal left many without benefits or access to medical care and in some cases refused re-entry to the country. In 2018, the Home Office admitted they had wrongfully detained at least 850 people between 2012 and 2017.
Despite the injustice faced by the Windrush generation, Windrush Day is being celebrated with a variety of community events across the UK, many of which have had to go online, as a result of the ongoing lockdown.
Lambeth Council in London has asked residents to decorate their doorsteps and windows to show their gratitude and respect.
On their website they said, "We want to make Windrush Day 2020 an extraordinary collective event for the community despite the restrictions of lockdown and social distancing.
"Show your gratitude and respect to the people of Windrush by decorating your windows and doorsteps."
Lambeth Council website has also formed a collective of live panel discussions, music playlists and programmes for people to access on Windrush Day.
Black Cultural Archives (BCA), the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain, has shown their dedication to Windrush Day 2020.
BCA are presenting a series of activities from podcasts to storytelling to learning resources for their 'Windrush Waves 2020' programme. Including, 'Sounds of Rush' which features testimonies from organisers, activists and windrush passengers covering themes from arrival, employment, social life, family and resistance.