The first Windrush Day was held on June 22, 2018, on the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migration, after a successful campaign led by Patrick Vernon.
Windrush Day takes place on 22 June each year to mark the anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 at Tilbury Docks.
According to records, the ship was carrying 1,027 passengers, 802 of whom gave their last country of residence as somewhere in the Caribbean; additional documented countries of residence are India, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa.
The ship carried the first Caribbean migrants to the UK to help rebuild Britain after the Second World War. An estimated half a million people made their way to England after the Second World War.
Following the Second World War, the UK was in urgent need of repair. The Windrush Generation came over, largely from the Caribbean, to undertake a variety of jobs with the purpose of rebuilding the nation.
These jobs included the production of steel, coal, iron, and food, as well as roles in running public transport and staffing the National Health Service (NHS).
Windrush Day also shines a light on how the Windrush Generation laid the foundations for the Black British society we know today.
The purpose of Windrush Day is to encourage communities across the country to celebrate these contributions made by the Windrush Generation, and their descendants, and thank all those involved for rebuilding this society.
While Windrush Day is a day of celebration, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the difficulties faced by the Windrush Generation – past and present.
On this day we recognise and thank all those who arrived on Empire Windrush (known as the Windrush Generation), and their descendants, for the enormous contributions they made to Britain during its recovery from the Second World War and have continued to make ever since.
Here we have collected a selection of books that educate about and celebrate the Windrush Generation.