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Norwood Primary School

Norwood Primary & Pre-School


How did the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship change things for black people in Britain?

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Map Shows How Humans Migrated Across The Globe

1. How shall we tell the story of the first Black people in Britain?

There are two key pieces of evidence of black people in Roman Britain.


Ivory bangle lady

* York

* 1902

* bone analysis

* parents from North Africa


Evidence of Roman soldiers at Hadrian's wall

* Emperor Septimius Severus

* Records of a group of black soldiers

Ivory Bangle Lady (Roman Africans in York) : In Focus

2. What does the evidence tell us about the role of Black people in Tudor society?

  • There were merely a few hundred Black people in the country at that time

  • John Blanke was a trumpeter in the Royal court and is known to have played at the coronation of Henry VIII.
  • Mary Fillis, moved to Britain in 1583 at the age of six and worked as a servant (not a slave) for a man named John Barker, a merchant and sometime factor for the Earl of Leicester.

3. What difference did the slave trade make to the experiences of Black people in Britain?

In the 18th century people in Britain developed a sweet tooth.  They wanted sugar for their tea and puddings and couldn’t get enough of it.  Most sugar was grown in the West Indies.  So how would they grow it, harvest it and bring it to England at a cheap price?  Answer, Slaves brought from West Africa.




There were over 15,000 Black people in England by the middle of the eighteenth century and there would have been Black sailors and freed men as well as slaves. In fact, slavery was illegal in England and there should have been no slaves living here, but the law was often ignored and Black people who were brought to England by their owners were often still treated as slaves, though they were called ‘servants’.

4. When Black people rushed to enlist why has Black peoples’ role in World War One and Two rarely been celebrated?


  • Walter Tull played for Spurs but signed up for WWI.  He was promoted to officer (which was very rare for black soldiers) before dying in France a year later.  
  • Although many black soldiers fought in WWI, the majority were not even invited to the post war celebrations
  • Despite this, many black soldiers also signed up for WWII
  • When America joined the war, the number of black soldiers greatly increased, but so did the amount of prejudice due to the segregation laws in the US

5. From Windrush to “Notting Hill”: what was the experience of the first post-war Black immigrants?

What is the Windrush Generation? | Finding My Family: A Windrush Special | Newsround

newsround #windrush #windrushday Windrush Day takes place on 22 June, remembering the day when around 500 migrants from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948. Britain was just starting to recover from World War Two back then. Thousands of buildings had been bombed, lots of houses had been destroyed and it all needed to be rebuilt.

Windrush generation: Three stories - BBC News

The Empire Windrush arrived in Britain 70 years ago, carrying passengers from the Caribbean and from Poland. They were invited by Britain to assist with post-war reconstruction. Three people tell their stories. Please subscribe HERE

The Windrush Generation: Why people invited to UK faced deportation

They came here as children, their families invited by the British Government to help rebuild the country. Decades later many have faced deportation because of strict immigration rules. The UK government has now promised that the deportations will stop.

6. How far has life improved for Black people living in Britain in the last 60 years?