Ten Poems about Black History
Selected and Introduced by Panya Banjoko
On 22nd June 1948, Her Majesty’s Transport Empire Windrush docked at the Port of Tilbury in Essex. Between 1947 and 1970, nearly half a million people left their homes in the Caribbean for a new life in Britain, becoming known as the ‘Windrush’ generation.
These poems respond to that experience, and the challenges and prejudices faced by those who arrived. They document a world of night shifts and broken promises, the impact on families and lives, and the hopes and aspirations for the future:
“It is Time for Black seeds to send new
roots and bloom fresh flowers
where there was decay and hopelessness
It is Time for Black seeds to bring
light into the barren wastes.”
from ‘Black Seeds Bring Light’ by Len Garrison
Panya Banjoko selects crucial and moving poems, ensuring that these experiences are honoured, these stories passed on, and these lives never forgotten.
Cover illustration by Morag Williams.