Black History Month: Black Power in the UK through the Decades

Here are some key moments and images of black history in the UK over the years (Picture: Getty Images)

A huge part of black history month for many people, it’s Black Power – an ideology that aims to achieve black self-determination.

It first emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the movement quickly took shape in the UK with several groups formed to fight for racial equality.

Although perhaps less well-known than in the United States – which had a clear focus on the fight against segregation and produced iconic figures like minister and Muslim activist Malcolm X – Britain’s Black Power had several important political moments.

The Black Panthers were perhaps the most influential such group in the UK. Founded in 1968 by activist Obi Egbuna, it has produced a newspaper, campaigned against police brutality and organized sessions to encourage black people to read books by radical authors.

The Mangrove Nine were also seen as an important part of the movement after being tried for inciting a riot at a 1970 protest in London, and were all acquitted of the most serious charges.

The judge concluded there had been “evidence of racial hatred on both sides”, which was highly significant as this was the first judicial recognition of racial bias within the Metropolitan Police in London.

While the notion of Black Power through political groups may have faded somewhat since the 1970s, it has recently reappeared as part of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in the hands of American police in 2020.

Many now also interpret Black Power as a show of pride and empowerment, especially at events like the Notting Hill Carnival – a Caribbean festival that has taken place in London every year since 1966 (except during the Covid-19 pandemic). 19).

Here are some key moments and images of black history across the decades in the UK: from political to joyful.

A group of soldiers from various British colonial regiments at Chelsea Barracks in London ahead of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, June 1897. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A group of soldiers from various British colonial regiments at Chelsea Barracks in London ahead of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 1897 (Photo: London Stereoscopic Company/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Nigerian-born writer and political activist Obi Egbuna (1938 - 2014) speaking at a press conference to launch his Black Power group, the Universal Colored People's Association (UCPA), at an Upper Berkeley hotel Street, London, August 29, 1967. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Nigerian-born writer and political activist Obi Egbuna speaking at a press conference to launch his Black Power group, the Universal Association of Colored People, in London in August 1967 (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Demonstrators join a demonstration in Ladbroke Grove to protest against the repression of black citizens, organized by the Black Defense Committee in Notting Hill, London, October 31, 1970. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Demonstrators join a demonstration in Ladbroke Grove to protest the repression of black citizens in Notting Hill on October 31, 1970 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Eight members of the black British activist group Mangrove Nine, UK, 16 December 1971;  they are (front row, L-R) Rothwell Kentish, Rhodan Gordon, Altheia Jones-LeCointe, Barbara Beese;  (top row, LR) Frank Crichlow, Godfrey Millett, Rupert Boyce, Darcus Howe.  Ninth member Anthony Innis is not pictured.  (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Eight members of the black British activist group Mangrove Nine, pictured in December 1971. Bottom row, left to right: Rothwell Kentish, Rhodan Gordon, Altheia Jones-LeCointe and Barbara Beese. Top row, left to right: Frank Crichlow, Godfrey Millett, Rupert Boyce, Darcus Howe. The ninth member, Anthony Innis, is not pictured (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Notting Hill Carnival in London, UK, August 1974. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Notting Hill Carnival in August 1974 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A man in costume at the Notting Hill Carnival in London, UK, in August 1974. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Mas costumes are worn at the Notting Hill Carnival in recognition of how slaves ridiculed their masters in the 1800s (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Young people celebrating Notting Hill Carnival, London, UK, August 31, 1976. (Photo by Daily Express/Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Young people celebrate at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 1976 (Photo: Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A policeman dancing with a reveler, who is wearing his hat, at Notting Hill Carnival, London, UK, August 1981. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A policeman dancing with a reveler wearing his hat at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 1981 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Standing, MPs Bernie Grant and Diane Abbott, watched by MPs Paul Boateng and Keith Vaz (arms crossed) during the debate on the creation of separate black sections within the Labor Party during the party's annual conference in Blackpool.
Diane Abbott, pictured here next to the late MP Bernie Grant, became the first black woman elected to Parliament in 1987 (Picture: PA)

Woman dancing in the street Notting Hill Carnival London 1997. (Photo by: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A woman dances in the street at the Notting Hill Carnival in 1997 (Photo: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shambhala/Pymca/REX/Shutterstock (3489959a) Two bikers standing with their bikes smiling and chatting Heathrow London 1999 STOCK
Two bikers standing with their vehicles smiling and chatting in Heathrow, London, in 1999 (Photo: Shambhala/Pymca/Rex/Shutterstock)

Three girls dancing in the road, Notting Hill Carnival, London UK 2000s. (Photo by: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Girls dancing in the road at the Notting Hill Carnival in the 2000s (Photo: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

LONDON - AUGUST 29: Costumed dancers perform at the Notting Hill Carnival on August 29, 2005 in London, England.  Millions of visitors are expected at this year's carnival with the theme of unity and diversity.  Police have stepped up security after the July 7 attacks and around 5,000 officers will be on duty.  (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Dancers refused to be deterred from performing at Notting Hill Carnival in 2005 despite the July 7 bombings that year (Picture: Getty Images)

TOPSHOT - Protesters raise their fists during a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Woodhouse Moor in Leeds, northern England, on June 21, 2020, following the death of the black man no armed George Floyd in police custody in the United States.  (Photo by Oli SCARFF/AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters raise their fists during a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Leeds in June 2020 (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

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black history month

October marks Black History Month, which reflects the achievements, cultures and contributions of black people in the UK and around the world, as well as educating others about the diverse history of people of African descent and Caribbean.

For more information on the events and celebrations taking place this year, visit the official website black history month website.


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October is Black History Month (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

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