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Ten Poems about Black History

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Poems to honour a unique generation


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.


Poems by Stanley O. Ayodeji, Panya Banjoko, James Berry, Kamau Brathwaite, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Len Garrison, Sarah ‘Rain’ Kolawole, Marsha Prescod, Jacob Sam-La Rose and Kadija Sesay.


Cover illustration by Morag Williams.

Candlestick Press



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