We aim to celebrate Black History Month every year. By observing this important event, we strive to promote diversity and inclusion.
This year's theme is: 'Celebrating our Sisters, Saluting our Sisters and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements.'
'Black women have been at the heart of social justice movements throughout the UK's history, but their achievements have frequently been neglected or forgotten.' (BHM)
So here at Housing for Women, we are highlighting three remarkable black women to celebrate. Not only have their lives been defined by courage, resilience, intelligence, and grace – they also paved the way for black people living in Britain today.
Ethiopian-born British community organiser Kathleen came to England in 1917. Following a series of traumatic experiences in children's homes in Yorkshire, she worked as a farm labourer before becoming a founding member of the Stepney Coloured People's Association – an organisation dedicated to improving community relations, education, and housing for black people in the UK. She spent her life fighting to better the lives of others with a similar background to her.
Claudia Jones was the founder of Notting Hill Carnival. A pioneering journalist and political activist, she was born in Trinidad and raised in New York before moving to London. In 1958, she launched the West Indian Gazette – an anti-racist newspaper campaigning for social equality. That same year, she launched the famous Caribbean carnival, which to this day celebrates the beauty of West Indian culture and heritage, in response to the Notting Hill race riots. The UK's first indoor carnival was held at St Pancras Town Hall.
Yvette Williams is a long-term activist and trade unionist. She is a co-founder of the Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign. Living in Notting Hill for more than 35 years, she witnessed the fire on the night with her daughter after receiving a phone call from a friend who had been evacuated. The campaign has used various media to ensure the disaster remains in the public consciousness. In 2012, she was awarded the MBE for her services to criminal justice for her tireless work as part of the prosecution team to convict two murderers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.