2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship at Tilbury Docks in June 1948. I began writing The Story of the Windrush in 2017, to be released in 2018 in celebration of this important milestone. Unfortunately, the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush was overshadowed by the ‘Windrush scandal’.
What was the Windrush scandal?
In 2012 the government‘s ‘hostile environment policy’ led to difficulties for thousands of the Windrush generation’s children as the UK Home Office had destroyed their landing cards. Those who could not prove they’d arrived in Britain legally were wrongly classified as illegal immigrants. Some people lost their jobs and homes, couldn’t get healthcare, or were wrongly deported.
Why I wrote The Story of the Windrush
My book was meant to be a celebration of the Windrush generation’s contributions to rebuilding Britain’s post-war economy. I wanted their story, including the challenges they faced like racism, taught to children in an age-appropriate manner. This was before the summer of 2020 so children’s books about racism and being anti-racist weren’t common.
I’m pleased that the contributions of the Windrush generation are becoming better known but it’s a shame that the story of the ‘Windrush scandal’ continues.