Windrush 2020 – A celebration of Brent’s Pioneering Windrush Generation

Local Brent Windrush Pioneer Celebrates 100 Years old!
Brent Library Arts and Heritage would like to wish Mr Mitchell a very happy 100th birthday and sincerely thank him for his outstanding contribution to the Brent community. Born in Clarendon Jamaica 100 years ago Norman Mitchell arrived in the United kingdom in 1955 as part of the Windrush generation, working as a glass quality control inspector in Park Royal followed by 12 years in service with St Johns ambulance Brigade. Always concerned for the welfare of others, Norman set up WISCO ‘the West Indian Senior Citizens Organisation’ in 1980, which ran for 40 years. In 2014 he was honoured for his services to the community and awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace. In 2018 Norman featured in ‘Windrush 70 Brent's Pioneering Generation Exhibition’ and here in Windrush 2020 – A celebration of Brent’s Pioneering Windrush Generation As a Harlesden resident of 60 years he finds people local people to be very kind hearted. Tips for living a long life? Norman says ‘love thy neighbour as thy self’.


Windrush Day on 22 June is a day of great importance. It marks the moment when Commonwealth citizens from the Caribbean, upon the request of the British Government, arrived at a small port in Tilbury to help rebuild a broken Britain after World War II.

2018 marked 70 years since the Empire Windrush docked in the UK. Brent Culture celebrated this milestone anniversary with an exciting programme of events which included a free exhibition - Brent’s Pioneering Windrush Generation.

The display explored the Borough’s rich Caribbean heritage with photographs of Brent residents by artist and photographer Nadia Nervo.

To explore Brent’s Pioneering Windrush Generation exhibition online please use the arrows to scroll through. 

Windrush 2020 - A Celebration of Brent's Pioneering Windrush Generation

 

Many of the Windrush generation joined the fledgling NHS as nurses or the London Transport Network as train and bus drivers. Now, over 70 years later, we see an unwavering commitment from our frontline workers many of whom are descendants of this pioneering generation. Brent has been devastated by the Covid-19 crisis and we will continue to find ways to honour and pay tribute to our community members who have lost their lives.

By revisiting our exhibition for Windrush Day 2020 we want to recognise the legacy and contribution of our Black British Community during these unprecedented times. The deep significance of this time does not go unnoticed. Since the murder of George Floyd which has triggered global protests the outrage shines a light on the injustice of systemic racism across the world.

We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement to fight against the inequalities within our society. We are committed to work towards a shift in consciousness that reveals a greater age of freedom and justice for all. It is paramount to educate and promote awareness of our rich cultural heritage to combat racism, division and the subjugation of others.

For more on the Windrush exhibition:

Malika Booker is an international writer whose work is steeped in anthropological research methodology and rooted in storytelling. Two poems were specially commissioned to celebrate the seventy year anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush.

Hear Malika Booker read these poems inspired by Brent's Caribbean community.

Take a walk behind the scenes with co-curator Ashleigh Trezise as she explores her experience of working with Brent community members to develop the West Indian Front Room installation 

Take a walk behinds the scenes with Nadia Nervo as she explores her experience of photographing Brent's Caribbean community