24 September marked an important moment for British Literature and, in turn, British history.
It was the day that 100 Great Black Britons, which pays tribute to key Black British individuals, was published. Written by political activist Patrick Vernon OBE and researcher Dr Angelina Osborne, the two have been running a campaign under the same title since 2004. Frustrated by the persistent exclusion of Black achievements from British records, the movement was set up to ensure the national narrative includes, and pays homage to, African and Caribbean people.
As a celebration of the book’s launch last month, Patrick Vernon OBE has hand-picked a playlist of songs which have been sung, rapped, produced, performed or written by Black Brits across several generations. The compilation plays out like an audio flick book of genres, covering the early days of UK rave, the flamboyant funk frenzy, swing jazz and 70s rock all the way to modern day grime.
As we’re still experiencing the aftermath of 2018’s Windrush scandal, and the fight for Black liberation continues, campaigns of this nature are of utmost importance. Through this playlist, Patrick Vernon OBE highlights the culture-shifting music of 100 Great Black Britons.