As we were planning the magazine over the last several months who would have imagined that the whole issue of the Windrush Scandal would become a major news story. Or foreseen the political fallout as British Citizens of Caribbean heritage, many of whom have spent most of their lives in the UK, lost their rights, homes, livelihoods and even their life as result of the Home Office ‘hostile environment policy’. A policy which saw British citizens treated as illegal immigrants: facing deportation or being refused re-entry into Britain after coming back from holiday.
However, one of the positive consequences of this scandal has been has been a massive media and public education history lesson on the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in June 1948 and the subsequent contribution of the Windrush Generation to Britain. The public have learned more about Windrush during the month of April 2018 than in the previous 50 years. This in many ways reflects a failure: how this country and key public and private bodies have not engaged with this narrative in dialogue and in partnership with the Windrush Generation and the wider context of the migration contribution to Britain.
We need to remember that many aspects of British society today would be unrecognisable without the contributions which immigration and integration have made to our society over the generations: from the NHS to the monarchy, our language, literature, enterprise, public life, fashion, music, politics, science, our culture and food, even our humour.
Our magazine hopes to capture this in the articles and features (plus detailed event listings on the website). Showing the legacy and impact of Windrush as we move towards Brexit. We have tried to reflect the diversity of the Windrush Generation legacy, recognising the role of women, young people and the LGBTQ community as part of this narrative which is often overlooked.
In addition, we been able to secure the first major interview with the Prime Minister, Theresa May since the Windrush scandal on her views and plans around the Windrush Generation and how to preserve this history.
More work still needs to done to promote Windrush Generation and the contribution of all migrants as part of our public memory and narrative as a country. However with the launch of national Windrush Day this is a positive start.
Finally, I would like to thank all the contributors, sponsors and the production team. I would like to personally thank Pen Mendonca who I have worked with closely over the last few years in developing a range of graphic illustrations to promote the idea of a Windrush Day based on the original design of the Windrush Day logo by the late John Daniel, a child of the Windrush Generation whose spirit lives on in these graphic images. Pen has design the cover of the magazine using the concept of ‘Values-Based Cartooning’ to explore and capture issues of diversity and inclusion. We hope the cover and the content of the magazine reflects the different dimensions of Windrush and its legacy as part of Britain that we can be proud of in 2018.
We hope you enjoy the magazine we look forward to your feedback as we plan our Black History Month magazine for October this year