Celebrating Windrush Day 2023
As we approach Windrush Day 2023 it is important to remember the significant contributions of the Windrush Generation to British society. On 22nd June 1948, the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury, carrying hundreds of Caribbean migrants marking the beginning of a mass migration of Caribbean people who travelled to the UK to answer Britain's call for workers to help rebuild after the war. Their hard work, resilience, and determination paved the way for generations of Black British Caribbeans to follow, who have also made significant contributions to British culture, politics, and the economy. It is crucial that we honour and celebrate the contributions and legacy of the Windrush Generation, especially this year as it is the 75th anniversary, a significant milestone. From community events and exhibitions to educational and cultural activities, there are plenty of activities taking place across the UK on Windrush Day and throughout the year that you can attend. See a list below for some of the many events happening through 2023 to celebrate Windrush.
What is Windrush Day?
Windrush Day is an annual celebration in the UK on 22nd June. The day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in 1948 that carried almost more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean.
Why do we Celebrate Windrush Day?
Windrush Day is an opportunity to remember, honour and celebrate the contributions of the Windrush Generation. These individuals made significant contributions to British society including in politics, music, sport, art and healthcare. The Windrush Generation paved the way for future generations of Black British Caribbeans, who have continue to make significant contributions to British society.
How to celebrate Windrush Day
There are many ways to celebrate Windrush Day, both on the day itself and throughout the year. Here are some ideas:
Attend a community event
There are many community events taking place across the UK on Windrush Day and throughout the year. These events provide an opportunity to learn more about the contributions of the Windrush Generation and to celebrate their legacy in your local community. Community events may include music, dance, food, and other cultural activities. Check with your local council, schools and libraries to find out what events are happening near you.
Visit a museum, exhibition or archive
Many museums across the UK create exhibits related to the Windrush Generation. These exhibits provide an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Windrush Generation and to see objects related to their experiences. There also a few archives, including the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, that you can visit in person or explore online.
Take part in educational activities
Some schools, universities and other educational institutions may organise activities and events to commemorate Windrush Day. These activities may include workshops, lectures, seminars and discussions. Participating in educational activities is a great way to learn more about the contributions of the Windrush Generation and to engage with others.
Support Windrush-related campaigns and causes
There are campaigns and causes related to the Windrush Generation that you can support. For example, you can support organisations that provide legal and other support to members of the Windrush Generation who were affected by the Windrush scandal a few years ago.
Windrush Day Activities and Events
See below for a list of activities and events taking place across the UK to celebrate the Windrush Generation in 2023.
August in England
Bush Theatre, London W12 8LJ
Until 10th June 2023
A production by Lenny Henry exploring a life impacted by the Windrush scandal.
Black Culture Market
Brixton, London SW9 8FR
3rd - 4th June 2023
An indoor market showcasing a curated selection of Black businesses celebrating Windrush 75.
A Charmed Life with a Panel of Directors & Guests
BFI Southbank, London SE1 8XT
24th June 2023
A screening of two films marking Windrush 75, exploring the contribution of post-war Caribbean migration to life in the UK.
Drop-in Design: Celebration Wall Art
V&A South Kensington, London SW7 2RL
30th May and 18th June 2023
A free creative drop-in workshop for families, led by designer Tihara Smith to create wall art inspired by Caribbean culture.
From War to Windrush 75
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Rd, London SE1 6HZ
17th June 2023
A half-day of talks and performances marking the Windrush 75 featuring leading historians, actors, broadcasters and poets.
Indo + Caribbean: The Creation of a Culture
Museum of London Docklands, No 1, West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AL
19th May - 19th November 2023
A new, free display exploring the underrepresented history of Indian indenture in the British Caribbean.
Legacies: London Transport's Caribbean Workforce
London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB
An exhibition celebrating the contribution Caribbean people have made to transport in London and British culture more widely.
Lewisham: About Face
Migration Museum, London SE13 7HB
Until 16th July 2023
An installation by visual artist EVEWRIGHT exploring the artist’s own perspectives on growing up in Lewisham as the child of parents from the Windrush generation.
Burgess Park, Albany Rd, London SE5 0AL
24th & 25th June 2023
This family-friendly festival celebrating Caribbean and Creole culture across Britain.
Recent Acquisition: Journeys to Hope
Autograph, London EC2A 3BA
Until September 2023
A free outdoor display sharing the journey of the Windrush generation before, during and after arriving in the UK.
Royal Albert Hall Presents Windrush 75
Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 2AP
9th June 2023
Trevor Nelson presents a night of music to mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush.
The Spirit of Windrush
National Maritime Museum, London SE10 9NF
22nd & 24th June 2023
A free family festival at the National Maritime Museum celebrating 75 years of Windrush.
Windrush: A Voyage Through the Generations
Clapham Library, Mary Seacole Centre, 91 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7DB
1st June - 2nd September 2023
A photography exhibition by photographer Jim Grover documenting how successive Windrush generations are living their lives in the UK today.
Windrush 75: Legacies Festival
Migration Museum, Lewisham Shopping Centre, London SE13 7HB
24th June 2023
A day-long festival featuring music, performance, storytelling, interactive talks, workshops and more.
Brighton Book Festival: Windrush 75th Anniversary Celebration
Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, Brighton BN2 0JY
22nd June 2023
Hear from authors and activists across generations as they share their experiences, inspiration and outlook for the future. Caribbean food will be served and there will be performances by some poets and musicians.
Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories
London International Cruise, Terminal
Tilbury, Essex RM18 7NJ
Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories is an art and sound installation dedicated to people of the Windrush Generation.
It Runs Through Us Exhibition
Mansfield Museum Leeming Street, Nottinghamshire NG18 1NG
Until 30th November 2023
A free exhibition celebrating the Windrush Generation.
Rush - A Joyous Jamaican Journey
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton WV1 1DE
22nd June 2023
A production telling the story of Reggae music and the Windrush Generation.
Windrush 75 Festival
Avenham & Miller Parks, Preston PR1 8JP
18th June 2023
A festival celebrating the Windrush with Caribbean food, singers and dancers.
We are keen to share more activities and events happening in 2023 to celebrate Windrush 75. Contact us if you know of an event that should be listed here. Thank you!
Blog post image by photographer Kayleigh Pace