Next Time You’re In London, Check Out These Black History Landmarks
By Parker Diakite
During your next trip to London, be sure to visit the following list of sites that honor the influence and contributions made by those that made Black London what it is today:
Located in Brixton, Windrush Square is a open and public space that’s situated near the Black Cultural Archives Center, home to the largest archive in Brixton.
The Windrush name commemorates the arrival of the Empire Windrush from Jamaica on June 22, 1948. The ship carried 492 immigrants from the Caribbean.
Today, Windrush Square forms Brixton’s central square and is a venue for local events.
African & Caribbean War Memorial
Also located in Windrush Square is a sculpture to honor the more than two-million soldiers of African and Caribbean descent who in the First and Second World Wars. The memorial is believed to be the first in Britain to honor African and Caribbean soldiers from both world wars, as reported in the BBC.
The Mangrove Restaurant
The Mangrove, once located at 8 All Saints Road in Notting Hill, is where the Black movement in London started.
In March 1968, Frank Crichlow opened the restaurant, which quickly became a popular hot spot where black intellectuals and artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr., and Diana Ross convened.
During this time, however, a large group of police known as “the heavy mob” who patrolled the community began a campaign to close the Mangrove, raiding the restaurant 12 times between January 1969 and July 1970, as reported in the Guardian. Police said the Mangrove was a drug den despite having no evidence to back their claims.
Fed up, 150 community members and activists convened the Action Committee for the Defence of the Mangrove on Aug. 9, 1970, in protest of police harassment.
Facing charges of incitement to riot, Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Frank Crichlow, Rhodan Gordon, Darcus Howe, Anthony Innis, Althea Jones-LeCointe, Rothwell Kentish, and Godfrey Millett became known collectively as the Mangrove Nine. The case was ultimately thrown out.
The Africa Centre
Founded in 1964, the Africa Centre promotes Africa’s cultural and social diversity, showcasing cultural events for its diaspora and all Africaphiles. For the last 50 years, the organization has been the spirit and soul of African culture for those visiting from abroad.
Nelson Mandela Statue in Parliament Square
The statue of former South African President and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, is located in the southwest corner of London’s Parliament Square.