Black History Month -- 2019 -- General Topics

Patrick Vernon

Award for community activist

A community activist and Windrush campaigner has been honoured by the University of Wolverhampton.

Patrick Vernon has a 25-year track record working in health and care, and led the campaign for Windrush Day and amnesty for the Windrush Generation.

He received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, 20 September 2018.

The award was presented in recognition of Patrick’s contribution to the voluntary and public sector over a number of years and in particular his historical work around family genealogy and identity of migrant communities particularly African and Caribbean communities.

He said: “As a child of the Windrush Generation born in Wolverhampton along now with three generations of the Vernon family It is great to be honoured by the University of Wolverhampton to receive an honorary doctorate for my work over the years for advocating, campaigning and developing content and learning on the heritage of African and Caribbean community from family history, 100 Great Black Britons, Windrush Generation. Also, the recognition reflects my wider work on migration histories, race equality, mental health and wellbeing.”

Patrick Vernon OBE was born in Wolverhampton and went to Grove Junior School, Colton Hills and Wulfrun College. He is Patron of ACCI mental health charity based in Wolverhampton.

In 2017 he was guest editor for Black History Month magazine and in 2018 led the campaign for Windrush Day and amnesty for the Windrush Generation. He was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work in tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority communities in Britain.

He was the first Director of Black Thrive, a mental health multi agency tackling mental health in Lambeth, former Non-Executive Director of Camden and Islington Mental Health Foundation Trust, Health Partnership Coordinator for National Housing Federation, committee member of Healthwatch England, NHS England Equality Diversity Council, and Director of Brent Health Action Zone. He is a former member of the Labour and the Coalition Government Ministerial Advisory for Mental Health.  Patrick was a Former Councillor in Hackney between 2006- 2014.

Patrick is also founder of Every Generation Media and 100 Great Black Britons, which develops education programmes, publications and films on cultural heritage and family history. Patrick was made Pioneer of the Nation for Cultural History by the Queen in 2003. He is a leading expert on African and Caribbean genealogy in the UK.

He is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, Fellow at Imperial War Museum, and former Associate Fellow for the Department of History of Medicine at Warwick University.

Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise. 

The University’s graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from Thursday, 13 September to Friday, 21 September 2018.

Randolph Turpin/Julius Soubise

Randolph Turpin

Randolph Turpin

Britain's first black world boxing champion

On 10th July, 1951, Randolph Turpin made history by beating Sugar Ray Robinson to become middleweight champion of the world. This was a great achievement; Sugar Ray Robinson had only been beaten once, out of a total of 133 professional fights.

Randolph Turpin was born in Leamington on 7th June 1928. He was a cook in the Royal Navy, and had a very successful amateur career, becoming A.B.A welterweight champion in 1945. In 1946 he turned professional, and won all his first 19 fights. He became British middleweight champion in 1950 and European champion in 1951.

He only held the world title for 64 days, when Robinson reclaimed the title in a rematch in October 1951. However he continued to gain further national titles, including the Lonsdale belt for becoming British Light Heavyweight champion three times, in 1952, 1955 and 1956. He was also Commonwealth Light Heavyweight champion in 1952.

Tragically, Randolph faced many problems towards the end of his life and committed suicide in 1966, aged just 37. In 1979 a plaque was unveiled in Leamington Town Hall in his memory, and in 2001, he was inducted into the American International Hall of Fame, the ultimate award that a boxer can achieve.

Defeating Sugar Ray Robinson


Julius Soubise

Julius Soubise
Julius Soubise
swordsman of the 18th century

In 1764 Captain Stair Douglas of the Royal Navy mentioned to the Duchess of Queensbury that he had in his possession a smart and intelligent Negro boy, aged about 10, whom he had bought in St.Kitts. Would the Duchess like him as a present? Struck by the African's good looks as well as his intelligence, the Duchess accepted him. She named him Soubise, sent him to school, dressed him well and generally made a pet of him as was the fashion of the day. Apparently he attended Eton and was said to be a good violinist, to have a good singing voice and oratorical skills.

The grateful and affectionate youth soon won the Duke's favour as well, who sent him to Domenico Angelo's Academy, the foremost school for learning fencing and the niceties of riding. The Duchess and her friends frequently attended the visitors' gallery at the Academy to watch her favourite perform his equestrian exercises. The Duchess even managed to persuade Angelo to take Soubise as his articled assistant to teach riding and fencing.

Though Angelo feared that Soubise's 'colour and humble birth might have made him repulsive to his high born pupils' he acquiesced to the Duchess' wishes. Soubise's engaging manner and good nature soon proved Angelo's fears unfounded, and he was a frequent guest at the all-male exclusive dinner parties held at the Academy. He was also a regular guest at other sporting clubs for gentlemen, where he sang songs of his own composition.

As he grew up, Soubise's good looks, pleasant manners and undoubted gifts for gallantry won him the favour of the Duchess' maids, as well, it was rumoured, of the Duchess and numbers of other ladies. However, all this attention apparently spoilt the young man, who began to assume princely airs, becoming one of the most conspicuous -and seemingly over-scented - fops around town. Angelo dismissed him from his most congenial job at the Academy. Though the Duchess repeatedly discharged his large debts, he slowly also began to lose her favour.

The final straw was the attempted rape of one of the Duchess' maids, who insisted on prosecuting him. Two days before her death on 17 July 1777, he was sent off to India to earn his living as an accomplished master of riding and fencing. Ignatius Sancho wrote to friends enlisting their aid for the exile, but warning them not to lend Soubise any money. He established an academy in Calcutta, and, through connections, was able to obtain numerous patrons and pupils and even a contract to break horses for the government. Soubise died on 25 August 1798. Nothing is known of his life in India.

Mars posted:

D_G, you denigrate the memory of Blacks when you post here about their history. Stop pretending that you care just to boost your post count. Only recently you were taunting black members here with pictures of chimpanzees. 

Jagdeo ordered him to do this. Part of the usual PPP tokenism strategy.


DG needs to discuss why Ralph Ramkarran thinks that Africans have as much right to fear and detest the PPP as DG will think that Indians have a right to fear and detest the PNC.

DG isnt going to touch that topic though.

cain posted:

Yugi always said ..ahem...PNC (hint hint) can't even build a toilet. Not only did they do so but many other inventions were by blacks. I hope he reads this thread thoroughly.

Druggie is extremely angry, but given that DG is a soul extremely loyal to Jagdeo, he dare not have a melt down screaming that all of the posts are lies and that blacks do nothing other than beat up people.

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