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  • Writer's pictureB.L.AD.



On 22 June 1948, around 500 migrants from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex, travelling thousands of miles on a big ship called the Empire Windrush.

This was the first time so many Caribbean people had come to live in Britain. Many more arrived in the following years.

Britain was just starting to recover from World War Two back then. Thousands of buildings had been bombed, lots of houses had been destroyed and it all needed to be rebuilt.

In the Caribbean, lots of young men and women had served in the British armed forces because at the time, many Caribbean countries were still under British rule and not yet independent.

After the war, some of these people answered an advert to come to Britain where there were lots of different jobs to do.

Other people just wanted to see Britain, which they had heard so much about.

However, when they arrived many of them experienced racism and discrimination and often found it hard to get proper homes to live in and to make friends with British people.

It's been more than 70 years since the Empire Windrush sailed to Britain, and now an estimated 500,000 people live in the UK who arrived between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries.

After a change in immigration law in 2012, many of them were told they lived in the UK illegally and they faced being deported (sent back to the Caribbean).

Without any official record or paperwork, many were unable to prove they had the right to live and work in the UK.

Some people were taken to immigration detention centres and some lost their jobs and homes.


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