Sunderland set to immerse itself in Afro-Caribbean culture as the city celebrates Windrush Day

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People can enjoy an afternoon of Afro-Caribbean food, fashion, music and dancing.

Sunderland is getting set to embrace a day of Afro-Caribbean culture as the city celebrates the anniversary of Windrush Day.

On June 22, 1948, HMT Windrush arrived in the port of Tilbury with hundreds of people from the British colonial islands of the Caribbean who had answered the UK Government’s call to help rebuild the country in the post-war years.

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The ensuing years which followed saw nearly half-a-million people emigrate from the Caribbean to our shores. They became known as the Windrush generation.

The African Caribbean Community Association North East celebrating the coronation of King Charles.The African Caribbean Community Association North East celebrating the coronation of King Charles.
The African Caribbean Community Association North East celebrating the coronation of King Charles. | African Caribbean Community Association North East

Introduced in 2018, Windrush Day celebrates and recognises the positive socio-economic and cultural impact both these people and subsequent generations have had on our country and cities.

Director of the African Caribbean Community Association North East, which is based in Sunderland, is Lucky Pemu.

Lucky, who moved to Sunderland from Nigeria 20 years ago, said: “This is a celebration of the Windrush pioneers who were invited by the British Government after the devastation of World War Two.

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“After the war the country faced a great shortage in its workforce and the Windrush generation have made a massive contribution, taking up positions in healthcare, education and all different professions in society.

“Windrush Day is about celebrating the achievements of these pioneers.” On Saturday June 22 at the Beacon Of Light, residents of Sunderland will now be able to immerse themselves in Afro-Caribbean culture in an afternoon of multicultural celebrations.

Lucky said: “People will be able to enjoy rice based dishes from the Caribbean whilst there will also be a fashion show with models wearing come of the clothing which would have been worn by these pioneers in 1948.

“There will also be singing, dancing and Afro-Caribbean music.”

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Lucky feels the day is also a celebration of the development of multiculturalism in the city.

He added: “It’s important to celebrate multiculturalism. The city has changed a lot in the last 20 years and is now developing into a multicultural society.

“People of Afro-Caribbean heritage now make up a large part of the workforce at SAFC, the city’s hospital and are also studying at the University of Sunderland, and it’s important to raise the profile of these people.”

The event on June 22 will start at midday and run until 3pm with people welcome to turn up on the day.

The city’s mayor Allison Chisnall will be attending the event.

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