There is some discussion and debate as to what exactly the term British Black means. Does it just mean Black people in the UK whose ancestors came from the West Indies, or does it include all non-white British people like Asians?

On this particular article we will take the historic view that the term British Black refers only to black people who hold a British passport. In contemporary modern Britain black people started to arrive here as immigrants in large numbers from the 1950’s onwards, historically this event was recorded in newsreels with the famous landing of the Empire Windrush ship that arrived in England with hundreds of people from the Caribbean.

Although prior to this hundreds of thousands of black people had passed through Britain, the vast majority of them sadly as slaves being traded through ports like Liverpool and Bristol. The slave trade in the United Kingdom was finally finished in 1807. Apart from slaves many other black people settled in Britain in the eighteenth century after arriving here as sailors, soldiers, merchant seamen or students. Black history shows that their first large communities in Britain could be found in cities like Liverpool and Cardiff.

British Black sports people are very well represented in areas like football and rugby, most of these starts are the descendants of arrivals from the Caribbean rather than the recent arrivals from Africa. They are also represented in national politics with a number becoming MP’s, councillors and even government ministers. Many professionals from this minority group also give valuable advice on any diversity jobs in the public sector and also private sectors.

The census of 2001 revealed that roughly 2 per cent of the population of the UK considered themselves to be black, estimating their numbers at over 1.1 million people.

Recently from the 1990’s onwards large numbers of Black people from Africa have also arrived in the UK. These are from East African countries like Nigeria and Kenya, they too could also be described as Black British.


For more information about the ethnic minority population of the UK, click on the following links:

Diversity Jobs Board

Disability Jobs Board