The History of Black British People in London

Black people in London

Many will be surprised to learn that Black people make up 13.2 percent of the population in England and Wales. However, that number pales in comparison to the whopping 44 percent of black and ethnic minorities in London. In fact, as of 2020, there are more than one million Black British people living in the London Metro area.

According to an article by BBC News, ‘The transatlantic slave trade and the US civil rights movement are largely the only black history taught in UK schools.’ This means centuries of black history has been omitted by school curriculums in the UK.

Lavinya Stennett, the founder of The Black Curriculum, had much to say in this article regarding the origins of black people in Britain. She states: "We know that black people were in Britain since Roman times.” In the same article, we see examples of royalty, musicians, and upper-class citizens that even date back to the second half of the 4th century who were all black or of African descent.

Over time, the slave trade became especially popular in the UK, and we see throughout history that much of their wealth ‘comes from the tobacco, the sugar, the cotton that was created and sustained by enslaved people in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados,’ according to Lavinya.