70 years on from the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush, which has come to symbolise a generation of Caribbean migrants to the United Kingdom, our event celebrates the cultural legacy of this generation and how it has shaped this country. We'll be asking what constitutes the public memory of this heritage and the cultural amnesia surrounding it. As the Windrush generation have been catapulted into the headlines after years of being ignored, why are so few books being written on the subject? And why are existing classics such as Sam Sevlon’s Lonely Londoners largely overlooked?
As a nation, we fail to celebrate immigrants and must acknowledge that Enoch Powell has influenced public policy for generations. The children he refers to in his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech as those Britain was ‘mad’ to take in are those very people now affected by the scandal of the ‘hostile environment’. This event will discuss the history and current contribution of publishing to our understanding of the cultural legacy of the Windrush generation, with Margaret Busby, Sharmaine Lovegrove, and Jacob Ross.
Margaret Busby OBE is a writer and editor who was also the UK's youngest and first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby.
Sharmaine Lovegrove is the publisher of Dialogue Books, an inclusive imprint at Hachette, and founder of Pree, a magazine for Caribbean writing.
Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor. His crime fiction novel, The Bone Readers won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017
Chairing the discussion will be Patrick Vernon, social commentator, publisher and campaigner for Windrush Day.