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The sound and spirit of Windrush Day 2022

What song best captures the spirit of the Windrush Generation for you?

In celebration of Windrush Day on 22 June, we’re asking people to share the songs that best capture the Black experience in Britain from 1948 to the present day – to explore how the Windrush Generation and our descendants express their experience in music.

The most popular choices will feature on our Windrush Playlist for 22 June. In addition, we’re encouraging music lovers to share your own playlists, to capture the incredible influence the Windrush Generation and our descendants continue to have on music in the UK.

You’ll also be able to vote for your favourite song in honour of Windrush Day, with voting open on our social media channels from 20-24 June.

Windrush Day was launched by the government in 2018, in the wake of the Windrush Scandal, which has seen members of the Windrush Generation unfairly detained, deported and denied NHS healthcare and state benefits.

The date, 22 June, was chosen as it marked the 70th anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush’s arrival at Tilbury Docks – the ship that brought the first of the pioneering Windrush Generation to the UK in 1948. Since 2018, the day has become an annual national celebration of the Windrush Generation’s contribution to the UK.

Catherine Ross, our Founder and Director:

“The Windrush Generation and our descendants have made a profound impact on music in the UK. From bringing a wealth of new musical styles with us including Jazz, Blues, Calypso, Soca, Ska, Gospel, Latin and Reggae, to pioneering many of the genres that are popular today, such as Garage, Jungle, Grime, Dubstep and Drum & Bass.”

“The history of music in the UK since 1948 onwards is also a history of the Windrush Generation and our descendants. That echoes the huge role that music has always played in Black history across the world, as a way to share experience, bring people together, and call for change.”

Record Collection

“Many well-known musicians arrived in the UK as part of the original Windrush Generation, including the singer and actress Mona Baptiste, and the Calypsonians Lord Kitchener, Lord Beginner and Lord Woodbine, who all arrived on the SS Empire Windrush in 1948.”

“Ever since, music in the UK has evolved to express the Black experience in Britain, unite people, and promote change. From the protest songs of icons like Bob Marley and Linton Kwesi Johnson, to the fusion of genres such as ska, rocksteady and punk via bands including The Specials, to the lyricism of Grime pioneers like Wiley, Kano and Dizzee Rascal.”

“Music is a great way to celebrate Windrush Day and the amazing contribution of the Windrush Generation and our descendants, while shining a light on the Black experience in Britain today and the change that still needs to happen.”

“A recent report by an independent unnamed historian has found that institutional racism at the Home Office caused the Windrush scandal, with UK immigration laws from 1950 to 1981 purposely designed to “reduce the number of black or brown people.” The Home Office is refusing to make the report public, despite the fact they commissioned it following the official independent review of the Windrush Scandal in 2018.”

“The report aimed to educate Home Office staff in Britain’s colonial history, the history of migration and the history of Black Britons, to improve Home Office policy in the future.”

“As a member of the Windrush Generation myself, I want to see the report published and made publicly available, as part of the Home Office and the government acknowledging what went wrong and what needs to change in the future.”

“Music has the unique ability to express and share experience and bring people together, while being a voice for protest and change. That’s why we’ve put music at the heart of our celebrations for Windrush Day 2022 and we encourage everyone to get involved.”

What song best captures the spirit of the Windrush Generation for you?

Let us know by 19 June and your song choice could be included on our Windrush Playlist – launching on 22 June.

Email or get in touch via social media:

Instagram: @museumand

Twitter: @Museumand_

Facebook: @Museumand

Use the hashtag #WindrushSong and tag Museumand in your posts to share your favourite songs, as well as your own playlists for Windrush Day 2022.

Looking for more ways to celebrate Windrush Day 2022?

You’ll find a full list of Windrush Day events and activities around the UK at

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