Black in Britain - The 70th Anniversary of the Empire Windrush

Ref: C2419422

The steam ship Empire Windrush arrived in Britain 70 years ago in June 1948 carrying immigrants from Jamaica. It began a period of Commonwealth immigration. The British government asked people to come to work in an expanding economy, though it later imposed immigration controls that saw immigration as a problem. The course will look at the experience of these new arrivals and of other black and Asian migrants who followed. We will examine how they engaged and integrated with existing communities. We will discuss work, housing and leisure; how people responded to discrimination and built communities. We will look at the immigrant contribution to music and sport. The course will examine how the law has both institutionalised and challenged racism. We will compare the experience of first generation arrivals with generations of people who were born in Britain. The course will combine talks and slide shows with film and music, and will try to present the experience of the people themselves.

Course aim

Explore the experience of immigrants to Britain, particularly from the Caribbean and the Indian Subcontinent since the first Commonwealth immigrants arrived from Jamaica on the SS Empire Windrush in 1948.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discuss the significance of the Black and Asian presence in Britain
  • Explain the reasons why governments encouraged immigration, but later restricted it
  • Understand the immigrant experience

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Basic notes will be provided, but it would be helpful to have a pen and paper to take your own notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course outline

Black in Britain - The 70th Anniversary of the Empire Windrush Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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