Black History Month: The Best of Black Britain/ 2000’s Politics & Education!
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As we celebrate the best of Black Britain spanning 4 decades
From the 90s to the present day & future.
Each weekday, from breakfast to drive time we will be celebrating Black Icons
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Today we are celebrating Black Politicans/ activists and Educators from the 2000’s!
Let’s kick things off with Heather!
Dame Heather Rabbatts is a British solicitor, businessman and broadcaster. She made a name of herself as becoming the chief executive of the London Borough of Lambeth. This made her the youngest council chief in the country! After leaving Lambeth, Rabbatts became the chief executive of iMPOWER, a public sector consultancy which she founded and co-chair. Rabbatts impressive achievements do not stop there. She served as governor of the BBC from 1999 to 2001.
She also served as a Football Association director from 2011 to 2017. Not only did Heather break boundaries by being the first ethnic minority person to do so, but she also was the only woman on its board. Heather was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000. Followed by, Dame Commander of Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2016 for her services to football and equality. That same year, Heather Rabbatts was listed as one of BBC’s 100 Women.
Time for some politics with David!
David Lammy is an English labour party politician who has been an MP for Tottenham since 2000. David made history as the youngest member of parliament in the house at aged 27 and remained so until 2003 when Sarah Teather was elected. In 2002, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Health. The following year, Lammy was a Minister in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. David Lammy has had extensive political experience throughout his career including, becoming Minister for Higher Education in the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2009.
Aside from politics, David has been very outspoken in black issues, including openly criticising the university of oxford for admitting few back students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2016, David Cameron commissioned Lammy to report racial discrimination effects within the police, courts and prison systems.
Let’s talk News with Charlene!
Charlene White is a British television presenter, best known for presenting ITV News programmes. She arguable helped pave the way for black British women in the field of news. She was a presenter and senior broadcaster at BBC Look East, Radio 5 Live Morning Reports, BBC Three 60 Seconds and BBC News.
In 2008, she joined ITN as a newscaster for the ITV News at 5:30 on ITV. However, in 2014 White made history by becoming the first black woman to present ITV News at 10. On 12 August 2020, White made her debut as a guest presenter of Loose Women before joining the cast and becoming the only black woman on the panel.
Wrapping the 2000’s of with David!
David Adetayo Olusoga is a British historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and filmmaker. He is also a Professor of public history at the University Of Manchester. Additionally, David has presented various historical documentaries on the BBC. Nigerian-born David migrated to the UK at aged 5 to Gateshead. Being one of the very few ethnic minorities in his council estate came with issues.The National front racially attacked David’s family multiple times. To the point they required police protection. Eventually, David and his family left as a result of racism.
David’s TV career began behind the camera as a researcher on the BBC series western front. Realising that black people were much less visible in the media and historically, Olusoga became a producer of history programmes. He then transitioned becoming a presenter in 2014 of numerous documentaries. Aside from this, David is an avid and well-acclaimed writer. His book Black and British: a forgotten history gained a Longman–History Today Trustees Award and the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize. Olusoga was apart of the 2019 power list, which ranks the most influential Black Britons. Additionally, David was appointed an officer of the order of the British Empire in 2019 for services to history and community integration.
By Danni Tesfay