Black Plaque Project: A joint campaign to honour Black Londoners | London | ITV News – ITV News



If you’ve visited London, you might have spotted the famous blue plaques, pinned to the city’s buildings to celebrate and honour the men and women who have shaped our history.

Research by The Black Plaque project shows there is more than 950 plaques scattered across the capital, but less than 2% of those who are recognised are of African or Caribbean descent.

A combined campaign by Havas London and Nubian Jak Community Trust, labelled as The Black Plaque Project, looks to address this disparity. Over the last couple of weeks, ITV London has been covering the series of black plaques that have been put up across the city to celebrate the lives of the most renowned Black Londoners.

Winifred Atwell: First black woman to have a number one single

A black plaque dedicated to the pianist Winifred Atwell Credit: PA

Winifred Atwell was a classical pianist who combined her traditional training with boogie-woogie and ragtime tunes. Originally from Trinidad, she came to the UK to study at the Royal Academy of Music in 1948 played in London’s clubs and theatres to supplement her income and because of her unique style, which always included her trademark wink she was quickly propelled to stardom and later became the first Black woman to have a Number One single. A woman of endless talent, Winfred Atwell had actually started her working life as a pharmacist and she was also opened what’s believed to be the first ever black owned beauty salon.

Fanny Eaton: A model for several well known artists during a time where Black people were not often included in Western art

Fanny Eaton, born in Jamaica, was a model Credit: PA

Fanny Mathilda Eaton was a model for several well known artists. She had worked as a charlady, cleaner, and later a seamstress, but during her 20s, she had found her interest in modelling.

Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Tony Wade: Britain’s first black millionaires

They are three of Britain’s first black millionaires – Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Tony Wade built a business empire in London in the 1960s, first in records but more famously in the hair and beauty industry. And they did it fighting against structural racism – at that time no bank would lend money to a black business. Despite that, they succeeded.

The legacy of three businessmen, Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Tony Wade, who created beauty and hair products aimed at black women. Credit: PA

Fela Kuti: Father of Afrobeats

Fela Kuti, a musical legend who pioneered a genre. Fela became famous the world over for his fusion of traditional West African music with funk and jazz. From Nigeria – he originally came to London to study medicine, but he chose music instead.

Fela Kuti performing live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London. Credit: PA

Errol Brown: Lead singer of band Hot Chocolate

Errol Brown was the frontman of the band Hot Chocolate. He had hits in more than 50 countries worldwide, including ‘You Sexy Thing’. He was later made an MBE by the Queen for his services to pop music. The bank also performed at a pre-wedding party for Prince of Wales and Lady Diana.

Front man for the band Hot Chocolate, Errol Brown Credit: PA

Find out more information about The Black Plaque Project