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New War Memorial in London Ends Historic Omission of Heroic Contributions

Blackout erased

Learie Constantine, from Trinidad, came to England in the 1930s as a famed cricket player. When WWII broke out Constantine went to work for the Ministry of Labour and National Service helping immigrants from the Caribbean adapt to life in England and adjust to working in English families.

An incident impacting Constantine during his Ministry of Labour service laid a foundation for the 1965 passage of the Race Relations Act in Britain, that nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law.

In 1943 Constantine was booked into a London hotel while working for the British government but staff at the hotel told him he (and his family) could not stay there because spending a few nights at that hotel would upset some guests, later identified as white U.S. servicemen from southern states in America. Constantine sued that hotel for the discrimination he endured and won his lawsuit, striking an anti-racist blow. Constantine later became the first black member of Britain’s House of Lords, similar to the U.S. Senate.

During a 2014 unveiling of the African and Caribbean Memorial Beula said, "This memorial will…give justice and dignity to the tens of thousands of African and Caribbean servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the mother country."

story | by Dr. Radut