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Theme: Original Influencers

Black History Month has always been a major event in Southampton's calendar and 2022's launch is special as it was the first time we held the event in person since the pandemic. 

Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service hosted the event at the St Mary's Fire Station in Southampton.

The launch was opened by Mayor Jacqui Rayment. Our Keynote speaker was Jim Baker.  Jim was the first black councillor in Southampton and has done extensive research into Black History.

We also had entertainment from soul singer Queenie Creole Moore.


Susan Penny

Susan came to Southampton in 1977. She was the first director of The Southampton Council for Race Equality, then called The Southampton Community Relations Council. Susan was the first real advocate for those who felt they had been subjected to racism. The city at that time was reluctant to accept that this was an issue and major organisations such as local authorities. Health services and the police openly refused to accept that there were individuals in their organisations who were openly racist and that such organisations were what we now know as institutionally racist. Some of those who were in the management committee of the SCRC were Edna Gillings, Dr. David Hoadley, R D Sunak; Rishi Sunak's grandfather, and individuals from church organisations and they started the process of challenging racism in the city. The office, known fondly as 'Miss Penny's Office' became the place where you went if you felt that Race was a factor in any problem that you had and was the go-to place to have those problems resolved. Sue Penny's dedication and commitment was a crucial factor in laying the foundation for what later became the Southampton Council for Race Equality. Black History Month South are pleased to recognise Susan Penny's role in race relations in the city.

Bob Purkiss

Bob Purkiss is a Lead Governor for UHS (University Hospital Southampton) Trust. He was a Comissioner at Comission for Racial Equality UK, Chair of Professional Standards at Hampshire Police Authority, a Hampshire FA appeals panel member and Chair of Hampshire Police & Crime Compaints Commitee.

Helen Jackson

Helen Jackson is an original member of The UK's Cultural Diversity Advisory Group (CDAGM). It was an independent voluntary group thar sought to ensure quality and diversity in TV, radio, newspapers and other print media. Formed in 1992 by Anver Jeevanjee, and self funding, the CDAGM consistently and repeatedly challenged unfair portrayal of members of ethnic minority groups, as well as their lack of mainstream access and involvement. The group still exists today and became the template for such groups across the country in other ITV regions. Helen still works with the group.

New Testament Black Plaque 2022

At our 2022 launch, a Black Plaque was given to the New Testament Church of God (NTCG), which has been at the heart of the Caribbean community in Southampton for many years. 

Prostate Cancer Campaign

Black History Month South has been successful in receiving a Communities Against Cancer grant, to help raise awareness amongst our communities, about prostate cancer and the increased risk to Black Men. 

Prostate Cancer will affect 1 in 4 Black men, compared to 1 in 8 men from other ethnic backgrounds.

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