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Greater London Authority Press Release

Mayor of London

news release

Office hours: 020 7983 4068
Out of hours and weekends: 020 7983 4000


Tuesday, 30 September 2003

Who are the 100 Greatest Black Britons?

The search for the 100 Greatest Black Britons is launched with a debate at City Hall hosted by the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone on Wednesday 1st October 2003. The 100 Greatest campaign is the concept of Patrick Vernon, founder of the cultural website Every Generation (

Patrick Vernon said: “The aim of 100 Great Black Britons is to educate all cultures and to impress upon people the rich and diverse historical background of Black Britain. This event reflects and showcases the positive black culture and history, which is often overlooked and neglected.”

The event is part of the Mayors Black History Month celebrations programme. During the evening guests will put forward the argument for their top nominees.

After the launch, the search for the 100 greatest will be opened up to the general public. People can cast their votes by logging onto The voting process will take place from 1st October 2003 - 1st January 2004.

The website will include lists of possible nominees for guidance. Among the names the public can vote for are Ms Dynamite, Mary Seacole, Denise Lewis, Sir Trevor McDonald, and Olaudah Equiano. The list will be a culmination of not only the historical talents of the past but an opportunity to celebrate current and well-known black individuals.

The Mayor said: “This list will highlight the historical and present day contributions to our society from many exceptional Black Britons. London in particular has been developed and enriched culturally by British Black people for thousands of years. This is a great opportunity to pay tribute to a host of eminent, hard working people.”

The final results will be announced in February to coincide with Black History Month in America 2004. There will be an awards ceremony for the winners in the different categories.


For further information or to arrange interviews please call Rachelle Laurence on 020 7983 4068 / 07771 814478 or Ben McKnight on 020 7983 4071

Notes to editors

1. Black is defined as individuals who are from Africa, the Diaspora (Caribbean, America, South America, Oceania, and Europe) and of mixed parentage.

2. Vote online Or telephone 0901 0233330 please note that this is a premium rate number and all calls are charged at 25p per minute.

3. Voters (over the age of 18) will have the chance to enter a competition to win a trip for two to the Gambia. There is also a special Schools competition. For more details visit

4. Every Generation ( is a dedicated website and resource aimed at the black community and mainstream bodies on history, heritage and family genealogy.

5. Every Generation is a winner of the 2003 CRE Race in the Media Award for best website. The founder Patrick Vernon received double Windrush Award for 2003 for Professional Achievement and Community Champion.

6. and are independent organisations and are not affiliated with the Greater London Authority.

Rachelle Laurence
Press Officer - Community & Culture

T: 020 7983 4068 Mobile: 0771 8144748
Mayor's Press Office, Greater London Authority,
City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA

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