16 years ago, Patrick Vernon OBE launched the first 100 Great Black Britons campaign to ensure the continued legacy and achievements of Black people in Britain. In 2019 Patrick launched a new campaign with the results being published later this year.

In the light of the COVID-19 crisis and with many schools closed we are launching the 100 Great Black Britons home school competition open to all age groups. This competition, sponsored by The National Education Union (NEU), the largest education union in Europe, is a fantastic way for children and young people to learn more about the legacy and achievements of Black people in Britain and how they helped shape our country.

“The current crisis has highlighted the centrality of Black people in Britain, to the NHS and care work, transport systems, food supplies, utilities, research, education and so much more. The NEU supports this competition to celebrate what we have always known that Britain’s history is irrefutably rooted in Black and global history and that our members do a fantastic job in teaching this. It will be a fabulous opportunity to showcase some of their work and that of their pupils”.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, NEU

They can work on their own or as “virtual” teams with friends and family. To help we are also adding teaching resources to this website to support home schooling, and we are inviting people to add their own resources to share with others.

“Teaching about our history, equality and diversity to promote a fully inclusive atmosphere in schools should be embedded into daily life in schools. The goal is always to celebrate festivals and events such as black history month to highlight and embrace our community and not to make up for what is often forgotten and overlooked.”
Niparun Nessa, Secondary Teacher and Equalities Campaigner

Enter Competition

Teaching resources to support home learning

We have pull together a range of school resources in conjunction with our partners that teachers and parents may use for home schooling and for the competition. But we also need your help to create a wide range of resources. Upload your resources and share with others.

All these resources can be linked to subject areas covered by the National Curriculum in KS1; KS2; KS3 and KS4. They can be used to teach pupils and students about Black British History and the development of a multicultural Britain.

See Resources

The Campaign

100 Great Black Britons

In 2004, for the initial launch of the 100 Great Black Britons campaign, Mary Seacole was voted the Greatest Black Britons of all time. During the last 16 years, academics and independent scholars have discovered new Black British historical figures and new role models and icons have emerged since 2004.

For the launch of the 2020 campaign, nominations were opened, and we received over a thousand nominations. In January 2020, a panel of experts composed of:

  • Joyce Fraser, Founder of the Black History Foundation
  • Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of the Equality Trust
  • Kenneth Olumuyiwa, Executive Director Africa Centre
  • Dawn Hill, Chair of BCA
  • Dwain Neil -Chair of Reach Society
  • Arike Oki -Managing Director BCA
  • Yvonne Davis, Primary School Head Teacher
  • Sharmaine Lovegrove -publisher
  • Nadine White- journalist
  • Michelle Moore – Former Athlete and Business Coach
  • Patrick Vernon (chair) co author of panel
  • Dr Angelina Osborne co author of 100 Great Black Britons

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted to see the relaunch of 100 Great Black Britons. Black Londoners have played an important role in the success of our city for centuries, but for too long the contribution of Britons of African and Caribbean heritage have been underestimated, undervalued and overlooked.

From Mary Prince becoming the first woman to present a petition to Parliament to Sir Trevor McDonald anchoring the News at Ten, generations of black Britons have blazed a trail. It is only right that we once again come together to recognise and celebrate them.”


PATRICK VERNON OBE is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, a fellow at the Imperial War Museum, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a former associate fellow for the Department of the History of Medicine at Warwick University. Patrick was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work in tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority communities in Britain. Since 2010 he has been leading the campaign for Windrush Day and in 2018 kick-started the campaign for an amnesty for the Windrush Generation as part of the Windrush Scandal which led to a government U-turn in immigration policy.

DR ANGELINA OSBORNE is an independent researcher and heritage consultant. She received her PhD in History from the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull in 2014. Her interests focus on Caribbean enslavement and proslavery discourses, and the history of community and education activism.