Clearly, even today there is a lack of Political Engagement within the African & Caribbean Community and despite efforts there is a long way to go.
When our parents came here based on the fact that many were given manual employment, there were many closed shop agreements at that time and they had no choice but to join trade unions, which were affiliated to the Labour Party, hence the relationship commenced with them.
It is astonishing to know, that having been invited to Birmingham in 1987 prior to the General Elections, in order to assist in the development of engagement within the City's African & Caribbean Community to join and vote Labour; 5 of Birminghams leading MP's four of which later became Members of the House of Lords, wrote to Bernie Grant a leading Black Politician of the time telling him that he was not welcome in Birmingham.
It is alarming as that message could be interpreted in various ways, as one can see the response from Bernie Grant mentioned "Pass Laws", which existed in the South African apartheid system at that time. It therefore, questions the commitment to the engagement of the African & Caribbean by the Labour Party, which has been recently highlighted by Bernie's predecessor David Lammy MP.
It does start to explain the disaffection that exists and the fact that after some 65 years of mass immigration into Birmingham from the Common Wealth Citizens, who played a pivotal part in the rebuilding of this great City, why to date there is no Member of Parliament from the African & Caribbean Community.
This is not about token gestures and there are very skilled and highly educated people that could be a M>