Still from one of the 1000 Londoners films, showing Yvonne sat in her living room

‘Windrush Generations’: 1000 Londoners

Discover the lives of five generations of Londoners with Caribbean heritage in this series of short film portraits.

Discover the lives of five generations of Londoners with Caribbean heritage in ‘Windrush Generations’, a series of short film portraits. You’ll hear from Kenny Lynch, the comedian and singer who was born in the East End in 1938 and toured with The Beatles; Dame Jocelyn Barrow, knighted for her achievements in race-relations; teacher Sara Burke, who led the 2018 protest about the treatment of the Windrush generation; and Breyanna, a teenager who aspires to one day run in the Olympics.

‘Windrush Generations’ has been created as part of 1000 Londoners, a flagship project produced by Chocolate Films and created by founders Rachel Wang and Mark Currie. Over a decade, one thousand short documentaries will be made about Londoners to create an eclectic and original portrait of the city. Each documentary offers an honest glimpse into the life of a Londoner. Over the course of the project, 1000 Londoners aims to reveal as many facets of the capital as possible, seeing city life from 1000 points of view.

Explore a selection of the ‘Windrush Generations’ films below and visit 1000 Londoners to view the full evolving series, with at least one new film published each week.

Kenny

Comedian and singer Kenny Lynch toured with the Beatles and appeared in Carry On films. From Caribbean-Irish heritage, he was born in the East End in 1938 before the Windrush era. In his short portrait, Kenny talks about growing up in Stepney during the war.

Stephen

Stephen is a historian, primarily of black Britain. Stephen was heavily influenced by his Aunt Esther, born and brought up a Londoner, whose father was originally from Barbados. She was adopted by Stephen’s great-grandmother.

Rosemarie

Although very young at the time, Rosemarie feels she is part of the Windrush generation. Rosemarie moved from Barbados to the UK in the 1960s and describes how she had to protect herself from racism. Rosemarie has dedicated her life to equality and fairness in the community and serves as a Reverend.

Jocelyn

Dame Jocelyn Barrow is a race relations pioneer. She was one of the founders of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, and her work has encompassed broadcast, healthcare and housing. She even persuaded the retailers of Oxford Street to let people of colour work on the shop floor as opposed to the stock-room where they had previously been working.

Yvonne

Yvonne has lived her whole adult life in a large town house in suburban London. She welcomes us in and tells us about her heyday as a fashion designer, designing clothes for the rich and famous with her husband in London.

Alex

Alex Pascall is a ground-breaking BBC journalist, who set up, along with his wife Joyce, the radio programme Black Londoners on BBC Radio London. He reminisces about his interviews with Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis and more.

Merle

Merle moved from Trinidad to the UK in the 1960s when she was a nurse. Passionate about creativity, she went on to study photography and travel the world.

Keith

Keith reminisces about coming over to London in the 1960s and being surprised to hang up his wet clothes on the washing line and find they were still damp at the end of the day.

Keith is a member of the Caribbean Social Forum and can also be seen in this partnership project between the British Library, Caribbean Social Forum and Chocolate Films Workshops.

Sara

London teacher Sara Burke is the granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants who came to the UK during the Windrush era. Unhappy with the threat of deportation of Windrush generation Britons, in 2018 she led a protest marching from Parliament Square to the Home Office.

Breyanna

Breyanna is teenager who loves to run and aspires to one day run in the Olympics. She often feels trapped in the classroom but running makes her feel free.

This film was made by first-time filmmakers on a Chocolate Films Workshop, in collaboration with London Sport.

Banner image: © 1000 Londoners / Chocolate Films.