Book launch by Prof. Gus John in conversation with Prof. Lez Henry

Monday 30th October

Join Prof. Gus John in launching his two new books Blazing Trails – stories of a Heroic Generation and Don’t Salvage the Empire Windrush. Gus will be in conversation with Prof. Lez Henry.


In Blazing Trails, Professor Gus John pays tribute to a truly heroic generation: twenty-two individuals whose lives were dedicated to the struggle for racial equality and social justice in post-war Britain. Like the Sankofa bird, their stories enable this generation to learn from our past as they seek to make sense of the present and build a more equitable future.

In Don’t Salvage the Empire Windrush, he seeks to challenge the ever-encroaching Windrush narrative, which the state has adopted and is zealously promoting. He debunks the notion that the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948 marked the beginning of the evolution and growth of multiracial Britain. It is a narrative that displaces the history of those settled Black communities who had struggled against racism and marginalisation in Britain prior to its arrival, and those who fought for national independence of the Black Commonwealth while building a global Pan-Africanist movement right here in Britain.

Professor Gus John is an academic and an equality and human rights campaigner. He is an education campaigner, author and was the first Black Director of Education in Britain in 1989. Since the 1960s, he has spent his entire career campaigning against racial discrimination and issues within the education sector in Britain’s inner cities. 2020 saw Gus voted as one of the ‘100 Great Black Britons’.

Prof William ‘Lez’ Henry is an academic, a writer, poet and community activist who has lectured nationally and internationally, featuring in numerous documentaries, current affairs television and radio programmes. He is also the British Reggae dancehall deejay Lezlee Lyrix. He lectures in the areas of criminology, sociology, anthropology, Black history, race, education, ethnicity, youth crime and cultural studies.

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