Bristol: Owen Henry and the Windrush Generation

When

1950s

Where

Bristol

In Bristol, Owen Henry’s name is most notably associated with the Bristol bus boycott. Alongside Paul Stephenson, Audley Evans, Roy Hackett, Guy Bailey and Prince Brown, Owen organised a boycott which drew national attention and support and eventually saw the bus company overturn its colour bar.

But before his name hit the national newspapers, Owen was like thousands of other young Black men of the Windrush generation who had answered Britain’s call to rebuild the ‘mother country’ in the post-war years. Yet, like so many of his peers, Owen experienced racism in every walk of life, from street harassment to housing discrimination. Owen remembered being banned from a dance hall, which he had rented, for dancing with a white woman.

We couldn’t walk the street on our own… ‘cause of the Teddy boys. And at night, I should say, they would always gang up on us. So everytimes we go out we have to go out in a file of six or so.

Owen Henry

Hear Owen talk about his experience of police racial discrimination when he arrived in Bristol.

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