More than 50 years ago Malcolm X visited Marshal Street in Smethwick, following strong opposition from the local community to the rise in number of Black and Asian people who were moving into the area. Local house wives were lobbying the council to buy up all the houses to stop the new immigrants moving in and bigoted MP’s were using derogatory statements to whip up a frenzied resistance to the natural course of community evolution. In those days a person was not judged by their intellect or by the skills they possessed, but simply by the colour of their skin.
How times have changed and we have moved on. The Sandwell of today is more diverse both culturally and ethnically and a lot better off it.
We must hold onto our achievements in the community relations obtained over many years at a high cost of countless people. It is far too easy to forget our hard fought for rights simply because of complacency.