Britain’s Prince Charles has guest edited an edition of the country’s only Black newspaper to mark its 40th anniversary, honouring the contributions of African-Caribbean communities to the arts and society. The Voice newspaper records Charles’ “long-standing collaboration with Black leaders”, his office said, as the royal family increasingly engages with Britain’s legacy of slavery and the country’s colonial past.
“Over the last four decades, with all the enormous changes that they have witnessed, Britain’s only surviving Black newspaper has become an institution and a crucial part of the fabric of our society,” Charles said. “This is why I was so touched to be invited to edit this special edition.”
Britain’s history is marked by its central role in the slave trade and colonial rule over much of Africa and the Caribbean. Charles, who is the heir to the throne, has expressed his deep sorrow over slavery. The so-called Windrush generation of post-war migrants from the Caribbean, named after the first ship to bring them, have continued to suffer injustice. In 2018, Britain apologised after thousands were denied basic rights despite having lived in Britain for decades and dozens were wrongly deported.
The paper includes a piece on an art exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush and an interview with Doreen Lawrence, the mother of a schoolboy murdered by racists in 1993, who has set up a partnership in his memory to provide art scholarships, supported by the Prince’s Foundation. “Our readers may be surprised at the parallels between the issues which The Voice has campaigned on for four decades and the work The Prince of Wales (Charles) has been involved in over the same period, often behind the scenes,” said Lester Holloway, editor of The Voice.
Last year Charles travelled to Barbados for a ceremony where the Caribbean nation ditched Queen Elizabeth as head of state, forging a new republic as it reappraises its relationship with its former colonial power. Charles’s son William’s own tour to the Caribbean in March was overshadowed by protests over Britain’s role in slavery, and criticism that the trip reflected a throwback to colonial times.
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