On this day in 1987, Bernie Grant, Paul Boateng and Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black Members of Parliament in Great Britain.
Born in Georgetown, British Guiana in 1944, Bernie Grant moved to the United Kingdom with his parents in 1963. He served as a British Labour Party Member of Parliament for Tottenham from 1987 till his unfortunate demise in 2000.
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Paul Boateng, on the other hand, was born in Hackney, London in 1951 to a Ghanaian father and a Scottish mother. He, however, moved to Ghana with his family at the age of four after his father, Kwaku Boateng, was appointed cabinet minister in Kwame Nkrumah’s government.
After Nkrumah’s government was toppled in a coup, Paul, together with his mother and sister fled back to the UK. His father was however arrested and spent four years in jail without being tried. Paul Boateng served as a British Labour Party Member of Parliament for Brent South from 1987 to 2005.
Diane Abbott was born in London in 1953 to a Jamaican father and mother. She was elected Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in 1987 on the ticket of the British Labour Party, a seat she still holds till date.
She thus became the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons.