BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Mural of Dominican who fought for racial equality in England unveiled

The mural of Asquith Xavier in Chatham, Kent. Photo by Kent Online

Editor’s Note: This honor was bestowed on the penultimate day of Black History Month. Though not explicitly correlated, in that spirit, we highlight this son of the soil who advocated for his right to upward mobility and equal opportunity in the face of systemic racism in England. In so doing, he cleared the path for others.

A mural of Dominican, Asquith Xavier, who campaigned for racial equality in the workplace in England in the 60s has been unveiled in the United Kingdom (UK).

Xavier was born in Dominica on July 18, 1920, but moved to England in 1958 as part of the Windrush generation – a group of Caribbean migrants who helped rebuild the UK after the Second World War.

He started working with British Railways – later called British Rail- as a porter and worked his way up to guard at Marylebone station in London. When guards were no longer needed at that station, he applied for the same position at Euston Station but was turned down, despite his experience, because only white people could hold it.

But he did not back down and he fought for the right to get the position. His action led to the amendment of the 1968 Race Relations Act in the UK.

Xavier died on June 18, 1980, at the age of 59 but he left behind a legacy in the fight against discrimination.

Trevor Phillips, when he was chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, said in 2006:

“Asquith’s stand against discrimination brought to light the inadequacy of early race discrimination laws and persistent widespread discrimination faced by ethnic minorities.”

The unveiling of the mural near his home in Chatham, Kent took place on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, and was organized by the non-profit organization, Arches Local. A spokesperson for the group said, “We’re pleased to deliver our second mural, this time depicting Asquith Xavier, who lived on Grove Road. Through murals, we aim to celebrate
the hidden stories of this corner of Chatham.”

Xavier’s granddaughter, Camelia Xavier-Chihota, told online news portal, Kent Online, that it was heartwarming to see her grandfather being immortalized for his achievement.

“It’s heartwarming to see this mural just a stone’s throw from where I grew up, on an unassuming wall that I walked past daily as a child, on my way to and from school,” she said. “Seeing my grandfather’s journey to justice depicted so creatively will hopefully raise local awareness of his advancements in gaining equal opportunities for minority communities in Britain. I hope this story of an ordinary man who achieved extraordinary things will inspire others to challenge the status quo and stereotypes. My grandfather’s contribution to our society has undoubtedly shaped the way we live today and I’m proud to see it being celebrated and immortalised so that his achievements are not forgotten or lost in time.”

This is not the first time that Xavier has been recognized for his fight against inequality. In 2020, a plague was unveiled at the train station in Catham in his honor, and in 2023, a train was named after him.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of and its parent company or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • contain any material which violates or infringes the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or are purely ad hominem attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote prejudice or prejudicial hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are off-topic and/or excessively long

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

1 Comment

  1. Long-term Results
    March 1, 2024

    This is a story of courage in the face of racism. I can’t help noticing how casually the Windrush generation is mentioned as – a group of Caribbean migrants who helped rebuild the UK after the Second World War. It was the result of REPARATIONS England received.
    After Hitler began the decimation of London and Paris they were both given REPARATIONS to rebuild. Both started giving colonies fake independence in order to get labor for the rebuild. Some in England were deported years later by spite. And the gov’t official who orchestrated the deportation became prime minister. :twisted:

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available