To celebrate Black History Monthwe're highlighting a number of brilliant African Caribbean and African Welsh people who have helped shape our nation. 

During each day of Black History Month, we'll be adding a short biography of an influential and inspirational person, that's part of Welsh history to this page.

Each individual has been chosen for their extraordinary commitment and contributions to public life, science, health, education, the arts, sport, business and equal rights. 

Robert Earnshaw

Robert Earnshaw is a former Welsh International and Cardiff City footballer. He is the only player to have scored a hat-trick In the Premier League, all three divisions of the English football league, the League cup, the FA cup and in an international match. 

Hilary Brown

As a direct result of the work that Hilary did with the criminal justice system in Wales, South Wales Police introduced the UK’s first-ever pioneering system to better assist victims of race and other hate crimes.

Hilary’s work and support of their families led to South Wales Police to improve their procedures in identifying and addressing its failings to victims of race hate crime.

Elizabeth 'Betty' Campbell MBE

Betty was Wales’ first black headteacher. Mrs Campbell, who was born in 1934, made history by taking up her post at Mount Stuart Primary in Butetown, Cardiff. 

She became known outside Wales as an important authority on education. Her contribution to the world of education was noted when later she was invited to be part of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Commission on Education.

In 2003, Campbell was awarded an MBE for services to education and community life. She was also honoured by Unison Cymru’s Black Members’ group in 2015 with a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to black history and Welsh education – and award she said meant more to her than her MBE.

Enrico Stennett

Enrico co-founded the Cosmopolitan Social Society, to cater for the well-being of black/Caribbean people living and arriving in Britain in 1950. 

He joined the League for Coloured People, the Coloured Workers’ Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the trade union and Labour Movement and regularly spoke on issues of politics and race at Hyde Park Corner.

Colin Jackson

An Olympian sprinter and Welsh hurdling champion, Colin won his first major medal, a silver, in the 110m hurdles, aged 19 at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

He went on to win a silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, won European and Commonwealth gold medals in 1990 and was undefeated at the European championships for 12 years in a row and remains the 60m hurdles world record holder.

Billy Boston MBE

Regarded as one of rugby league’s greatest ever players, Boston scored a total of 571 tries in his career, making him the second-highest try scorer in rugby league history.

Born in Tiger Bay in 1934, this former professional rugby league footballer started his career as a rugby union player before joining Wigan in 1953. During 15 years at Wigan, he scored a club-record 478 tries in his 488 appearances for the club.

Nicky Delgardo

A Black History Month Wales, founder and committee member for seven years, Nicky has worked with the Wales Millennium Centre to overcome the barrier between the venue and local communities, instigating Chinese New Year festivities and the Black History Month Wales finale since 2010.

Nicky was born in Butetown in 1949 and uses his skills as a writer, director and musician to make it a better place for those living there.

During a long career, he has worked on plays, musicals and documentaries and has hosted 80 cultural groups, including working with groups at the Notting Hill Carnival.

Christian Malcolm

Christian was an aspiring young footballer attracting the interest of QPR and Nottingham Forest before turning to the track as an 11-year-old.

He won the 1998 World Junior 100m and 200m titles, reached the Olympic 200m final twice, and competed at four Commonwealth Games - winning 200m silver in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and a bronze in the same event in Delhi 12 years later.

In 2017 he was also named joint coach of the year at the BBC Sports Personality awards.

Professor Charlotte Williams

Prof Williams is also known for her groundbreaking text 'A Tolerant Nation? Exploring Ethnic Diversity in Wales', published essays in Planet magazine and is a commentator on issues of Welsh multiculturalism.

Her home and wider family network are in north Wales and she returns home each year but now works in Australia as Professor of social work and deputy dean at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Awarded a visiting professorship at the University of South Wales in USW Prof Williams was also was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to ethnic minorities and equal opportunities in Wales.

Richard Parks

The former Welsh international flanker reinvented himself as an extreme athlete when an injury ended his rugby union career.

During his professional rugby career spanning 13 years, he played for Pontypridd, Leeds, Perpignan and Newport Gwent Dragons. Parks won his first senior cap on June 8, 2002, against South Africa in Bloemfontein.

Parks made history twice with two incredible feats of endurance; a world-first expedition called the 737 Challenge, where in July 2011 he became the first-ever person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents and stand on all three poles (the North Pole, the South Pole and the summit of Everest) within seven months.

In January 2014 he became the first Welshman, and the fastest ever Brit to ski solo, unsupported and unassisted to the South Pole. He also serves his country as a Sport Wales board member.

Uzo Iwobi OBE 

The chief executive officer of Race Council Cymru and a former - and the first black African woman - commissioner on the Commission for Racial Equality UK.

Originally from Nigeria, Uzo is a qualified solicitor and barrister. Moving to Wales, she was a law lecturer at the Swansea University before joining South Wales Police in 2004 as a race and diversity officer.

She founded the first African Community Centre (ACC) in Wales, serving as chairperson for ACC for 15 years.

Uzo's many awards and honours include an OBE for contributions to race relations and south Wales communities and the First Ministers’ Recognition Award for contributions to race equality and race relations in Wales.

She also has a Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Association of Nigerian Communities and, an Outstanding Black Woman Achievement Award in Wales for contributions to the Black History Movement in Wales.

Nathan Blake

Blake was born in Cardiff and grew up nearby on the Ringland estate in Newport. He was a versatile player and represented Wales at International level on 29 occasions. 

He helped Cardiff City to the Third Division title in 1992-93 and was a firm favourite with Bluebird supporters.

Rungano Nyoni 

The Welsh-Zambian film director won a Bafta for Outstanding Debut in 2018.

Rungano moved from Lusaka to Cardiff, aged eight. She studied screen acting at Central St Martins, London, but decided she wanted to go behind the camera. She’s since made award-winning short films – two were filmed in her native Zambia.

The film I Am Not a Witch won Nyoni the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut and has also garnered accolades from international film festivals.

Ali Abdi

This energetic community organiser for the Somaliland community in Cardiff is on a mission to ensure young people are at the forefront of campaigning for change and organising a better deal for themselves and their communities.

Projects he has spearheaded include the ambitious Bay Citizens Community Jobs Compact in 2017 to bring local people and employers together to tackle poverty, unemployment and under-representation in the workforce.

Employers were asked to pledge to adopt name-blind recruitment practices, pay the living wage and to employ locally skilled and qualified people.

To date, 10 Welsh organisations and companies have committed to this and a further 30 are in discussions.

Ali also works with Cardiff University is the Coordinator for the National BAME Youth Forum. 

Paulette Palmer

After training as a state-enrolled nurse at Llandough Hospital in the 1970s Paulette became a senior nurse in the NHS, worked with sickle cell patients and was a deputy ward manager at the now-closed Lansdowne Hospital where she cared for older people.

From 1996 to 2008, she owned and ran a small care home business for adults promoting independent living, employing people from the local community and students.

She was involved in voluntary community work at the Alkabulan Education and Cultural studies Saturday school based in Fitzalan High School Cardiff, helping children to improve their academic abilities and cultural awareness.

She is now a semi-retired nurse working with the elderly and helping run the Genesis Health and Social Care Nurse Agency. She is also on the board of MENFA – Mentoring for All.

Steve Robinson

Steve, from Cardiff, was dubbed "The Cinderella Man" after the fairytale story behind his world boxing title triumph in April 1993.

Robinson was working as a storeman in Debenhams at the time when he was offered a fight at just 48 hours notice against England’s John Davison for the WBO featherweight title.

Against the odds, he won a points decision and brought the world title back to Wales. He has gone on to become a boxing trainer.

Mutale Merrill

A former Welsh Woman of the Year, Mutale Merrill received an OBE in 2008 for her work in social care and the voluntary sector.

She was the first chair of the Care Council for Wales and the first vice-chair of Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board. She was a member of the first Welsh Assembly Government Commission to review the voluntary sector, and the Welsh Government’s Task and Finish Groups and its Homelessness Commission.

In 1997, Mutale was the Welsh Woman of the Year for her work in the community, and in 2006 received the Welsh Woman of the Year Val Feld Award for the individual who has made a difference to Welsh life. Also in 2006, Mutale received a Leading Wales Award, and in 2008 the Craig Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Steve Khaireh MBE

Community youth worker Steve Khaireh received an MBE in 2012 in honour of his many years' service working with young people in Cardiff.

Steve, from the city's Grangetown, first started volunteering as a 15-year-old at his local youth centre in Butetown and went on to dedicate 26 years of his life working for Cardiff council as a youth worker.

He is also the great-nephew of Abdulrahim Abby Farah (see no. 65), who chaired a special UN committee which helped in the release of Nelson Mandela.

Beverley Lennon

Beverley moved to Wales from Brixton in 1987 after literally sticking a pin in a map in search of somewhere to start a new life.

The former comedian, impressionist and in-flight comedy entertainer turned to teaching after the death of her mother, she never imagined she’d become the first black female Welsh teacher in Cardiff.

She began listening to Radio Cymru and watching S4C, not having a clue what was said and often resorting to translations of Noddy cartoons to help decipher the odd word.

A teaching degree followed and she taught at Cantonian High School in Cardiff and, away from the classroom, developed a career in Welsh broadcasting.

Christopher Nation

Christopher has been volunteering from an early age raising awareness of the pressures on young carers and young adult carers.

In 2013, Christopher won Great Britain and Ireland Young Citizens Award in association with BBC World News. He chose to donate all of his prize money to the young carer organisation that initially supported him during his hours of need.

In 2016, Christopher received the Black History Month Wales Young Carer Award. He also won the Young Volunteer 2016 award along with the Young Leader Black History Youth Awards 2016 and 2017.

He volunteers for Black History Month Wales and has written articles for The Sprout Online, The Royal Princess Anne Carers Trust, Live Magazine and the Birmingham Movie Video and Screen Awards.

Dame Shirly Bassey

Dame Shirly Bassey needs no introduction and has had so many achievements in her long and distinguished career.

Born in Tiger Bay in 1937, Bassey has sold more than 135m records during her seven-decade career and now lives in Monaco.

She recorded the theme songs to James Bond films Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Moonraker (1979).

In 1959 the girl with the big voice became the first Welsh person to gain a No. 1 single and is one of the most popular female vocalists in Britain during the last half of the 20th century.