This campaign aims to honor the U.K.'s Black pioneers with their own black plaques

Havas London worked with the Nubian Jak Community Trust on project designed to redress lack of diversity in 'blue plaques'

Published On
Dec 14, 2020

Editor's Pick

London's "blue plaques" honoring historical figures on the buildings where they lived are well-known, but betray an astonishing lack of diversity; only 1.6% of them are dedicated to Black people. Following recent attempts to create more plaques honoring women, now a new campaign aims to honor some of the U.K.'s Black pioneers—not with blue plaques but by giving them their own black ones.

The campaign, created by the Nubian Jack Community Trust together with Havas London, began in November to commemorate Black History Month and so far four plaques have been installed. They honor Winifred Atwell, a pianist who was the first Black person to have a No. 1 hit; Len Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Tony Wade, the fathers of the Black hair care and beauty industry in the 1960s; Fela Kuti, the musician who pioneered Afrobeat and Errol Brown, the Jamaican-born frontman of funk and soul band Hot Chocolate.

A further 26 are set to go up over the next 12 months, and to highlight the project, Havas has created a campaign telling some of the stories of the Black pioneers. Comprising outdoor and poster executions, long copy print ads, social activations and a podcast series, each execution in the campaign includes a unique QR code, which takes users to an immersive microsite to find out more about the figures.

"It’s not just wrong that these stories have been forgotten from a historic and cultural point of view, but a travesty from a storytelling one—because they’re just so damn interesting," said Vicki Maguire, chief creative officer at Havas London in a statement. “How could anyone hear about the woman who became the first to serve in the Royal Navy—by disguising herself as a man for more than a decade—and not itch to know more? Or the woman who inspired Elton to sit down at the piano? Or the ‘man who discovered Brixton’? They deserve to be heard, just as these remarkable people deserve to be remembered.”


Dec 14, 2020
Client :
Nubian Jak Community Trust
Agency :
Xavier Rees
Managing Director :
Jennifer Black
Global Brand Director :
Tamara Greene
Account Director :
Sophie Amodio
Account Executive :
Hannah Thomas
Chief Creative Officer :
Vicki Maguire
Creative Partner :
Andy Lockley
Copywriter :
Ken Abalos
Art Director :
Sam Adio
Head of Production :
Ali Cooper
Agency Producer :
Joseph Ogunmokun
Agency Producer :
Nikola Oksiutycz
Strategy Director :
Ravi Matharu
Strategy Director :
Ally Chapman
Junior Strategist :
Milan Zum Hebe
Junior Strategist :
Asa Nowers
Head of Creative Services :
Shaun Musgrove
Resource assistant :
Evie Ungemuth
Head of Business Affairs :
Annika Sintim
Art Buying Director :
Claire Lillis
Head of Design :
Lorenzo Fruzza
Digital design director :
Simon Baker
Diversity and inclusion manage :
Bukola Garry
PR :
Faye Raincock
PR :
Ollie Dearn
Production Company :
HKX Productions
Director :
Andy Lockley
Executive Producer :
Lou Hardy
Producer :
Adam Javes
Assistant Producer :
Phil Sheed
Content Creator :
Simon Allinson
Felix Schmilinsky
Camera Operator :
Jonathan Smith
Gaffer :
Jonathan Smith
1st AC :
Claire Smith
Sound Recordist :
Ryan Windley
Runner :
Liam Green
Camera Equipment :
Post Production :
Absolute Post
Editor :
Tom Higgins
Colorist :
Juliette Wileman
Executive Producer :
Jenna Le Noury
Production Assistant :
Ava Millard
Executive Producer :
Kabir Malik
Colorist :
Marty McMullan
Editor :
Ashley Joiner
Sound Engineer :
Liam Conwell
Sound Mix :
Dave Williams
With special thanks to :
Gregg White
With special thanks to :
With special thanks to :
ENVY Advertising
Podcast Production :
Co-owner and Producer :
Andrew Spence

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