Skip to main content

Black History Month 2021: House of Lords

1 October 2021

There is no description available for this image (ID: 157879)

Find out about Black members past and present and House of Lords work on issues affecting Black communities.

Work of the House of Lords

Impact of COVID-19 on Black communities

Members of the Lords regularly raise concerns about issues affecting Black communities in the House of Lords. Most recently, many of those contributions highlighted the impact of the pandemic on Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities:

Coming up in Black History Month

The House of Lords will debate ethnic pay gap reporting on Monday 25 October in a debate put forward by Lord Boateng.

Black members of the Lords

Members today

Diversity of the House's membership

The membership of the House of Lords is made of people who come from different ethnic, social, political and professional backgrounds from across the UK. 

Baroness Benjamin and Baroness Young of Hornsey

Watch Baroness Benjamin (external site) and Baroness Young of Hornsey on YouTube (external site), talking fifty years after Lord Constantine became the first Black member of the Lords. They discuss his life, their own journey to the House of Lords and the work they do as members.

Black history

Lord Constantine

Learie Constantine became the first black member of the House of Lords on 26 March 1969. 

His distinguished sporting and political career and his campaigning against racial injustice made him one of the most prominent black figures in Britain. 

Actor David Harewood narrates our short video (external site) about his life, made to mark the 50th anniversary of his becoming a member of the House of Lords.

Lord Pitt of Hampstead

Medic and political pioneer Lord Pitt of Hampstead was the second Black member appointed to the House of Lords in 1975.

Learn more about his life campaigning for race relations in the UK in the latest House of Lords Podcast, in partnership with the Parliamentary Archives.

Baroness Amos

Baroness Amos became the first Black Leader of the House of Lords in 2003. She was also the first Black woman in the Cabinet when, as a member of the Lords, she was appointed Secretary of State for International Development earlier the same year.

Explore more

Briefings and research

Learn more with Black History Month research and resources on Black Lives Matter, racism in football and more from the House of Lords Library

Work for us

The House of Lords is inclusive employer. Find out more about working in a dynamic and unique environment, apply now for current vacancies