The Bank of England has just announced that they will be redesigning the £50 note. Meaning there will be an opportunity to feature a new individual who has made an invaluable contribution to British History. I think that person should be Mary Seacole.
Other than the Queen the only other woman on our banknotes is Jane Austen, and there are no ethnic minorities.
Mary Seacole is a Jamaican British war hero who supported British troops as a nurse during the Crimean war. Despite being rejected by Florence Nightingale to join her band of nurses, she traveled to the front line of the war in Crimea. She was so widely loved for her healing powers, the soldiers nicknamed her “Mother Seacole.”
Mary inspired thousands of women and people of colour to dedicate their lives to the NHS. Recently the Royal College of Nursing recognised her contribution to British Nursing, publicly declaring her on the same footing as Florence Nightingale.
I am an activist and campaigner who has been fighting for years to get Black Britons recognised for their contribution to history. In 2003 I launched an initiative called 100 Great Black Britons, where the public voted Mary Seacole as the greatest black briton of all time for the heroic way she served the country during war.
Since then I have fought and won campaign a campaign to get her on the school curriculum. I think an incredible next step would be to see her on the £50 note.
The lack of ethnic minority representation on British banknotes needs to change. It currently doesn’t reflect the face of Britain and it sends a damaging message that people of colour haven’t played an important role in British history – which isn’t true. The recent Windrush scandal sent a damaging message that British institutions don’t respect the valuable contribution that black britons have made to the country. Putting Mary Seacole on the note could help start to mend that.
I know if enough of you get behind this we can make a change. In 2013 a petition of 35,000 convinced the Bank of England to put a woman on the £5 note and another which I started convinced the Government to keep Mary Seacole on the School Curriculum.
Please help me convince the Bank of England to put Mary Seacole on the £50 note by signing this petition.