Sam King, British-Jamaican co-founder of Notting Hill Carnival, First Black Mayor of Southwark, Dies at Age 90

Sam King. British-Jamaican co-founder of the Notting Hill

Sam King, MBE, co-founder of the Notting Hill Carnival in London, has died. King was born in Portland, Jamaica, in 1926, and joined the RAF at the outbreak of World War II to fight for Britain, believing that if Hitler won the war, slavery would be reinstated in the West Indies. After the war, he returned to Jamaica, but was unhappy there, so he traveled back to the UK on the Empire Windrush and took a job with the Royal Mail, He founded the Caribbean festival in 1964, and this evolved into the current Notting Hill Carnival. He was elected the first black mayor of Southwark in 1983. In 1998, to recognize his considerable work and commitment to his community, and as part of the 50th anniversary of the Windrush, he received the MBE. According to the Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, King “changed the face of London for the better” by creating the carnival.

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Stephanie Korney