Simon De Banya

Simon de BanyaLoss of a UK hero

posted by: Larry Fedja
published: 17th January 2014
all credits: Operation Black Vote
Updates listed at the foot of this item

Anyone who came across the activist and campaigner Simon De Banya was struck by two prominent aspects about him. Some might event say aspects that were impossible to seat side by side, but now with De Banya: First, his gentleness.

De Banya was not the kind of activist that would scream and shout, instead his demeanor was of a warm kindness, he won people over with charm and strong reasoned argument.

Yet alongside the warmth was a rare immovable steeliness that would ensure success was the only conceivable outcomes in nearly all his campaigns and activities.

That he has passed away so young with everything ahead of him is particularly cruel, but for those of us who worked with him – I got to know him well when he worked both on the Daniel De Gale campaign and The 1990 Trust- we’ll feel honored that we knew and worked with a man of great integrity , a passion for racial justice and incredible warmth.

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Champion of racial equality who worked with the family of Stephen Lawrence to bring justice for their son
6 February 2014
Slight in stature, Simon de Banya was a giant figure to colleagues in the British race equality movement of the 1990s and early 2000s for his work on the Stephen Lawrence and Daniel De-Gale campaigns and his commitment to black empowerment and social justice.

Born in Hammersmith to parents from Sierra Leone, de Banya was brought up in Kent by a white foster family. After two years at Chelsea School of Art he dropped out and worked as a researcher for Channel 4’s Solid Soul, the UK version of Soul Train; Jonathan Ross was a colleague, friend and fellow devotee of the 1980s club scene and early warehouse parties.

Black rights hero Simon De Banya dies
30 December 2013
An activist who played a leading role in top black community campaigns he helped put in the headlines has died after suffering a stroke. Simon de Banya was campaign co-ordinator of the Justice for Stephen Lawrence campaign in the year leading up to the groundbreaking Macpherson public inquiry of 1998, which was highly critical of the police investigation into the murder of the Black teenager five years earlier.

Black rights hero may quit Britain
1 March 1998
The man behind one of the most successful campaigns in Britain’s black community is set to leave the country because he is disillusioned with a lack of campaign funding for anti-racist issues.

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