Black Voices In Conversation is a series of interviews by ITV News to mark Black History Month 2020. Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland we've spoken to groundbreaking individuals from the black community to learn about their life experiences and to hear their vision for the future.
Alex Williams, the first black goalkeeper in English football's top flight
In 1980, at the age of 19, Alex Williams became the first black goalkeeper in the top flight of English football when he pulled on the No 1 shirt for Manchester City.
Alex spoke to ITV Granada's Jahmal Williams-Thomas about racism he faced from the stands and about his work for Manchester City's community programme, inspiring young people through sport.
Reverend Eve Pitts on her path to becoming Britain's first female Caribbean vicar
ITV Central's Pablo Taylor sat down with Reverend Eve Pitts of the Holy Trinity Church in Birmingham to talk about her life and journey to becoming Britain's first female Caribbean vicar.
Reverend Eve moved to the UK from Jamaica in the 1960s to live with her mother in Nottingham. At the time the city wasn't as diverse as it is today, so the Black community stuck together - 'safety in numbers,' as she says.
Racism has followed Eve throughout her life, as she tells Pablo, whether it be people shouting expletives from cars, police storming her youth club with a dog, or through a lack of career opportunities.
In 1989, she became Britain’ first female Caribbean vicar and in 2009 was appointed to serve the Holy Trinity Church. She has been a trailblazer in promoting equal rights for women and tackling racial injustice.
Playwright Olu Rowe on growing up in a white family
ITV Meridian’s Nia Mason speaks with playwright, musician, Olu Rowe, about how he was adopted and raised by a white family in Portsmouth in the 1970s.
He recently wrote the play "Keep on Moving" based on his experiences and upbringing; the play begins on the moment he was almost run over.
"Until black history matters, black lives will never matter" - the legacy of the world's first black footballer
Shaun Campbell first heard the name Arthur Wharton thirteen years ago while giving a talk for Black History Month in Middlesbrough. He could barely believe what he was hearing - that the first black professional footballer in the world made his debut for Darlington.
Shaun talks to ITV Tyne Tees' Tafadzwa Mudiwa about setting up the Arthur Wharton Foundation, with the help of former Middlesbrough FC captain George Boateng - and, remarkably, musician Stevie Wonder. At the heart of the campaign was Campbell's desire to ensure that a fitting tribute was paid to Wharton, who he describes as "the original pioneer and trailblazer for everybody of colour in football, rugby, cricket and cycling".
In 2014, a statue of Wharton was erected at St George's Park - the home of English football.
Campbell says: "I couldn't understand why he'd never been properly celebrated and why he seemingly was almost written out of history".
Angel Arutura on growing up black in Northern Ireland
ITV’s Lola Lawal speaks with student activist and podcaster Angel Arutura to talk about how she was born and raised in Northern Ireland, but struggled with issues of identity until finding the confidence to embrace her Zimbabwean heritage in a predominantly white country.
The 20-year-old grew up feeling like she did not belong, but now wants to encourage others to not be afraid to speak up, challenge racism and to be proud of who they are.
Footballer Leroy Rosenior MBE on fighting for equality on and off the pitch
ITV West Country journalist Alpha Ceesay sat down with former footballer and manager, Leroy Rosenior MBE to discuss his fight for racial equality on and off the pitch.
Leroy is using his experiences of abuse and discrimination over the course of 40 years in the game to ensure future generations of black British footballers do not suffer as he did.
"I realised early on that if I wanted to have a professional career I would not just have to put up with racism, I would have to learn to handle it," Leroy says.
When Leroy did eventually hang up his boots, he moved into coaching and then management, with spells at Bristol City and Gloucester City before ending up at Torquay United.
At the time, Leroy was one of only a handful of black managers in the English game. The importance of speaking out against the discrimination he faced during this era would only dawn on him after his time as a manager.