The 'Windrush generation' was named after the ship which brought many Caribbean immigrants to the UK in 1948.
Replying to an appeal to all Commonwealth citizens to help Britain rebuild after the Second World War, their dreams of the 'mother country' were often very different to the reality they discovered on arrival.
They routinely faced signs stating 'No Blacks' as they searched for lodgings and were regularly refused entry to public places like restaurants or pubs on the basis of nothing but the colour of their skin.
The situation only began to be rectified with the first Race Relations Act in 1965. A limited piece of legislation, it was pushed through by a Labour government in the face of fierce opposition from the Conservatives.
The Act made it unlawful to refuse access to anyone on racial grounds to public places such as hotels, restaurants, pubs, cinemas or public transport.
Refusing to rent accommodation to people because of their race was also no longer allowed and stirring up racial hatred -'incitement' - became a criminal offence.
It also set up the Race Relations Board - the predecessor of today's Commission for Racial Equality.