The Prince of Wales has guest-edited a special upcoming issue of British African-Carribean newspaper The Voice to mark its 40-year anniversary.
Founded in 1982, the paper is the only national black newspaper operating in the UK.
Prince Charles described the publication as “crucial” before adding that he was “so touched” to be asked to helm the special edition.
“Over the last four decades, with all the enormous changes that they have witnessed, Britain’s only surviving black newspaper has become an institution and a crucial part of the fabric of our society,” Charles said.
Clarence House said Charles’ issue “touches on themes including community cohesion, education, climate, the Commonwealth, faith and the arts.”
Available from September 1, the edition will feature interviews with actor Idris Elba and Doreen Lawrence, the mother of 18-year-old student Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack in southeast London in 1993, among others.
Elba, star of hit TV shows “Luther” and “The Wire,” reflects on how a Prince’s Trust grant at the age of 16 “opened doors that changed my life” and discusses the importance of support for young people.
Lawrence reveals a new partnership between the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and The Prince’s Foundation, which aims to provide applied arts scholarships to young people from diverse backgrounds affected by social and economic inequality.
Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo is also interviewed for the issue, touching on her career, role as President of the Royal Society of Literature and support for The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room, a literary initiative launched during the coronavirus pandemic which offers an online space for book lovers to connect.
Paulette Simpson, the newspaper’s executive editor, described the publication as “a unique record of black British Lives” which “will be a historic record for future generations.” She continued that Charles’ editorship reflects the paper’s efforts over the last four decades to create a more inclusive society.
“It is my hope that this will be an example for others of working collaboratively to create positive change for our country,” she said.
Lester Holloway, the publication’s editor, added: “Our readers may be surprised at the parallels between the issues which The Voice has campaigned on for four decades and the work The Prince of Wales has been involved in over the same period, often behind the scenes.
“In past decades these causes were once scorned and ridiculed, but today they are widely acknowledged,” he continued. “Yet all the research tells us how far we have to go to be a truly equal society. The Prince has an awareness of this, and that in itself is a reason to be hopeful.”
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