Betty Campbell MBE (1934–2017) was born to a Barbadian mother and Jamacian father in Butetown, the Cardiff docklands (Tiger Bay). After gaining a scholarship to high school, she trained as a teacher and for 28 years taught at Mount Stuart Primary School, Butetown, where she became the first black headteacher in Wales. Inspired by Harriet Taubman on a trip to the US, Campbell became a campaigner for the teaching of black history, helping establish Black History Month. She was a county councillor for Butetown ward, sat on the Race Relations Board 1972-76, and served as a member both of the Home Office’s race advisory committee and the Commission for Racial Equality.
This statue was erected as the result of the Hidden Heroines campaign organised by the Monumental Welsh Women group. Campbell was chosen by public vote as the subject of Cardiff’s first outdoor public statue of a named non-fictional woman, which is also thought to be the first in Wales. In this huge memorial Campbell’s head is placed atop a tree of life surrounded by ten children and items from the schoolroom.
Location: Central Square, Cardiff.