It's important to shine a spotlight on black icons who have made a huge impact on Wales, yet are often neglected by history.

This year's Black History Month theme is 'Proud To Be' which encourages people to celebrate black culture.

The theme is meant to "inspire and share the pride people have in their heritage and culture - in their own way, in their own words".

Read more:I'm black and I'm Welsh and I don't have to choose between them

With this in mind, we have created a list of fifteen people who have created change or are currently creating change by breaking race barriers.

From hairdressers to activists, and the country's first black headteacher, here are just a handful of people paving the way for our future generations.

For more information about the amazing achievements of Wales' black population, here is a list of 100 people making change from all different corners of society.

1) Betty Campbell

Betty Campbell made history as Wales’ first black headteacher when she took her place at Mount Stuart Primary in Butetown, Cardiff.

She also became known outside of Wales as a important authority on education. She was awarded an MBE for her services to education and community life in 2003.

She was also honoured by Unison Cymru’s Black Members’ group in 2015 with a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to black history and Welsh education – a award she said meant more to her than her MBE.

At the time of her death, Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty, said: “Betty was a stalwart of the Butetown and Bay community for decades.

“She was fiercely independent and fiercely strong in her advocacy for local people, and fiercely passionate about the diversity and history of the amazing docks communities, which she served for so many years.”

A statue of Betty was unveiled in September in Cardiff's Central Square. It is the first statue of a real, named Welsh woman in Wales.

Mrs Campbell will become the first named Welsh woman to be immortalised in a public statue in Wales
Betty Campbell was a mother of four and head teacher at Mount Stuart Primary School, Cardiff

2) Tayce Szura-Radix

Tayce is a drag queen from Newport and was the runner-up on the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

It wasn't long before the Welsh queen became the second most followed drag queen on Instagram within the Drag Race UK franchise.

As a national LGBTQ+ role model, they have scored deals with Coca-Cola, presents regularly on BBC radio and even partnered with fashion brand Nasty Gal to create a 60-piece gender neutral collection.

Tayce, who's the child of former Wham! bass guitarist Roger Radix, has also opened up about their experience with chlamydia and gonorrhoea to try to break stigma around STIs, which was widely praised by the public and by British sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

Since Drag Race, Tayce remains a influential figure in the black LGBTQ+ community and even called out Drag Race UK for their lack of diversity in this season's casting

3) Ali Abdi

A local hero in the Cardiff community, Ali works with individuals and organisations within Grangetown to break down barriers between Cardiff University and the local community.

He lead the Bay Citizens Community Jobs Compact which brought local people and employers together to tackle poverty, unemployment and under representation in work.

Ali also helps residents in Butetown and the surrounding area to become active citizens and take action for greater equality and inclusion.

He often uses the power of sport to engage young people in programmes, addressed health inequalities and made sport more accessible for the black, Asian and minority ethnic community.

Ali also chairs the Grange Pavilion in Grangetown, which offers employment and training opportunities to local young people, outdoor gardening, growing opportunities and much-needed public amenities in the area.

He received a British Empire medal for his voluntary service to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community in 2019.

Ali Abdi

4) Patti Flynn

Patti Flynn was a jazz singer, author, radio actress, model and social activist. She was a founder and patron of Black History Wales and was honoured with the Ethnic Minority Welsh Woman Achievement Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Born on Butetown's Sophia Street, Patti campaigned for 26 years to have a monument erected for the contributions made by the black, Asian and minority ethnic service men and women during World Wars I and II.

The monument was created in 2019 in Alexandra Gardens, where Flynn wore the words on the face of the monument, ensuring her legacy and the selfless sacrifice of the BAME community "will never be extinguished".

Patti died of cancer in September last year, aged 83 years old.

Patti Flynn unveiling the war memorial in Alexandra Gardens dedicated to the people from diverse backgrounds for their bravery
Patti Flynn is the founder and patron of Black History Wales

5) Vaughan Gething

Vaughan Gething is a Welsh Labour and Co-operative Party politician who currently serves as minister for the economy.

He previously served as the minister for health and social services for five years and has been a Member of the Senedd for Cardiff and Penarth since 2011.

In 2008, Gething became the youngest president of Wales TUC, also becoming the first mixed race person in the role.

Vaughan Gething
Vaughan Gething was born in Zambia and grew up in Dorset, before studying at Aberystwyth and Cardiff universities

6) Uzo Iwobi

Uzoamaka Linda Iwobi OBE is a British-Nigerian solicitor and equalities practitioner.

She is the specialist policy adviser on equalities to the Welsh Government and the founder, secretary and former chief executive at Race Council Cymru.

Uzo moved to Wales at the age of 23 and it wasn't long before she became the principal diversity chairperson of the African Community Centre in Wales, which she founded.

She also served with the Police National Diversity team, creating national policies surrounding race relations and diversity.

Recently, she has became the first international chair of diversity at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and is currently professor at practice at University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Uzo has received various awards for her contributions to equality and diversity in Wales.

7) Bianca Ali

Bianca Ali is a 29-year-old woman from Canton who is a huge voice for Cardiff's black community, as the activist behind the Black Lives Matter Cardiff and Vale group.

Sparked by the death of George Floyd, Bianca fronted a huge protest at Bute Park with thousands in attendance.

Multiple protests have taken place in Cardiff following the death of Mohamud Hassan, which Bianca attended and spoke at.

Her selfless work stunned the whole of Wales and she was announced the recipient of The Ron Todd Foundation's Inspiring Young People Award.

Bianca Ali is the bold and inspiring figure head of the Black Lives Matter movement in Cardiff

8) Gaynor Legall

Gaynor Legall is an advocate for ethnic minority women across Wales.

She grew up in Butetown and was the first black woman city councillor in Wales.

She has also worked as the director of the Butetown History and Arts Centre.

She has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement by the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association.

Gaynor Legall is also on the board of Diverse Excellence Cymru and Bawso

9) Liana Stewart

Liana Stewart is a filmmaker and director from Butetown specialising in documentaries. Her work has been shown on BBC 1, BBC 3, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

She is the creator of Black and Welsh, a documentary which spoke to various people in Cardiff about what it means to be black and Welsh. The documentary has been nominated for a BAFTA Cymru award.

Liana also recently created a series called Take Your Knee Off My Neck, which was commissioned in response to the death of George Floyd.

Liana has spoke openly about the racial and class barriers she has faced in the TV industry and had to tackle the popular opinion that making it as a producer was as far as many women could go.

Liana Stewart is a director and producer from Butetown, Cardiff

10) Dame Shirley Bassey

Dame Shirley is a Welsh singer who could be considered one of Wales' most famous people.

She was born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, and grew up in Splott.

Shirley was always singing in school growing up but began performing properly as a teenager.

She found fame in the 1950s and became the first Welsh person to gain a number-one single on the UK charts, as well as the first female artist to chart an album in the top 40 of the UK Albums Chart in seven decades.

In 2000, she was appointed a Dame for her services to performing arts.

She is said to be one of the most popular female vocalists in Britain.

Dame Shirley Bassey is still just as glamorous as she was aged 20

11) Abdulrahim Abby Farah

Dubbed the "Barry Boy that helped free Mandela", Abdulrahim's work as a Somali diplomat with the United Nations has been highly celebrated.

Abdulrahim grew up in Barry and at 17 was sent to Hargeisa, which was then British Somaliland, to begin a career in the Colonial Service. Following on from the Cardiff Race Riots, racial tensions were high in south east Wales at the time.

He also fought in East Africa and later studied at Exeter and Oxford. Despite all his travels, Abdulrahim never lost his Welsh accent.

In 1971, he become president of the UN security council where he organised the first ever UN meeting of the security council in Africa, in Addis Ababa.

In retirement, he established a hospital for landmine victims in Somalia. He also mentored and financially supported young people to help them pursue an education.

He died at the age of 98 in 2018, sparking tributes from around the world.

But the apple didn't fall far from the tree. His son Abby Farah founded Cardiff and Barry Coloured Society and the Domino Youth Club in Barry.

From Somalia to Wales and back again, the Farah family made a huge contribution to life in both countries for more than 100 years.

Barry born dipliomat Abdulrahim Abby Farah died aged 98 in New York

12) Hilary Brown

Hilary Brown is a dedicated lawyer who has been involved in racial activism for more than 40 years.

Hilary quickly realised the disparity within laws concerning the protection of black people.

She has lent her skills as a lawyer representing asylum seekers, the family of Christopher Kapessa and victims of the Windrush scandal.

She has spoke at the Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Cardiff last year and also speaks openly about lack of representation in the Welsh Government and elected members of the Senedd.

She has also shared awareness of the Penally camp in Tenby, which housed more than 200 asylum seekers until its closure earlier this year.

Recently, Hilary has been appointed to overlook the work of Cardiff Council's Race Equality Task Force and says she is far from done with her activism, emphasising the importance of stamina when promoting change.

For decades Hilary has dedicated her time to improving racial equality

13) Jessica Dunrod

Jessica Dunrod is from Cardiff and believed to be the first black and Welsh children's author.

She writes books influenced by her Welsh-West Indian heritage and Wales' historical multicultural society.

Her first book, Your Hair is your Crown, highlights a young girl called Hope who discovers magical things happen whenever her natural afro hair is wet.

Jessica speaks three languages and wants diverse literature available to all young people. She believes passionately that this could improve black children's self-esteem.

She's now trying to encourage more black children to go into higher education, after hearing about the lack of black engineering students at Cardiff University.

Jessica Dunrod has written and translated two children's books, making her the first Black, Welsh children's author

14) Sian Jones

Sian is a hairdresser who aims to fill the "gap in the market" when it comes to black hair salons.

She has been a hairdresser for three years specialising in braiding and hair extensions.

She recently opened her first salon, Studio 28, in the city centre at just 22 years old.

A study by HABIA, the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority, revealed in 2017 that there were 35,704 beauty salons in the UK, but only 302 Afro-Caribbean salons.

Sian says although she knows plenty of people who do braiding services from home, there is a lack of such salons in Wales.

Sian Jones is a black salon owner specialising in braiding and hair extensions and qualified in five different methods

15) Ibby Osman

Ibby Osman's passion for tackling social injustice started in 2012 when he became involved with Cardiff Youth Council's campaign 'Don't Hate, Educate' which aimed to tackle racial and religious discrimination in Cardiff.

Since then, Ibby has worked on issues such as islamophobia, mental health and tackling poverty.

Over eight years working with the Children's Commissioner for Wales, Ibby has appeared on live TV broadcasts, met influential politicians and campaigned on key issues. He also played a important role in getting the job compact running in Cardiff.

Ibby is passionate about raising awareness of young people who are disadvantaged in school, especially those from a BAME background. He works with ESTYN as a student inspector in order to advocate equality for children across Wales.

Recently, he has been recruited as a Young Research Officer for the National Lottery Community Fund which involves gathering the views, experiences and priorities of young people in Wales.

Ibby Osman has been helping to tackle social injustice for almost a decade