Highlighting Black + LGBT Pioneers: Labi Siffre

Claudius Afolabi “Labi” Siffre was a singer songwriter, composer and poet from London. The fourth of five of Barbadian-Belgian and Nigerian descent. Although educated in Catholic School he stated that he has always been an atheist.

He studied music at the Eric Gilder School of Music and remembered his experience with gratitude in his poem “education education education”.

Inspired by a television documentary on Apartheid in South Africa, Siffre wrote “(Something Inside) So Strong” in 1984. He told the BBC's Soul Music programme in 2014 that the song was also influenced by his experience as a homosexual child, adolescent, and adult.

He and his partner John Carver Lloyd entered into a civil partnership in 2005 and remained together until Lloyd’s passing in 2013.