Watch a full report from ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell
Linda Bellos describes herself a black, Jewish, lesbian, feminist.
Born in London to a Polish mother and a Nigerian father, she became one of the first black female council leaders.
In 1987, she was instrumental in introducing Black History Month to the UK. Now, she lives in a cottage just outside Norwich with her partner.
"The reason we wanted Black History Month was for British society to understand the importance and the relevance of black history in Britain's own history," said Linda.
"That was the point. It still is. There is need for it. It's not just about us celebrating."
Outspoken and radical, Linda dealt with discrimination throughout her political career.
"In those days the police did nothing," she said.
"There was no action that would now be taken if somebody sent me a picture of me with a rope around my neck.
"All kinds of terrible, terrible things. It wasn't particularly surprising but it was wrong."
Linda has kept some of that hate mail. It won't make it into the memoirs she's currently writing.
While society has made huge progress, she says there's still plenty to do and all efforts to stand up to racism are vital - including symbolic gestures like sportsmen taking the knee.
Critics often ask her when 'White History Month' is. It's currently the other 11 months of the year, she replies.
"We are all of equal value, in my experience, in the way I see human beings. Including the ones I don't like, including the ones I hate.
"We are all equal human beings. I have no right to abuse them - I'll argue with them."
Now 70 and being treated for breast cancer, she's promised to keep arguing.
She doesn't care too much for the prizes of her past - her OBE is stashed in a drawer with her handkerchieves - but she still cares passionately about change in the future.