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Black history school book launched

AUTHOR: Robin Walker

THE LAUNCH of a ground-breaking book on Black history in Birmingham follows hard on the heels of a petition that is hoping to gather enough votes to prompt a parliamentary debate for the subject to become a permanent fixture in school curricula.

The Second City recently played host to the launch of Black British History: Black Influences on British Culture (1948 to 2016), co-penned by Robin Walker, Vanika Marshall, Paula Perry and Tony Vaughan. The well-illustrated, 118-page book chronologically highlights Black migrant, African American and Black British influences on the host community in the UK.

It also charts how Black migrant culture has been shaped within the UK and evolved into Black British culture. The book also takes the reader on a journey as Black Britain gradually won acceptance through achievements in sport, art and politics.

The book aims to give parents and teachers accurate yet empowering information to teach and guide their children through modern Black British History and to exercise the historical skills required by the National Curriculum.

Although the material is designed for children at Key Stage 3 (learners aged 11 to 14), the lessons are easily adaptable to children and youth outside this age range, and even with adults.

Launch sponsor, the former college lecturer and Ofsted inspector Eric Mitchell, was quick to distance this book from the Black History Month celebrations in the city, which took place throughout October and into November. He added: “This book is the first and only Black British History Secondary School textbook that meets the Michael Gove (former Education Minister) National Curriculum.”

Available from all good bookshops, the launch took place in a wider context, the ongoing push for the teaching of modern Black history not to be left to the whims of individual teachers.

This has prompted the launch of a petition by famed campaigner Stephanie Pitter to make black history become a part of history studies throughout the year and as an option at GCSE-level in secondary schools.

The petition will close on 1 May 2018 and has gained several thousand signatures to date. It will need 10,000 to prompt an official response from the Government and a further 90,000 to be considered a subject for parliamentary debate.

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