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History on the page...

AUTHOR: Dr Tony Talburt

THE teaching of black British history in schools, or the lack of it, over the years has often left many parents and students frustrated and disappointed. But a recently published work explores Britain’s fascinating black past in a unique way.

Writer and education advisor Dr Tony Talburt has put together a collection of short fictitious stories for children. The stories feature seven prominent black figures in history.

The History on the Page: Adventures in Black British History centres on the adventures of two children Omar and Zarah who step back into history and have chance encounters with fascinating black people from different periods in British history.

They include Britain’s African emperor Septimius Severus, Andrew Watson, who captained the Scottish national football team and, Claudia Jones, who was primarily responsible for establishing the Notting Hill Carnivals.

Dr Talburt, from Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, an associate university lecturer, is a specialist on African Caribbean studies and has more than 25 years teaching experience in higher education, colleges and schools.

He said: “The crucial aspect of any history is to make it relevant to the here and now. Young people need to see themselves in the history on the page. They have to be able to recognise and understand the people who made that history.

“It is not a textbook, it’s a story book, but the fictitious encounters the children have in the book all involve real black people who played important roles in British history.”

Dr Talburt’s other books include Food of the Plantation Slaves of Jamaica, Rum Rivalry and Resistance and Fighting for the Caribbean Spirit.

The launch of his latest book and a celebration of 50 years of political independence for Jamaica and also Trinidad and Tobago will be held on June 14 between 6pm and 8pm at the Community Roots building, Soho Road, Handsworth. For more details contact 07401 993417.

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