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Petition to teach black history gathers pace

PLEA: From left, Sankore Education’s Cornelius Wynter and Eric Mitchell with lecturer, author and publisher Robin Walker

AS A PETITION to see black history become a permanent fixture in school curriculum passes the 18,000-signature mark, a renowned author, publisher and lecturer has questioned the wisdom of expecting schools to take responsibility for teaching the subject.

The petition aims to make black history become a part of history studies throughout the year and as an option at GCSE-level in secondary schools.

Set to close on May 1, 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.

Robin Walker, co-author of When We Ruled and the recently-released Black British History: Black Influences on British Culture (1948 to 2016), told The Voice: “Schools have a lot of pressure put on them to deliver, so us trying to get the level of quality black education that I would like to see is probably beyond what we can expect them to offer.

“I don’t think schools should be let off the hook completely. The National Curriculum does allows some space for black history. Parents should lobby to ensure the schools make use of that space but between now and then, the responsibility relies with the black community to teach our children their heritage.

“Community change begins with adults, so relying on our children to get this teaching is an abdication of our responsibilities. People should look at children as their most valuable asset and want to care and protect that asset.”

His words come ahead of the January 28 re-opening of the Black History Mastery School, an intensive, 20- hour course, spread over four weeks has become a flagship offering by Sankore Education, a Birmingham- based health and learning collective.

“The school aims to put people in touch with history because to understand what is going on today, we need to understand the past,” said Sankore’s former college lecturer and Ofsted inspector Eric Mitchell.

“In African and ancient traditions, the past, present and future are seen as one. To understand the type of things the likes of Donald Trump is saying, you have to go back.”

Addressing the commonly held view of young people being disinterested in History, Mitchell commented: “We have no problems getting young people to sign up and join.”

The course, which will cover African civilisations, their contributions to medicine, mathematics and literature, plus the involvement of black people in seeing others into slavery.

The Black History Mastery School will take place at the Conference Aston venue in Aston University, Birmingham. For more, search for Sankore Education on Facebook.
For more on the petition, visit petitions/203692

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