One of the UK\’s most successful children\’s authors says schools should teach black history all year round. Malorie Blackman said history lessons should tell \”the whole truth\” of the British Empire, such as Britain\’s role in the transatlantic slave trade. Schools in England are not currently required to teach any black history.
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Adding it to the curriculum would help prevent those speaking out against racism from being accused of \”race-baiting\”, the former children\’s laureate said.
\”For some people, they don\’t want anything taught that makes them uncomfortable,\” Blackman told BBC News.
But she added: \”I think it\’s really important that we have an honest conversation about our history.\”
Blackman, who has written more than 60 books, said the current focus on the Black Lives Matter movement showed a \”hunger\” for change.
\”I think what we\’re seeing now is people are fed up,\” she said.
\”They\’re tired of being lied to; they\’re tired of being told everything is OK when it\’s not.\”
She added that while some schools did teach black history, it was often only in October – Black History Month.
\”What happens is that black history gets ghettoised into one month,\” she said.
\”It feels like, \’Oh well, we\’ve done our bit for black history; we don\’t need to worry about it for the other 11 months of the year.\’\”
Blackman said it was \”absolutely vital\” that black history was taught all year round in schools.
\”It\’s not just about black kids; it\’s about all kids,\” she said.
\”If we want to create a fairer society, if we want to create an equal society, then everybody needs to understand the role that race has played in our country and our history.\”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: \”Racism has no place in our society, and we are clear that all forms of racism and discrimination are unacceptable.
\”We want every child to leave school feeling proud of Britain\’s long and rich history and understand the immense contribution that black people have made to our country.
\”That is why we have updated the primary school history curriculum to ensure pupils learn about the lives of significant individuals from various ethnic backgrounds who have shaped British history.
\”And at GCSE, students must study at least one historical period or theme beyond 1066 that includes material relating to British, European and world history.\”
But Blackman said the current curriculum did not go far enough.
\”I would like to see a lot more black history being taught in our schools,\” she said.
\”I think it\’s important that we have an honest conversation about our history.\”
Blackman added that black teaching history in schools would help to create an equal society.
\”If we want to create a fairer society, if we want to create an equal society, then everybody needs to understand the role that race has played in our country and our history,\” she said.
What do you think? Should black history be taught all year round in schools? Let us know in the comments below.
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