Make it compulsory for UK schools to teach black literature in English lessons​.

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In the UK it is compulsory that GCSE texts are British. Only a couple of the literary options are written by racial minorities and these are very rarely chosen when up against white authors. In the AQA specification (the most commonly used exam board for English) only two of the novels and plays are written by ethnic minorities and therefore cover the issues of everyday racism, one Punjabi and one black. This is in a list of 24 texts covering Shakespeare, 19th Century novels, modern text prose and modern text drama. 

It is also compulsory that students are taught 'seminal world literature' in KS3, however the amount is not specified and this can often be used in schools to teach things such as 'greek myths' rather than books relating to the lives of black people. 

The national curriculum for the subject of English shows basically no support in showcasing the lives of black people and ethnic minorities in Britain today. English is used as a subject that not only teaches speaking, listening, reading and writing but also teaches students about different perspectives, how to have empathy and how to be accepting of other feelings and opinions. English is therefore a vital subject in teaching privileged students how they can help the black community and become anti-racist. 

To do this more books need to be presented in English lessons that portray what it is like to live as a black person in Britain. Schemes of work should cover topics such as racism and how we can become an anti-racist nation, rather than teaching seminal world literature simply in order to tick a box. 

Schools must become a place where students learn how to become better people, not just better academics. 

Sign this petition to push for more black literature to be taught in secondary schools. This will push discussions of anti-racism into the classroom, help students to understand the importance they themselves are anti-racist and push these discussions into their own homes.

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