Petition to get Good Immigrant (Nikesh Shukla) and Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge), on the GCSE reading list.
The current English GCSE reading list consists of authors ranging from 19th Century writers such as; Charles Dickens, George Elliot and Charlotte Bronte. Shakespeare dominates a large portion of reading lists, and modern prose shows a little more diversity with Meera Syal and Maya Angelou amongst George Orwell and John Steinbeck. Although these lists of literature span a wide range of content, they do very little to reflect our current society.
Current books on the curriculum - https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/tag/gcse/
With recent events in America (the murder of George Floyd by a police officer), we need to look closer to home on how we can learn from these acts of horror, and how we can lead by example to be the change we want to see, so we can prevent these events from happening again.
Education is where it starts. Although you can have debates and go on marches in the hope of battling closed minds, school is where minds are opened and where we should grasp the opportunity to teach students about diversity and our current society, including the injustices.
That is why I am proposing the following books be added to the GCSE reading lists -
- The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla - A collection of essays written by a wide range of the BAME personalities voicing their experiences of racism in this country. The contributors range from actors, to journalism, musicians and writers. Each essay offers a different perspective and view point.
- Why I am no longer talking to white people about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge - This books spans a wide range of issues relating to the institutional racism of this country. It confronts British history, feminism and the class system. This book started out as a blog post and after such a wide response, Eddo-Lodge decided to expand her response. It’s had international success.
These two books wouldn’t only contribute diversity to the current GCSE reading lists, they would also highlight our current society’s diversity, inequalities and opportunities for change. Highlighting this to young adults will hopefully ignite a desire to be part of the change and also stamp out ignorance towards diversity.