Make black British history MANDATORY on the curriculum

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The education system in the UK is failing British children.

The tragic death of George Floyd has highlighted the existance of systematic racism in America's modern society. It's easy for Brits to view this as 'America's problem'. However, the UK is not innocent. We, too, have a history and society tainted with racism. In order to change this, we need to learn the lessons of the past. However, I believe, as a British 16 year old in the state school system, that schools in the UK are failing to do this. 

GCSE students are taught in detail about America's civil rights movement, yet very few students know about the British movement. All students know about Martin Luther King, but how many know about Paul Stephenson? We all know the story of Rosa Parks, but did you know that there were also British Bus Boycotts in protest of the 'colour bar' that excluded non-white workers from the transport industry?

We are taught from a very young age that our country once 'owned' a quarter of the territories in the world, and we are told the story of Christopher Columbus's journey to America as if it is a romantic voyage of discovery. However, the education system skirts around the fact this caused deep suffering of native people in the colonies (for example the Amritsar Massacre of 1919), and how ultimately this created the foundation for the systematic racial injustice in modern society.

We are taught about the slave trade was one of the greatest horrors in human history. Despite this, it is not mandatory for pupils to study. Schools which don't teach about this in detail leave students unaware that the British transported an estimated 3.1 million black people from their homes in horrific conditions, then sold them - as though they were 'goods' - to plantation owners. We can't allow this kind of historical amnesia to grow in the community. 

Unless we receive proper education about the origins of racism in this country, entire generations will continue to view racism as 'America's problem'. We need to be able to accept that our country has a history tainted with racism so that we can learn from past mistakes and build a stronger, fairer and brighter community

The KS3 curriculum for history and/or PSHE must contain a truthful, full education in British colonialism, the British slave trade and the British civil rights movement, as this will allow the future leaders of the UK to identify still existing problems with racism in this country, so that we can create positive, lasting change. This needs to be taught to all students, therefore must be taught in year 9 or below and importantly must be MANDATORY across all schools.

Unless the curriculum changes, systematic racism in this country can't change.