Diversify the white-washed history curriculum.

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Diversify the white-washed national history curriculum.


I’m sure most of us remember being taught about Florence Nightingale during our primary school history lessons- but how many of us got to learn about Mary Seacole, a British-Jamaican nurse during the Crimean War.

The national history curriculum for KS1 states that “pupils should be taught about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally, for example The Great Fire of London.” Although this event did have significance, the burning of African American Churches had great significance too, but is rarely taught.

When we reached high school history most of us began to learn about the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but did any of us get taught about the battles that African Americans faced? Did we hear of the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing that followed announcements to integrate Alabama’s schools. No. We didn’t hear the names of the 4 young African American girls who lost their lives, but we could all recite the “divorced, beheaded, and died” rhyme about the 6 wives of Henry VIII.

Some of us watched presentations from our history teachers about America gaining independence from British rule in 1776. But very few of us watched presentations from our history teachers about Hong Kong being returned to Chinese control in 1997.

We live in a beautifully diverse country, but it is clear that the current national curriculum for history does not reflect this. Understandably, we see this as a cause for concern. How can we create a society free of racial inequality if our children don’t understand the historical landmarks leading to this point, or understand why it is so important?

Racism didn’t begin with the killing of George Floyd, it has been ongoing for centuries. But racism can end now if we educate our children properly. That’s why we’re calling on the Department for Education to transform the curriculum, making it more inclusive of BAME historical events and figures, so that it better represents and reflects our diverse country.