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UK Government Dismisses Complaints on Importance of Teaching Black History Authentically in Schools

5 Dec

[Published 04 December, 2017]


If you live in the UK and were or are currently being educated under what is known as the National Curriculum, what you and I have or will be taught about (B)lack History, has always been taught from a Eurocentric or national perspective.

This is to say, (B)lack History has always been and largely continues to be taught today from a ‘colonial’ and semi-religious ‘civilizing’ perspective, albeit with a few very recent additions to the curriculum.

I am a person of colour – both Black and White – who came into existence thanks to a South Afri(k)an Grandfather and Scottish Grandmother.

Both my Grandparents were disowned by their families, because at that time, inter-racial marriages were not accepted.

(No Blacks, no Irish, no Jews, no dogs!)

Thank you, Enoch, you fascist cunt!

Because I have always (and still do) feel as though I am not, nor will I ever be, accepted as fully Black or White, in my late teens I sought to understand my origins, trauma, afflictions, and foibles, as a person of colour.

I wanted to understand my brown skin and golly wog hair and affirm where it is that I am positioned and can identify myself in this world.

Yes, I was taught about slavery and colonialism, but never that it was wrong, immoral, and brutal. Nothing about the role of Arabs, Jews, and my fellow Afrikans, who enabled it. Nor anything about racism or about the contributions of people of colour in society.

I would only begin to learn about this in later, independent studies.

Teaching about Black History from just a slavery and colonial perspective, in fact limits our understanding and perspective of how the world in which, regardless of our cultures and skin tones, is made and remade and impacts on all of us at the basest level of consciousness, histories, traumas, and lived experiences.

Note: Not everything about Black History is about slavery, ffs!

Black History is also about the interconnections, current perspectives, intersectionality, and contributions we make as people of colour in society, generally, in an interconnected, intergenerational and often politically polarized society.

In context, true and authentic history about the histories of all Black and all people of colour – in valuing and identifying our sense of place in the pervading powerful White spaces – should be taught holistically and without bias as a matter of inclusive teaching practice. Our histories define part of us, so if it is incomplete then so are we.

The teaching of Black history should also be specific to society in a local, national, and in a global context, which is to say, although American Black History is relevant from a world history perspective, it is equally if not more important to teach Black British history to Black Britons, Muslims etc.

As the BLAM Charity recently stated at an event held in London for Black History Month:

The false narrative that continually portrays racism and civil rights as an American issue erases the struggles endured by the Black British population.”

In the UK, the National Curriculum for history makes no specific mention of the teaching of Black history or any other history, except to say, from a ‘non-European perspective’ and of ‘Ancient Civilizations.’

Look closely and all statutory and non-statutory teaching requirements concern European and British history, with the exception of the requirement to teach pupils about the holocaust.

In response to a petition by Stephanie Pitter, the UK Government replied:

The content and structure of the new history curriculum provides scope for black history to be taught in schools.”


This, however, is not prescribed in detail within the statutory programmes of study. Instead, schools have the flexibility to teach these topics in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to the needs of their pupils.”

Scope? Flexibility?

One has to ask how it could not be more appropriate and sensitive to teach a Black or any other person of colour about history from their own, as well as from other cultural and national perspectives?

How does the Government respond?

In the primary history programmes of study, Rosa Parks and Mary Seacole are listed at key stage 1 as examples of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.”

Ms. Parks is not British and was not the first Black woman to refuse to give up her seat.

Although important in the context of history and rights of PoC, the story of Parks was in fact a stunt to stir up a reaction within the Black community by the NAACP. The first person to refuse to give up her seat was Claudette Colvin.

Whilst teaching pupils about Seacole is relevant in the context of Black contributions to British history, it is only recently that her story was added to the curriculum as a topic of study and nearly always there is an institutional and cultural bias toward comparing her against Florence Nightingale. Add to that the story of Seacole is not recent history, so may not be as relevant to some as it is to others.

In any event, in 2012 the Government (Michael Gove, MP) proposed removing Seacole from the curriculum in favor of more important focus on Churchill etc., but was forced to back down, after a petition was set up by Operation Black Vote.

As noted by Gus John:

Every review of the National Curriculum has required us to campaign and lobby to make sure that our children (and all the nation’s children) are not exposed to a white, British nationalist curriculum.”

To illustrate, Nelson Mundell, recounts the comments of one of the presenters at a recent conference on Black history:

During an excellent presentation by Justice 2 History, in which they covered some of the problems they had faced in London classrooms on the teaching of slavery, one of the presenters, a young man from inner London, explained that during his placement he had wandered over to the walls and looked at the displays created by the class. On a poster that collected the generalized end products of slavery, he noticed a subheading titled, something similar to, “how did slavery benefit black people?” Naturally as he recounted this story the audience were all quite shocked and, caught up in the moment, someone declared “if this is what is happening in London schools, what is the teaching around the rest of the country like?

Darren Chetty, a former teacher notes, in the book, the Good Immigrant, how a pupil (a child of colour) once stood up in his class and told him that all stories had to be about White people (1).

Chetty compares this experience with that of Verna Wilkins, whose son came home from school one day with a self-portrait of himself with his face painted in pink. When asked, why pink? Her son replied: ‘Because it has to be that colour.'(2)

The point being made, is that if it is not made a requirement to teach it and to do so in an appropriate and sensitive way, then Black history will only be taught from a White perspective, which ultimately devalues and marginalizes people of colour.

Appropriateness and sensitivity does not include telling your pupils to black-up and wear soiled clothing, or planning a lesson involving a mock slave auction, as was recently the case.

I mean, imagine the uproar of having pupils re-enacting what happened in the Auschwitz concentration camp?

Is that a step too far?

If you think so, you are promoting exceptionalism and victimhood and devaluing the totality of the lived experiences of people of colour.

There is also a strong argument that it will enable the real possibility to reinforce and promote notions of White nationalism and supremacy. The fact that Gove, then Education Secretary, sought to remove Seacole from the curriculum is clear supporting evidence of this.

By not requiring the mandatory inclusion of Black history to be taught in our schools, without which there would be no British history or society, the Government is both failing and damaging Black and other children of colour, by whitewashing Britain’s past and denying people of colour there’s.

In no way does this approach pander to political correctness and neither does it impact on teachers’ freedom to teach.

For a more informed and expert opinion on the importance of authentic representation and teaching of Black history, watch and listen to the author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie HERE.


Author: Jason Schumann


  1. Niklesh Shukla, Ed., The Good Immigrant, Unbound, 2016, p. 100 – 1.
  2. Verna Wilkins, ‘The Right to Be Seen’, Patrick Hardy Lecture, October 29th, 2008.




Rick Ross: Black Male Misogyny Enables White Prejudice, Promotes Inequality, and Damages Rights and Inclusion in Society

27 Jul

[Published 27 July, 2017]

Rick Ross.jpeg

[Image via Huffington Post]

!!Warning!! This blog post is graphic in content and fighting talk about the malaise of Black male identity and misogyny.

The rapper, Rick Ross, is recently quoted as having said, that “women rappers would succumb to him… for sex, to feed his animalistic need for sex”. (Paraphrased)

[Pardon the vulgarity, but I very much want you to be disgusted in his and the others’ views and actions I mention here].

Ross did not say, whether he would force himself on a woman – to fuck her, and feed his desire to shoot his load inside her and/ or spread his insidious seed – but his comments, suggest that he would, regardless of her right to refuse him and say No! He has, in the past, however, condoned rape.

Much like the despicable, serial rapist, Bill Cosby – who regularly drugged women, in order to have sex them; and then denied doing so, telling the women he abused, that he would ruin them, if they ever spoke out against him – Ross is also a sexual predator.

Not only are Ross’ comments on the inclusion, abuse, and value of women within society and the music industry, clearly and blatantly sexist, but they represent the views of many delinquent Black males, who believe that women should be treated as lesser than men, as weaker, servants, dogs, and sex slaves.

This view offends me greatly. So let me start by saying that this is not on, and I ain’t having any of it!

Not withstanding the deliberate and continued oppression by the White elite, of PoC – it is Black males like Ross and Cosby, who are significantly responsible for the high transmission of HIV in Afrika and elsewhere around the world, as well as high pregnancy rates and single parent families in Black communities in general.

It’s people like Ross and Cosby, who some would say, are responsible for perpetuating the subjugation and inequalities of all Black and White women, that continue to hold back Black communities and the PoC generally.

In short, these Black men contribute to the ongoing trauma that is present as a result of ongoing structural racism as a consequence of continued White hegemony.

Furthermore, it’s people like Ross and the Jamaican performer Buju Bantion – who enable, and facilitate similar abuse, but also murder of members of the LGBTIA+ community, because of the false religious doctrine instilled in us, by White, genocidal, religious zealots – like the fanatical Evangelist Christians, who are now working overtime, in Afrikan countries and other parts of the world, today.

Snoop Dog, another Afrikan American wastrel rapper regurgitates the same religious, hate-filled, pernicious fulminations as the religious zealots, that women are to serve men, and that members of the LGBTIA+ community are an abomination.

Why, when there are over 1,500 recorded species of animals, birds, and insects, who exhibit homosexuality, equality, and gender parity, are the likes of Snoop and Banton, even permitted airtime to espouse such homophobic and sexist prejudiced and hateful views? Should not we be boycotting them? Of course we should!

Don’t give me your excuses of Black trauma and victimhood, like your upbringing, poor education, poverty, police brutality, gang culture, criminality, or structural racism.

These, of course, are all relevant, and undeniable, contributory factors in the social pathology of the condition and experiences of many Black men.

However, these pathologies do not in any way clearly explain or validate the continued and persistent homophobic, misogynistic treatment and procrastinations of these Black men and do not represent or explain the morality (or lack of) of the lived experiences of Black men.

As traumatic as these indicators of the Black condition often are, this immoral stance of misogyny, errant fathers, and homophobia) is merely an excuse and does not work in this instance and has no relevance to how Black men seek to be or act out as the oppressor, or assimilate the views of White patriarchs and Far Right racists and extremists in order to validate themselves.

From my own upbringing and experience, this absolutely does not wash.

Along with all the White racists and elites who continue to maintain positions of power and wealth, violent, misogynistic and homophobic Black men should fall off the end of the world as far as I am concerned.

Black, White, or whatever, there is no place for you.

You are very much part of the problem. I reiterate the view, that these Black men contribute to and further enable the current Black condition and lived experience of the victim and perpetually oppressed.

For the Black man, it is not nor should it ever be about his ego and machismo and ‘growing a pair’, or ‘manning up’; it is and should be purely and simply about aspiring to be and do something better than the present barriers and state of affairs that exist affecting Black communities today.

It is about being better than the White oppressor, having common decency, shared values, and treating people right if you want to be accepted and respected!

For the record, I don’t like the term or the use of ‘n’ word, but I am inclined to use this deeply derogatory term, as a deserving description of them, because I consider these men (Ross, Cosby et al) to be barely human and entirely undeserving of any respect in our society and communities.

As a PoC, myself, for a number of years, I have sought to reclaim the use of the term, (1) So that racists cannot hurt me, when trying to use it against me; (2) to define Black and White males, who seek to undermine, and diminish the rights of others.

I want them to know that this is what I think of them and what we should all think of them. I get that the word is used to denigrate – and that is exactly what I wish to do to these men – denigrate them, as worthless, failed, immoral, human beings.

Insofar as the role and infleunce of religion is concerned – an education for Ross, Snoop, Cosby, and all White people, who seek to circumvent the rights, equity, and inclusion of us all – the Black community did not have a religion, per se, before it was introduced and thrusted upon us by the Western missionaries.

As the honourable Desmond Tutu once said: “The White man asked us [Afrikans] to close our eyes. In the one hand the White man gave us the Bible. In the other, he took away our lands, riches, and our rights and freedoms“.

Every White, Black, or Muslim man, who panders to the view that his gender, strength or physicality, rights, or status as a man, are privilege over and above those of women and others, is deserving of this horrible and hurtful term in my book; and should hang their heads in shame. That your views are compounded by your misguided belief that some higher being gave you such rights and privileges – well, that is just completely delusional.

Rant over!

Author: Jason Schumann

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