Black History Month

Following on from the success of last year’s Black History Month, this October we have continued to explore themes surrounding black history and people of colour.

There have been some excellent conversations around the school as a result of the assemblies that were delivered to students by their Heads of Year. Students have been realising how little black history is spoken about and the importance of everyone being represented and being able to discuss and share stories of different cultures.

In tutor time, there have been discussions surrounding how people of colour are treated in the media and the story of Rosa Parks and how she refused to give up her seat on a bus, and the changes to segregation in America that followed. It has been important to discuss these issues and understand the figures where our pivotal changes in history began and the effect that these events have on all of us.

Students have been engaging with displays of key figures in black history, some even discovering their own family connections to some. Lots of subjects have been exploring the Black History month theme in their lessons too. Staff in the canteen have been cooking us a fantastic dish from a different culture each week including Jerk Chicken with Rice and Beans, Authentic Caribbean Curry, and Bobotie. These have been a real hit with students and staff so a special thank you to them!

Mr. M Bonner
Diversity Officer

What we’ve been reading this Black History Month

As we tackle the challenging and controversial subject of the impact of the British Empire with Year 9, we have paused to consider what the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade interrupted in Western Africa. Students have looked at the advanced cultures of the Mali Empire, full of sublime artwork, complex architecture and university education that enabled cataract operations 600 years ago!

As a History Team, we continue to read broadly to provide students with further examples and broaden their understanding. This month we have been reading…

Natives is a Sunday Times Bestseller from Akala where he shares his own personal experiences and uses this as a platform to explore and challenge the historical and political factors that have led to them. This is a fantastic example of Akala’s ability to illuminate important issues and will likely surprise and challenge.

Girl, Woman, Other tells the tale of twelve mostly black, British women in the 20th and 21st centuries, whose lives are intertwined and connected. Also available on Essex Libraries audiobook app ‘BorrowBox’ this is a great listen that will leave you completely invested in their stories and relationships.

The Sweetness of Water tells the story of two recently freed brothers following a lifetime of slavery and the struggle to find a place in a world where attitudes were slow to change. Beautifully written and a wonderful illustration of the impact of the Slave Trade.

We would also recommend Wake, a graphic novel, to students interested in looking at further examples of slave rebellion.

Happy Half-Term Reading!
The History Team