Whitehall Junior School are currently celebrating Black History Month. The theme this year is 'Proud to be'. Now in its 34th year, this has a renewed focus on Black British resistance to racism – inspired in part by last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests – and celebrates key figures who have made substantial contributions to the country.
To launch Black History Month, we watched an assembly which addresses racism and events that have happened recently such as the toppling of statues in Bristol.
Over the next few weeks, we will also be sharing facts about the lives and achievements of inspiring Black role models. Pupils will find out about the discrimination they experienced and how they overcame this adversity.
We believe it is also important to focus on the stories and voices of everyday Black people. Pupils will be watching a collection of short films exploring the experiences and contributions of people from communities across the UK, and celebrating the rich contribution of the black community to the culture, society and economy of the UK. Each role model is interviewed by a child of a similar age to our pupils.
Pupils will also have the opportunity to learn about black people that have lived in different historical periods and have been largely forgotten. The intriguing life stories have been well researched and compiled in the book ‘Black and British’ by David Olusoga, a British historian, writer and film-maker. He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester. He has presented historical documentaries on the BBC.
Our hope is that our pupils will have the opportunity to focus on celebrating being themselves and to feel inspired and share the pride they have in their own heritage and culture.