I hope you will be interested in an event that is taking place in two weeks time, on Tuesday 8th November at the Institute of Education in the University of London.
The general picture of Black British history in our schools and universities is still very bleak. There are only two universities where we know undergraduate students will be able to study modules specialising in Black British history in the future (since London Metropolitan have now closed their history courses). Studying African-American history, and even African history, is quite common across schools and universities, and some even think that Civil Rights (U.S.) will be up alongside Hitler and Henry VIII in the common school history diet. We want the history of Black people in Britain to be as well known in our society. It will take a lot of work to develop such courses and to give teachers the confidence to move it forward, and the project we are proposing would do that.
The Black British History Education Project is a collaborative working group led by the Institute of Education, the Black Cultural Archives and the Black and Asian Studies Association. The primary focus of the group is equipping history teachers to teach Black British History. The secondary to raise the (academic) profile of Black British history in the UK/
The evening on 8th November will be a chance to hear more about this work, to hear about work that is going on in schools and colleges, and to discuss key questions about moving forward. The United Nations declared 2011 to be the ‘Year for People of African Descent’, and we hope this event will play some part in honouring those who have in recent centuries followed the whole of humanity in ‘coming out of Africa’. I do hope you will be able to join us.
I have attached the flyer for this event to this email. Please feel free to pass on the anyone who you think would be interested in the event and project.
Best wishes, and hope to see you on 8th
The Black British History Education Project
More information about the Black British History Education Project (BBHEP:
“Raising the profile and the pedagogy of Black British History in British schools & universities.”
Tackling the taboo: Solving the dilemma for history in UK schools
Much pioneering work has been pursued for many years by dedicated colleagues, frequently “working against the grain” in schools, colleges & heritage organisations, to make young people aware of the importance of the history of people of African & Asian descent living and working in British society, particularly since the 18th century. This new project would make the fullest use of that work, and seeks to develop and research work on teaching Black British history in secondary schools, through Key Stage 3 and beyond. It is being planned as a joint venture between the Institute of Education, the Black Cultural Archives, and the Black and Asian Studies Association.
Our position is to declare that the history of peoples of African and Asian descent is already a part of England’s National Curriculum history, and is not to be simply designated as ‘non-British history’; that teachers can be led into much more creative and authentic ways of interpreting the demands of the National Curriculum after the forthcoming changes, to enable students to learn a diverse range of ‘British histories’, and also to pursue those studies in examination courses in the 14-19 phase.
Globally, the United Nations has designated 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent, and this project would be a significant contribution to the General Assembly’s resolution to promote “a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture” (UN, 2010). Moreover, in our metropolis, the work would be a response to the recommendations of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Asian Heritage (2005), which included a call for “The development of innovative teaching programmes to assist teachers in gaining the confidence and skill to incorporate cultural diversity and inclusion more effectively”. The current review of the English National Curriculum, and the attendant stirrings about the role of history in schools, gives another imperative to this work; we want to achieve a secure place for the study of Black history in schools.
The Black British History Education Project is a collaborative working group led by the Institute of Education, the Black Cultural Archives and the Black and Asian Studies Association.The primary focus of the group is equipping history teachers to teach Black British History. The secondary to raise the (academic) profile of Black British history in the UK. We are currently:
- Developing a MA module (content & pedagogy) for teacher training at the IOE focused on Black British history.
- Developing in service training for secondary school teachers to develop subject knowledge in Black British history
- Creating schemes of work including pedagogical approaches for secondary schools in England within the National Curriculum and within public examination syllabuses built on the BCA resource
- Creating guidelines for teachers and students in secondary schools