New resources charting history of black Britons to be rolled out in schools

Girl in library reaching for a book

Posted on: 4 December 2020

Devon County Council’s (DCC) Cabinet Member for Equality, Cllr. Barry Parsons, has welcomed the roll out of a new history resource to help Devon’s school children better understand the contributions made by black Britons.

A thousand copies of David Olusoga’s ground-breaking new book, ‘Black and British: A short, essential history’ has been purchased by education service provider Babcock LDP, for DCC’s secondary school libraries.

And to accompany the book, additional online educational resources will be provided to help support learning.

Aimed at pupils aged 12 and up, the book covers 1,800 years of history, spanning from the black Roman legionaries who manned Hadrian’s wall to guard against the Picts north of the border, to the modern, diverse Britain we live in today.

The purchase of the books on DCC’s behalf is part of the council’s on-going commitment to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and to promote and celebrate the role and work of black people in the past and in the present day.

The book purchase follows DCC’s pledge in October to write to the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson to urge him to encourage schools to ‘capture the voice of children and young people and their responses to the Black Lives Matter movement.’

DCC has also called on Mr Williamson to encourage schools to ‘reflect’ on how they challenge historic and persisting racist ideas and to how they celebrate diversity.

Cllr Barry ParsonsCllr Barry Parsons said: “I am delighted that this book has been purchased for school children to access and use.
“To paraphrase David Olusoga, it’s just as important for white children to understand why their class has the makeup that it does, as it is for black children to understand how their heritage fits into the story of Devon and Britain.
“It’s also important that young people appreciate and recognise the valuable role that black people have had in shaping British for centuries.
“Black history is British history, its indivisible – it’s not a niche subject, or a threat to a perceived way of life; it’s fact and an essential part of the story of our country, and if we help children to understand that, it will help create a more integrated and tolerant society.”

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