What parts of Black History do you wish you'd learnt about in school?

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DrawTheLine
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#1
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October is Black History Month. Throughout the month, TSR aims to increase visibility of Black stories and help to educate users about Black stories and experiences.

Unfortunately, the current curriculum in the UK doesn't have a focus on Black History. I know for me, all I remember learning about in History lessons was the Cold War, Hitler and some bits in between. Not one topic focused on Black History, which definitely needs changing.

Do you wish you had learned about Black History at school? Is there anything in particular you wished you were taught about? I personally would have liked to learn about the Civil Rights Movement. It's such an important part of history that we should be teaching our children.

Moderation note: All Black History Month threads are monitored by our moderation team. Please remember to keep all posts within community guidelines. Racism will not be tolerated. If you see anything you think might break the rules, please report it. If someone you suspect is a troll engages in the thread, do not reply (even to call them a troll), just report. This thread is for positive conversation and learning. You can learn more about Black History Month here.
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04MR17
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I think the History of the Civil Rights movement is often very focused on 1950s and 1960s. That was certainly a peak in the narrative of race relations in the USA but the longer history is far more important in my view.

I'd certainly like to have covered more African History, especially pre-Transatlantic Slavery. The history of South Africa is now much more popular than it used to be and I think that is a very positive thing.

Most school History curricula are geographically and ethnically very white English, and almost entirely white European/American. I think there's a lot of inclusion work to do if we want a truly diverse history curriculum in this country.
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-Imperator-
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I think it very important that students be given a comprehensive overview of British history in UK schools. The parts of this that are relevant to black history month include Britain's imperial relationship with parts of Africa, and the patterns of post-1950s immigration by which the vast majority of the black population came to be in this country.
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ibotu020
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- I would have liked to have learnt about Ancient History of Africa including the eras between 7th-14th century.
- I would have also have liked to see an in depth look on African people’s lives within their time as part of the British empire, the effects on their homeland and the build up towards the independence movements of the 50s-60s.
- More content on the ignored fronts within Africa and Asia in both WW1 & 2 and the lives of the colonial soldiers who fought in those fronts (Africa and Burma)
- history of both African, Caribbean and Asian migrants‘ lives within Britain during 17th Century to pre-WW2
Last edited by ibotu020; 1 year ago
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Chicken.M.
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Mainly the Kingdoms and Empires in Ancient Africa. They're quite interesting.
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Exterminate
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I don't wish I'd learnt anything in school because if I have a curiosity or a desire to know something I'll look it up myself.

Although when talking about the trans-Atlantic slave trade like most schools do maybe they could have included some bits about servitude and attitudes towards black in mainland Britain, I feel that that wasn't touched upon much and from other people I know they weren't taught that.
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khadijaaaxxxx
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this year im learning about the civil rights movement and slavery!
my school also has weekly assemblies on black history month during october (:
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Corps
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Black British history in general, it felt very whitewashed as though, with the exception of the slave trade, were the only places where black people exist in British history. We learnt about the civil rights, even did topics on African art but were never educated about our own country essentially as though people of colour don’t belong and are non British. Even acknowledging the existence of black people in roman Britain would be good.
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Ramipril
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African slave traders. I learnt about the other side when I was at school.
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OxFossil
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I'd agree that the US civil rights movement is important, but wonder why we are so focussed on the North American experience. I'd like a greater focus on the history and experiences of Africans in Europe. Also, the decolonisation struggles in the British Empire are so important for understanding our present-day situation of all the peoples of the UK and Commonwealth.
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username5382598
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I would've liked to have learnt about black musical composers. As someone who studied GCSE music in secondary school, I sometimes felt somewhat out of place. I think there's two main factors for that:
- Being one of the few black people who participated in the music department
- Not learning about any black classical composers.
I know all about Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, all great composers of course, but it's hard to name any black composers.
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IbeIC123
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African involvement in the Second World War, I was pretty shocked after my mom told me that my great grandfather and great grand uncle fought in Burma. I also would’ve like to learn about Africa except South Africa because that’s taught already I think in the late 20th century after my dad told me about his horrific experiences as a child during the Nigerian civil war.
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-Imperator-
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(Original post by Corps)
Black British history in general, it felt very whitewashed as though, with the exception of the slave trade, were the only places where black people exist in British history. We learnt about the civil rights, even did topics on African art but were never educated about our own country essentially as though people of colour don’t belong and are non British. Even acknowledging the existence of black people in roman Britain would be good.
Would you still consider an African country to be "your own country" rather than the UK?
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username2825764
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I would have liked to have learnt about the role Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam played in the 60s civil rights movement.
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Corps
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(Original post by -Imperator-)
Would you still consider an African country to be "your own country" rather than the UK?
No, I’ve never been there. Some distant relatives were born in the Caribbean but didn’t build lives there. Britain is the only home and culture I know.
Why would I consider an African country to be my own?
But it’s not like we learnt about Africa either. It’s just if you’re going to teach history within the bounds of nations and borders (I.e. British history), why not do it properly?
Last edited by Corps; 1 year ago
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-Imperator-
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(Original post by Corps)
No, I’ve never been there. Some distant relatives were born in the Caribbean but didn’t build lives there. Britain is the only home and culture I know.
Why would I consider an African country to be my own?
Just because you said "We learnt about the civil rights, even did topics on African art but were never educated about our own country essentially as though people of colour don’t belong and are non British." I thought you were saying you weren't educated about the countries which black migrants came from (i.e. Caribbean/Africa).
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Corps
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(Original post by -Imperator-)
Just because you said "We learnt about the civil rights, even did topics on African art but were never educated about our own country essentially as though people of colour don’t belong and are non British." I thought you were saying you weren't educated about the countries which black migrants came from (i.e. Caribbean/Africa).
Ohh, I see. Well we weren’t educated on that either but we also don’t do a bunch on Polish, American or Australian history either so idk how much our schools would be expected to teach more than a snippet of another country’s history.
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mrshayaan
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Steve biko, marcus garvey, malcom x, bob marley, ali ibn sina,
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mrshayaan
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#19
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(Original post by MalcolmX)
I would have liked to have learnt about the role Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam played in the 60s civil rights movement.
Read the book The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter.
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