The widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the United States following the death of George Floyd have brought a new urgency to discussions surrounding race in the United Kingdom.
The protests have sparked a debate about the UK’s colonial history, its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and how this is represented in British classrooms. There are renewed calls for the history curriculum in the UK to be updated to make it more diverse and reflective of Britain’s multi-cultural society.
One of the groups campaigning for change is an organisation called The Black Curriculum. “We’re not taught black history at all. It’s not part of the curriculum in schools in the UK and ultimately, young people are missing out on this crucial element of their history,” said Lavinya Stennett, founder and CEO of The Black Curriculum.
Stennett said she wanted to help people understand their place in society today through Black history. Her campaign is already gaining traction, with the government acknowledging her work and conceding that the curriculum needed to be more diverse. Stennett hopes this will lead to more conversations about race and history in the UK.