It was my pleasure to speak to St John’s 6th Form about Black History. We covered 300,000 years of African (human) history and they stayed attentive the entire time. Please read a brief summary of my work below
“If you assume who I am, you’ll fail to see me” says Elliott Reid, who has had a deep interest in Black History since he was 19. Elliott has scaled one business, the Revitalize Clinic which provides over 800 appointments a month for physical therapy, personal training and counselling. He now wants to do the same for Black History.
“Without your history, who are you?…” Elliott asks, alluding to the fact that unfortunately, much of black history has been forgotten or even worse, eradicated. Elliott himself views his experience of racial assault and stereotyping as a direct result of people conjuring negative assumptions based on his appearance.
The Black History Project called “My Roots Go Deep” is an interactive, ‘plug in and play’ curriculum for schools to teach their students about black history during black history month. It needs no input from the teachers. They simply guide discussion throughout the course.
Written to educate as well as encourage critical thinking, the course is designed to encourage children to question current assumptions to discover an underlying truth. The students learn African history in 5-10min increments before discussing topics such as immiration, hierarchy, identity etc.
Unfortunately statistics show that this is wel needed. Data shows that there is an underlying narrative in the UK which disadvantages black people.
Black British are paid 17% less for the same work (ref) (ref)
Black children are 2.6x more likely to be excluded for the same or even when displaying better behavior than their white counterparts (ref)
Black children are under-assessed i.e. “in-school bias” results in their intelligence being underestimated when compared to other children who produce the same quality of work (ref)
Black and Muslim individuals need to send up to twice as many job applications to receive an interview for identical CVs (ref)
Black people are paid 17% less for the same level of education than their white counterparts
Many theorise that these disadvantages are due to underlying assumptions based on colonial propaganda. This propaganda was used to justify the oppression of Africans for centuries.
The curriculum which Elliott has written however, seems to be challenging this narrative.
Soon to be rolling out in schools across Kent, the ambition is that this course can help schools nationally. As the teacher and activist Jane Elliott said “if you want to end racism, start educating children on the achievements of brown eyed people”. Jane Elliott successfully challenged racialised behaviour in school children with her famous blue eye, brown eye experiment”
The feedback from the course so far has been fantastic. With teachers expressing that the course is “well needed… enlightening….” and “a productive challenge”
If you are interested in Elliott’s course, you can view the entire collection of videos at www.blackhistory.school or youtube.com/elliottjohnreid or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to the full curriculum.