By Emma Ogao
Jeremy Corbyn has revealed a new plan to increase the amount of black history taught in educational institutions. As part of the Emancipation Educational Trust, the plan will set out to educate future generations on colonialism, slavery and the legacy of the British Empire.
On a visit to Bristol to mark Black History Month, the Labour leader outlined his party’s plans to re-evaluate how the education system teaches on matters concerning black history, articulating that “it is vital for future generations of school children to understand the role that black Britons have played in the nations history”
“Black history is British history and it should not be confined to a single month each year” says Corbyn, “It is more important now than ever that we learn and understand as a society the role and legacy of the British empire, colonisation and slavery”.
In light of recent events such as the Windrush Scandal, Corbyn views Black History Month, which spans the month of October, as a“crucial chance to celebrate the immense contribution of black Britons to this country” and “ensure that such grave injustices can never happen again”
Alongside Dawn Butler, the Shadow Cabinet Minister for Women and Equalities, Corbyn also met and paid tribute to civil rights activist Paul Stephenson, who he dubbed a “true British hero” whose “story should be as widely known as Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” says Corbyn.
“It was the bravery and determination of people like Paul standing up against injustice, that paved the way and attended the way for the first Race Relations Act”. Corbyn and Butler also visited the “Alone with Empire” film installation which was centered around the legacy of colonialism.
Corbyn’s announcement has triggered widespread debate on social media, with some accusing Corbyn of being Anti-British and politicising education system to aid his political agenda. However, other social media users expressed strong agreement, similarly envisioning that this kind of intervention was overdue.
Many were also skeptical on potential changes to the national curriculum, however Labour sources have reassured that if the plans were to take effect, it would not involve changing the national curriculum. Rather, it would encourage greater emphasis to be placed on matters of Black History and the contribution of people of African, Arab and Asian descent to Britain as it stands today.
This plan is expected to be in effect in the next Labour Government.