Black History Month (and more)
What does ‘black’ mean to you?
Like many people, I have been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and Black History Month. I was encouraged by the Sixth Form tutor team to pursue my interest and undertake a project to find out what ‘black’ means to different people.
I was impressed by rapper Dave’s performance of ‘Black’ at this year’s BRIT awards. Taking his challenge – what is black? – as the starting point for my project, I asked the opinions of lots of Sixth Formers, asking them to tell me what ‘black’ means to them.
I then turned the results into this video:
‘Black’ is so hard to define. It can’t be summarised in just a small collection of words. It is a truly loaded term, and complex in depth. Our conclusion – “Black is Everything, and More’ goes some way to explain this.
I presented my video and findings for a Sexey’s Sixth assembly for Black History Month (October), but I don’t want to focus just on the past with this project. I want to highlight that black history is now, and for the future. Hopefully this discussion has gone some way to bringing this thoughts to the fore among my peers, and you, too.
By Becky Fay, Year 12, Sexey’s Sixth
Mrs Elliott, Head of KS5 and History teacher adds:
As a school we have recognised the need to make our curriculum more diverse. We have included more opportunities in our History lessons to study Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) history. These include: a case study on black Tudors in Year 7, The impact of colonialism on the British Empire in Year 8, with a local case study on Bristol, Colston and the question of how people are remembered. This finishes with a whole new unit on Civil Rights in America and England during the 20th century in Year 9.
Similarly, in English, students in Year 8 have been looking at War and Conflict poetry which focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and Spoken Word poetry. Our librarian, Mrs Brind, has also put together a list of some BAME authors that students and staff are able to borrow from the school library (pictured).
We are launching an extra-curricular activity for students to complete over half term, to coincide with Black History Month. This is an opportunity for students to get a more in depth knowledge about English black history. We will give points towards the Bint Shield competition for students who complete this work!