October is Black History Month in the UK, an event that has been celebrated nationwide for
more than 30 years. The month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that
people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations.
Now, Black History Month has expanded to include the history of not just African and Caribbean people but black people in general.
This year’s Black History Month in October is more important than ever. It’s not just a month to celebrate the continued achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world. It’s also a time for continued action to tackle racism, reclaim Black history, and ensure Black history is represented and celebrated all year round.
Students in Year 9 have been learning about non-white soldiers of WWI. For example, Walter Tull. He had a successful career as a footballer in the early 1900s, playing for Tottenham Hotspur. He fought in the British Army during the First World War, and was killed in action in 1918. Tull was one of thousands of non-white soldiers who fought for Britain in the First World War. The British West Indian Regiment alone was made up of around 15,000 black volunteers from the West Indies. Around 130,000 Indians fought alongside the British Army in the trenches.
Students have been shocked and saddened to learn about the decision not to allow any black troops to take part in London’s victory celebrations: the much-trumpeted Peace March on 19th July 1919.
As part of their lesson, Year 9s explore why non-white soldiers were ignored after WWI and our students are now able to discuss the contribution made by troops across the world who fought for Britain.
• Miss West has shared some of her favourite images for Black History month including celebrating the work of Rosa Parks.
• Students have been shown where they can expect Black History woven into their History curriculum.
• Students have been set an inter-house competition to create a Google-doodle for October and Black History month.