Black Lives Matter

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Like millions of others all over the world I was upset and angry to witness George Floyd, an unarmed black man, die in the US as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Although not the first of such callous killings, it is sadly not the last but that video footage has triggered reactions and events that others before have not. It has bought the lived reality of the dangers of being non white to a bigger audience than ever before. Maybe being part of a captive UK audience during lockdown, one that has also witnessed the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community, made it all the more effecting and although faraway drew so many parallels to those that have died from police contact here. 

 

A Parent’s Response

I felt incredibly moved to see slaver’s statues toppled but I know this is not enough. The emotions it has churned up has made a lot of white folk, like myself, look at how we can educate ourselves and our children on black history to understand systemic racism, become actively anti-racist and help dismantle unjust structures . It was to this end that I scoured the internet to find educational resources on slavery and colonialism to send to my son’s teacher in request that they be used in their online learning. I am happy to say that this was taken on willingly by the school and I thought it might be useful to some of you as well.

Educating our Kids

Educational resources and teaching must of course be age appropriate and as you know your own child you will know what is suitable for them. It is not an easy or light subject to tackle, but it is time now to be honest about Britain’s brutal history and acknowledge how this past has benefited and repressed different groups of people.

Resources

Below are links from various sources, most of which are suitable for Key Stage 2 (Primary aged children). https://www.blackhistory4schools.com/slavetrade/
https://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/the-atlantic-slave-trade
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zqyfr82/resources/1
https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/true-stories-harriet-tubman/zbh8mfr
https://classroom.google.com/u/2/w/NzUwMTIwODU5MTFa/t/all
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bpwm2m/doctor-who-series-11-3-rosa
https://images.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2020-01/International-Slavery-Museum-teachers-pack_0.pdf
https://www.history.org.uk/primary/categories/7/resource/2811/teaching-slavery
https://www.antislavery.org/take-action/schools/learn-fundraise/
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/books-slavery-young-people_n_569e6009e4b04c81376177aa?ri18n=true
A guide to colonial history of country houses guide
Colonial history of country houses resources

A modern problem

My personal opinion on talking about these issues with children is that it’s important to make it clear that although this is ‘history’, racial prejudice and brutality are still happening now. From a fashion perspective too slavery has not ended and ‘fast’ fashion is only possible by the enslavement and subjugation of black and brown people. You can refer to some of my previous blog posts on this subject area below:

​Join the Fashion Revolution
Does Child Labour Still Exist?
Who made my Jeans Pt1

Who made my jeans Pt2

This is why we make ethically in Britain, so you can trust that no slave or child labour has been used to make our products.

The boy wonder and I stand in solidarity with all BAME communities to say that ‘black lives matter’ and we will work together towards a more just and more equal world.

Please see our equality and diversity policy here

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