In collaboration with Facing History UK, educator Sanum Khan recently interviewed 18-year-old Kam Lambert about his experiences of growing up as a mixed-race young man in Britain, and how the events of recent months have impacted him. His insights and experiences send several powerful messages to us all within and beyond Britain. Facing History UK is an entity of Facing History and Ourselves, and Sanum Khan is a Facing History teacher and Specialist Leader of Education for Religious Studies and Personal, Social and Health Education in Buckinghamshire.
Tonight sees the third episode of the BBC’s adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s book Noughts and Crosses. The first two episodes received incredibly positive reviews - even from many who found it uncomfortable viewing - alongside, perhaps predictably, negative ones: a minority of reviewers even went so far as to say it was ‘anti-British’ and ‘anti-white’ and ‘a masterclass in ‘race-baiting’. The series release comes at a time when people in the UK are finally starting to talk about race: the hounding of Meghan Markle by the tabloid press, the rise in racism since the Brexit vote, the BBC’s treatment of Naga Munchetty and the subsequent fall out, and the work of writers such as Reni Eddo-Lodge are just some of the things that have pushed combating racism higher on the agenda. It is no longer easy to look the other way and feign ignorance about the structural racism operating in society, which prioritises the needs, experiences and interests of white people at the expense of people of colour, but there is still so much work to do. The TV series has arrived at a critical time and its existence will no doubt contribute to the dialogue about race, encouraging the action that we need if we are to create a fair, just society that serves all of its citizens.
This past fortnight has seen an alarming number of antisemitic and racist incidents in the news: in Germany, two people were killed and many more terrorised in a mass shooting attempt that targetted a synagogue; in Bulgaria, football fans taunted players with racist chants and Nazi salutes; in Hertfordshire, a teacher allegedly “joked” about sending primary school pupils who failed to complete their work “to the gas chamber” (and then told them not to tell anyone); and in politics, another Labour politician resigned from the party citing the rise of antisemitism as the reason for her departure.
"Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education." -Franklin D. Roosevelt
During April, Extinction Rebellion staged one of the biggest acts of peaceful civil disobedience that London has ever experienced. Over 1,000 arrests were made, with many of those arrested returning to the protest as soon as they were released. The group – who are said to cite the Suffragettes, Occupy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as sources of inspiration – are striving to create a common sense of urgency around the world about climate change.
“Daddy - I don’t want to leave Europe, I love this house and I want to stay living here,” my six year old son, David, piped up whilst his Dad was watching the coverage of the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. We reassured him that leaving the EU didn’t actually mean physically going anywhere. However, had some of my children’s classmates expressed this anxiety, those words would have had a whole different weight to them. Some of their parents, as citizens of other countries within the EU, are struggling with what a ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean for their families.
Michael is a Senior Programme Coordinator for Facing History and Ourselves in London, UK.
A white rose was today placed on a vacant seat in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament (MPs) had returned to pay tribute to Jo Cox, murdered last Thursday in her constituency of Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire. The white rose, a symbol of Yorkshire, was soon joined by a red rose, a symbol of the Labour Party she represented.
As educators in the U.K., Victoria Mole and her colleagues, Jenna Adcock, and Katie Duce, wanted to teach their students more diverse and broad histories, such as the Nanjing Massacre in 1937. It’s an often-overlooked period of World War II when the Imperial Japanese Army forces brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of people–including both soldiers and civilians in the city of Nanjing, China.
National Anti-Bullying Week takes place in the United Kingdom 17th to 21st of November. This year's theme is "let's stop bullying for all."
Topics: Classrooms, United Kingdom, Webinar, Online Tools, Professional Development, Film, Teaching Strategies, Bullying and Ostracism, Choosing to Participate, Human Behavior, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Safe Schools, Teaching, Schools, Identity, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Resources
This week, 16 educators in the UK are participating in our core professional development seminar “Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behaviour.”