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Black History Month & The Importance of Teaching Black British History

It's October so that means it's Black History Month, an annual event to promote and celebrate Black history. The origins of Black History Month lay in the development of 'Negro History Week' in 1926 in the United States, created by Carter G Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in 1926. By the 1970s this later evolved into what we now know as Black History Month and was celebrated in the US every February. By the 1980s, as a result of campaigning by activists who wanted to challenge racism and the teaching of a Eurocentric version of history in schools, Black History Month was exported to the UK, starting mainly in London. Black History Month's founder Woodson said, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” - Via TimeWhen I first saw this quote it really hit a chord with me and echoed some of the thoug…
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My UK Museum & Historical Places Bucket List

After spending 18 months travelling in New Zealand, I am back on British soil and raring to explore my home country. One thing I have realised whilst I've been away is that I have barely explored my hometown of Lancashire never mind the rest of the UK and that includes museums and heritage places. I started compiling a list of such places that I want to visit once I'm back even though it's unlikely I will get to visit them any time soon due to Covid. What places are on your UK museum and historic places bucket list?North WestPendle Heritage Centre, Lancashire Helmshore Textile Museum, LancashireImperial War Museum North, ManchesterThe Beatles Story, LiverpoolInternational Slavery Museum, LiverpoolBritish Music Experience, LiverpoolThe Pankhurst Centre, ManchesterQuarry Bank, CheshireNorth EastEden Camp, YorkshireNational Science & Media Museum, BradfordSouth EastBletchley Park, Milton KeynesPortsmouth Historic Dockyard, PortsmouthThe D Day Story, PortsmouthMary Rose M…

Rock Against Racism

In the late 1970's racist attacks were prominent in the UK, particularly against West Indian and Asian immigrants. In response to racist comments by various musicians, a group of punk musicians banded together to start the Rock Against Racism campaign to unite black and white fans in their common love for music and in an attempt to discourage youth from embracing racist rhetoric. Racism & Violence in the Late 1970sThroughout the 1960s and 1970s racism and anti-immigrant sentiment were at an all time high as reflected by Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' which condemned the rates of immigration. A poll suggested that 74% of the British population agreed with sentiments of Powell's speech which is often attributed for the rise in racially motivated violence. In the late 1970s there was a wave of racial violence in Britain which coincided with an increase in police aggression. At the 1976 Notting Hill Carnival riots broke out as a result of arbitrary harassment and…

Spotlight On: Sophia Duleep Singh, the Princess Suffragette

Today, the spotlight is being cast on Sophia Duleep Singh whose heritage was from the ruling elite of India but this was taken from her family due to the rise of British Imperialism. Born and raised in England, Sophia became prominent in British aristocracy before finding her political voice and fighting against the oppression inflicted by the British Government in various realms. 

Early Life in Aristocracy Sophia was born in Belgravia (an affluent district in London) in 1876. Her Father was Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire whilst her mother was the illegitimate daughter of a German merchant and Abyssinian slave. The Maharaja was deposed from his throne aged 11 when Britain annexed the Punjab state and he was removed from his kingdom by the British East India Company. He was exiled to Britain where he converted to Christianity and was held closely and favourably to the Royal Family. This meant that Sophia was born and raised within the British aristocracy, liv…