Teach pupils about slavery legacy – Corbyn
LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn will be in the West Country today where he will call for children to be taught more about the slave trade.
Mr Corbyn will set out his proposals in Bristol, a city which grew rich off the transportation of thousands of black men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.
He is calling for schools to give pupils a greater awareness of the role played by black Britons in shaping the country’s history.
Mr Corbyn will also say children should receive more lessons about the legacy of the British Empire and colonialism.
He will set out plans for an Emancipation Educational Trust aimed at educating future generations about slavery and the struggle to end the trade.
Mr Corbyn will meet Paul Stephenson, a civil rights activist who played a central role in the Bristol bus boycott in 1963 aimed at overturning a ban on ethnic minorities working on the city’s buses.
The Labour leader will say the stories of people like Mr Stephenson should be as well known as that of Rosa Parks – the US civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
October is Black History Month, but Mr Corbyn is expected to say: “Black history is British history, and it should not be confined to a single month each year.
“It is vital that future generations understand the role that black Britons have played in our country’s history and the struggle for racial equality.”
Under Mr Corbyn’s plans, the Emancipation Educational Trust would tell the story of how slavery “interrupted a rich African and black history”, Labour said. The trust would organise trips to historical sites, deliver school programmes and focus on African civilisation before colonisation.
Mr Corbyn will say: “In the light of the Windrush scandal, Black History Month has taken on a renewed significance and it is more important now than ever that we learn and understand as a society the role and legacy of the British Empire, colonisation and slavery.
“Black History month is a crucial chance to celebrate the immense contribution of black Britons to this country, to reflect on our common history and ensure that such grave injustices can never happen again.
“That’s why the story of Paul Stephenson and the Bristol Bus Boycott is such an inspirational reminder that our rights are hard-won, not given – and of the fantastic example set by so many black Britons.
“Paul is a true British hero and his story should be as widely known as Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was the bravery and determination of people like Paul, standing up against injustice, that paved the way for the first Race Relations Act and the outlawing of such discrimination in our country.”
Jeremy Corbyn is calling for schools to give pupils a greater awareness of the role played by black Britons in shaping the country’s history