Teach pupils about slav­ery le­gacy – Cor­byn

Western Daily Press - - Front Page - DAVID HUGHES news@west­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

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.”

Danny Law­son

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

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