IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Corbyn: ‘Black history in schools needs more than one month a year’

Islington North MP calls for year-round lessons, as protesters ‘take the knee’ in Newington Green and Archway

03 July, 2020

Black Lives Matter protesters this week in Navigator Square

BLACK Lives Matter protests continued around the borough this week and there were calls for Black History Month to be extended in schools for the whole year.

Scores of activists, young and old, took the knee in Newington Green on Wednesday and again in Navigator Square, Archway, to show solidarity with the BLM protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

He died in May after a police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest.

Speaking to the Tribune in Archway, Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn said that had he won the election in December he was ready to set up an “Emancipation Education Trust”.

He added: “This would have helped take the concept of Black History Month to 12 months a year teaching in our schools.

“I think Black History Month is great but I think we need to move on now and change the way the curriculum is done in general.”

Meanwhile, around 400 parents, students, teachers, school support staff and others joined the a “Black Kids Matter” meeting set up by the Islington branch of the National Education Union on Tuesday.

Held over Zoom videocall technology due to coronavirus restrictions, speakers discussed how to improve prospects for disadvantaged pupils.

Organiser Ken Muller said: “The speakers all made powerful contributions and the meeting and the discussion which followed was angry, inspiring and fizzing with ideas as well as proposals about how the success of the meeting can be followed up – which it definitely must be.”

Speakers included MP Claudia Webbe, the former cabinet councillor in Islington who now represents Leicester East in the House of Commons, and campaigning teacher Zahra Bei.

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