BLACK HISTORY BLOG
TALKING ABOUT TULL
Well I guess it's been a while since I posted up here! so might as well keep this one short and sweet. On Saturday March 31st I have been invited to talk at the Sunday Times Literary Festival in Oxford on the subject of 'hidden heroes' (link). I shall be talking about my book, Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero which has now sold nearly 5,000 copies since it was published in January 2011 (and is available on Amazon). It is going to be a fascinating experience, I have no idea what the audience is going to be, probably 2 men and a dog, but it's gonna be fun and good to spread the word about Walter.
#Posted 29 March 2012 at 8:15 PM
A REVIEW OF ATLAS OF EMPIRES BY PETER DAVIDSON
The Atlas of Empires by Peter Davidson is a beautifully illustrated and fascinating trawl through the history of empire from Mesopotamia to the European Union. The narrative follows the development of both core and peripheral states of each empire, reflecting on the rise and fall of a wide range of empires gathered together under broad themes such as 'Empires of Faith' and 'Empires of the Horse'. There is plenty of detail for the reader to soak up and there is an impressive quality to the research which ranges from small anecdotes, including a lovely tale of the imprisoned Shah Jahan being able to see a reflection of the Taj Mahal in the Koh-i-noor diamond placed in the window of his cell, to sweeping overviews which allow the reader to sense the 'big picture' of empire.There is clearly a recognition of the diverse nature of empire, with non-European empires such as Mali, Mughal India and the Aztecs and Incas each having their own chapters. Throughout the book there are maps, helpfully annotated, and a range of images that are delightfully reproduced that support the text very effectively. It may be a challenging read for a younger audience, however there is plenty for readers of all ages to take away from this impressive piece of work.
Price £17.99 | ISBN 9781847730640 | 240 Pages
Enter the discount code Lyndon to receive 25% off the regular price of £17.99 and free P&P.(Offer valid until 1st September 2011 to UK residents only!)
#Posted 26 May 2011 at 9:06 AM
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
It's that time of year when the usual frustrations about Black History Month are being heard once again. The Guardian had an article last week, which raised some of the points from a BBC Radio 4 programme 'Black History Month and the Usual Suspects'. The essential arguments are that BHM is seen as tokenistic, allows Black History to be pigeonholed and restricted to one month in the year and that the focus on 'Black Heroes' is elitist and represents an outdated historical approach. However, it is also argued that the current position of Black History in the curriculum means that there is still a great need for BHM. I have always argued that Black History needs to be mainstreamed into the curriculum. That was one of the reasons why this website was launched in the first place, and why the resources and INSETs that I produce are always focused on that purpose. Unfortunately the recent change of government means that the struggle to mainstream Black and Asian British History has become significantly more challenging. Whether it was as a result of the decision to drop the 2008 National Curriculum Levels for History, which had included 'Diversity' as a concept for the first time, or the continued trend of dropping support for BHM events (see this article about Boris Johnson slashing funds), the Conservatives (with no opposition from the Lib Dems) seem ideologically opposed to recognising the contribution that Black and Asian people have made to this country. The struggle must go on, check out black-history-month.co.uk for all the listings and support the events in your area.
#Posted 3 October 2010 at 9:17 AM
BOOKS N STUFF
Since I last posted, which was aeons ago, the books that I was working on have now been published by Hachette Children's Books and are available in all good bookshops near you (or just click on the Amazon links on the first page). I am really pleased with the final products, they look very engaging and the text really comes off the page so overall it was a really positive experience.
I am currently working on a new book for younger readers based on the story of Walter Tull for HarperCollins, which should hopefully be out in a couple of months. The book is going to be illustrated which will be very exciting to see.
There is a lot of new material on the Windrush going up on the website,the first new material for quite a while. There will ultimately be enough for a sequence of four lessons, including a final task which asks the students to create a campaign to promote the idea of 'Windrush Day', a national holiday to celebrate multicultural Britain. You can read more about the campaign here. The Windrush material will be part of the workshop that I am cohosting with my colleague Joanna Caroussis, at the Schools History Project conference in July. We will also be talking about the work we have done on Mughal India and I am considering posting up some of that material up here too.
#Posted 17 May 2010 at 10:32 PM
I was very privileged to meet Phil Vasili last week at the launch of his new book All the guns in France couldn't wake me, Walter Tull, 1888-1918 Officer, Footballer. Phil is the leading researcher and writer on the history of Black footballers in Britain and I first got in touch with him about three years ago when I was starting the research for the work I was doing about Walter Tull for Northamptonshire Black History Association. Phil's book (which I will review when I have finished reading it) is a testament to the fantastic research that he has carried out, meeting relatives of Walter, corresponding with the Ministry of Defence, visiting the National Archives and poring over documents that add a tremendous amount of loving detail to the story. And now, thanks to the publishers rawpress you can win a copy of the book. All you need to do is answer the following simple question and email it to bh4schools.
Phil Vasili supports one of the teams that Walter Tull played for. Is it
c) Northampton Town
Last date for entries is December 31st 2009. The Random Number Generator (copyright arseblog) will do its thing and the winner will be announced in the New Year
#Posted 6 December 2009 at 1:19 PM
SAY IT LOUD, WE'RE BACK AND PROUD!
After a year on sabbatical the Black History
Blog is back and ready to hit the ground running. It has been a crazy ol' year
and no doubt over the next few months the stories will come flooding out. One
of my key aims for this year is to increase the amount of British Asian history
on the website, inspired by my fantastic trip to India. However I wanted to start
with the most exciting news, that I have recently been commissioned to write a series of six textbooks for Hachette Children's Book (part of Hodder) on Black
History for 9-12 year olds. The title of the books are:
Africa and the Slave Trade
Resistance and Abolition
Civil Rights and Equality
Arts and Music
Identity and Community
I have completed the first drafts of the books and
all things being well the first two should be published in February 2010. Watch
this space for more details including a competition for you to be able to win a
set of books for yourself or your school / library.
I have also been producing some material for Newham Council about the Slave
Trade as part of a project that involved students from Newham and Bethnal Green
visiting Ghana and Barbados. I'm
hoping that some of the material will be allowed to go up on the website, as in
particular there is the most inspiring poem about Elmina Castle (a slave fort
in Ghana), written by one of the students.
You should also check out the new Black and Asian Studies Association (BASA)
website which is going to become increasingly important for anyone wanting to
learn more about Black and Asian British history. BASA is a truly impressive
organisation which campaigns hard to increase the amount of Black and Asian
history being taught in schools and universities. The website has overviews of
the BASA newsletter (which can be ordered) as well as fascinating resources
from members and information about forthcoming events.
Phil Vasili is about to release a bibliography of Walter Tull, called 'All the
Guns In France Couldn't Wake Me' in December 2009. Phil has pioneered the
research about Walter Tull and has been at the forefront of the campaign to get
him recognised with a posthumous Military Cross. You can find more details
about the book on the publishers website rawpress.co.uk
Finally, Black History Month is soon to be upon us, please make as much use of
the wide range of resources available on the website and don't just restrict
yourself to the history of the slave trade. This is a time for celebration of
the diversity of British culture. Enjoy!
#Posted 13 September 2009 at 3:23 PM
This may be the last entry on the blackhistoryblog for a little while as I shall shortly be departing these shores for an 8 month sabbatical in India and SE Asia. It is possible that I will add a few postings about my travels but it does mean that there won't be much new material coming onto the site for a while. However just to make up for that I have added loads of really good stuff over the last couple of days;The Slave Trade page has got some brilliant resources from Dale Banham, a History teacher and Local Authority adviser in Suffolk, who has written a scheme of work about Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionist who came from Ipswich. There is also a link to the new campaign that I have been working on with Donald Cummings and Lyndon Gallagher, two teachers from the Ridings School in Halifax. Our students have been writing letters demanding a Blue Plaque for Equiano, so please come and support us!
The Twentieth Century page has got some material produced by my students about Walter Tull including some of the broadcasts about Tull's experience playing football in Bristol, as well as films that they made telling Tull's story.
So can I take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has supported blackhistory4schools.com over the last year and have no fear, it will continue to grow bigger and stronger once I return in May 2009 with a relaunch and new look website.
#Posted 28 August 2008 at 11:39 PM
BH4SCHOOLS RECOMMENDS - FALLOUT
I was extremely privileged this morning to see a preview of the forthcoming Channel 4 adaptation of Roy William's play Fallout, with a small group of students from my school. The play follows the aftermath of a stabbing of a teenage schoolboy, with a strong performance from Lennie James, as a police officer called back to 'his ends' to investigate the murder. As the 'gang' begins to unravel, the issue of how to resolve the crime becomes more complex, as James deals with suspects, witnesses and fellow officers in a downward spiral of frustration and violence. You can watch a clip here.
As the film ended the students burst into a spontaneous round of applause and their responses to a discussion with Roy, and a journalist from the Sunday Telegraph, were fascinating. The vast majority commented on how 'real' the story was, that the language and content reflected back to them an experience not too far from their own. Worryingly, nearly all of them knew peers who were carrying knives 'for their own protection', despite an awareness of the potential for increased risk of harm. Their suggested solutions to the vexed issue of 'street crime' ranged from the authoritarian - 'there should be curfews' to the benevolent - 'young people hate being shouted at, so talk to them as equals'. Ultimately it was agreed that there aren't any simple solutions, but the provision of facilities for young people was imperative.
Fallout is on Channel 4 on Thursday July 3rd at 22.00
#Posted 27 June 2008 at 6:56 PM
SUPERB NEW RESOURCES
I would like to give a huge thanks to Sanam Mirza, a History teacher from 'oop north' somewhere, who sent through some absolutely brilliant resources for the 20th century section of the website. There are 6 lessons which form a great little scheme of work on the contribution that Black and Asian people have made to the UK. Apart from the lovely presentation across all of the units, the most important aspect of these resources is that they will really engage pupils in the work, which is so vital for getting a deeper understanding. The other exciting element is the lesson on Noor Inayat Khan a fascinating woman who was a British secret agent during the Second World War, particularly as I am well aware that the Asian representation on the website is lacking and needs to be developed further.
So, anyone else who is out there lurking, and has got some resources that cover any aspect of Black and Asian British history, then please please send them in. You can email them to me at any time or just drop me a line and tell me your thoughts on the website.
#Posted 5 June 2008 at 8:27 PM
WALTER'S DEBUT (ON TTV)
Regular readers will know that I have been working on two films about Walter Tull for Teachers TV and the exciting news is that they will be on air next week (Monday May 19 at 15.00 and 15.15, Sky Guide Channel 880, Virgin TV 240, Freeview 88) and if you miss them you can soon watch them on the Teachers TV website. I was sent a preview this week and I think that they are really great, combining some great interviews with good classroom practice. The first film focuses on one of the lessons (in a sequence of seven) about Tull's experiences playing for Tottenham against Bristol City, and the second follows two students through their 'learning journey'.
Other interesting forthcoming events that I would like to mention include the BASA Education Conference which is being hosted by the Northamptonshire Black History Association on Saturday July 12. You can get a lot more information on the BASA website, including the programme which you download and a registration form. I will be running a workshop on Walter Tull and probably showing some of the films I made there. Other highlights include Marcia Hutchinson giving a practical creative approach to Black History in the Classroom and Martin Spafford talking about Black History in the new National Curriculum.
When I was at the launch of the London, Sugar and Slavery Gallery at the Museum in Docklands a few months ago I was introduced to a woman called Ann-Marie Olufuwa who works for an organisation called MeWe. They will be putting on performances of a play called 'Equiano's Cup' at the Battersea Art Centre (Box Office 0207 223 2223) on Friday June 27 at 2pm and 7pm.
Set in the 18th and 21st centuries, the production presents a lavish historical setting juxtaposed with powerful modern youth voices. The action
is informative and uplifting, offering an enjoyable way to learn more about the life of Olaudah Equiano. After the evening performance I will be appearing on a discussion panel with a very esteemed collection of people including Hakim Adi (Currently chair of BASA and Senior Lecturer at Middx University), Brycchan Carey (a leading scholar on Equiano from Kingston University), Professor Richard Ennals (Kingston University,Chairman, Council for World Citizenship Board member, UK National Commission for UNESCO)and Vikki Hubbard from the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.
#Posted 13 May 2008 at 7:56 PM