Jeremy Corbyn: Labour will make sure school pupils learn about British colonialism

Posted On: 
11th October 2018

A Labour government will ensure school pupils understand the legacy of the British Empire, colonialism and slavery, Jeremy Corbyn will say.

Jeremy Corbyn will call for greater teaching of black British history
PA Images

The Labour leader will visit Bristol to mark the beginning of Black History Month, where he will say that marking the contribution of black Britons should not be “confined to a single month each year”.

He is expected to outline plans for a new Emancipation Educational Trust, to educate future generations about slavery and “the struggle for emancipation”.

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Labour says the programme will “deliver school programmes, organise visits to historical sites, as well as focusing on African civilisation before colonisation and the resilience and sacrifice of those enslaved and the struggle for liberation”.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Corbyn said: “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."

Mr Corbyn will meet and pay tribute to “true British hero” Paul Stephenson, a key activist in the 1960s boycott of the city’s buses in protest over employment discrimination against ethnic minorities.

Alongside Shadow Women and Equalities Minister Dawn Butler, he will visit ‘Alone with Empire’, an exhibition of films, focused on understanding the history and legacy of colonialism.

“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," he added.

“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.”