Black history syllabus for teenagers created in Bristol

black history syllabus for teenagers created in bristol - Black history syllabus for teenagers created in BristolImage copyright Nicky Loh/ Getty
Image caption Cargo was set up partly by members of Massive Attack (pictured) to supply “missing narratives” from the past

A black history syllabus has been created for Bristol teenagers, in a move partly inspired by members of legendary city band Massive Attack.

Art collective Cargo has been awarded funding to deliver “a positive narrative” to teachers and pupils.

The free programme funded by The National Lottery will start in September and can be used by schools.

It comes amid worldwide protests after the death of George Floyd in US police custody.

How black history is portrayed in the UK has been under the spotlight since the toppling of a statue of slaver Edward Colston in Bristol by Black Lives Matter protesters on 7 June.

Cargo was set up by members of Massive Attack, Bristol poet Lawrence Hoo and Charles Golding from broadcast design agency Hello Charlie, to develop films, exhibition spaces and digital resources and supply “missing narratives” from the past.

It was due to hold its first interactive exhibition this year but due to the coronavirus, Mr Hoo and Mr Golding have brought forward the release of its educational programme – “Cargo Classroom”.

The set of educational tools includes a mixture of art, history and modern gaming technology, to allow users to learn about inspiring and pioneering leaders of African descent.

The education programme will be rolled out in phases and eventually cater for secondary to university level learners.

Image copyright Lawrence Hoo
Image caption Mr Hoo said having a “disproportionately biased” education system was something that “everyone knows about”

A spokesperson for Cargo said: “Right now there is such a demand for digital teaching resources and black history is up on the national agenda and we’re in a position to help.”

Headteachers such as Sarah Watson from Castle School, in Taunton, Somerset, say they are looking for such resources, but only if they can be “truly embedded” into the curriculum and are not “one-off projects”.

She said: “If it can be embedded into the curriculum for the long-term it is something we could consider.”

The directors of Cargo hope the resource will be taken on by all educational providers.

Mr Hoo said having a “disproportionately biased” education system is something that “everyone knows about” and wants to “take responsibility” to change.

He said: “My god, there’s an opportunity for change right now and I feel like the moment is slipping away.

“Four years ago it was Black Lives Matter, then it was over and a few weeks later people were chasing Pokemon around on the pavements.

He added: “I want to see real change, not more conversation.”

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