Happy Black History Month! To mark it, we are sharing our favourite diverse and anti-racist resources for teachers, parents, drama practitioners and youth workers. Teaching black history is not a compulsory part of the national curriculum in England, meaning that young people could go their whole school lives without gaining any knowledge of the crucial role that black people have played in British and World history. This means that it is frequently up to motivated individuals to educate our young people with limited resources, often whilst educating themselves in the process.
To help we have collated some wonderful anti-racist resources filled with creative activities and interesting discussion prompts to give you the confidence to teach young people about the history of people of the Global Majority and have honest conversations about race and racism:
1. Show Racism the Red Card Education Hub
Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s leading anti-racism education charity, founded in 1996 with a generous donation from Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who wanted to use education and the elevated status of footballers to challenge racist attitudes. They have plenty of free and high-quality lesson plans on their education hub which can help to guide young people through safe and open discussions. The lesson ‘exploring racism through drama’ looks at specific experiences of racism in a school environment encouraging young people to act out different roles of students and teachers, looking at the different choices they can make to challenge racism and understanding the impact on victims. They also have brilliant resources exploring media bias and helping young people to examine media representations of different groups and how stereotypes are perpetuated. You can find the education hub here.
We have had the pleasure of attending practical and thought-provoking training from Show Racism the Red Card and would highly recommend their training to teachers and practitioners who want to deepen their knowledge of anti-racism education.
2. Performing International Plays
If you are looking to diversify a drama curriculum, Performing International Plays is the perfect place to find inspiration. They feature 20 plays, from 6 continents, originally written and performed in 15 languages. Each play has an English translation available, with accompanying education packs provided to guide your lessons with discussion prompts that explore the play's key themes. Many of the plays also have videos of translated scenes alongside the same scenes in their original language to help bring the text to life. Reading, seeing, and performing stories from a range of countries can be an exciting way to learn about different cultures and explore points of connection and difference. Check out the full catalogue here.
If you would prefer to watch a live performance there are some fantastic black and global majority theatre companies in the UK.
3. A New Direction
The creative education charity A New Direction has some fantastic resources for exploring race and heritage. The Culture, Community & Activism resource looks at identity, political activists and black British culture through poetry and self-publishing. For young people who enjoy active learning, this resource is perfect as it includes plenty of opportunities to creatively engage with the learning material through zine making and sound recording. Find the resource here.
4. The Black Curriculum
The Black Curriculum aims to equip young people with a sense of identity and knowledge of black British history with the goal of making this a compulsory part of the national curriculum. Their video series on prominent black figures throughout history is simple, fun, and accessible and can be a great jumping-off point to discuss different elements of Black British culture. Their introductory booklet of home learning activities is perfect for parents who are just starting with anti-racism work as it includes simple explanations of terms like prejudice and colonialism. It’s also jam-packed with creative art and writing activities that will help young people to contextualize the stories of black British icons like Dr Harold Moody and Mary Seacole. Check out the learning resources here.
We hope these resources will help you actively embrace and celebrate black history all year round. Using diverse creative resources and storytelling can help young people of the global majority to understand their place in the world and develop a strong sense of identity whilst building empathy and understanding for others.
As Mortal Fools has a white staff base, it’s vital that we embed this education into all areas of our work to improve the diversity of our practice and create spaces where everyone feels equally safe, welcome, and included. You can find out more about our activism and inclusion work here.
Charity So White have been fundamental in holding space for People of Colour, challenging the institutional racism that is prevalent in our sector. They provide fantastic resources and anti-racism training that have been beneficial for us in our anti-racism journey.
This is an ongoing area of work for us, and we are always interested in connecting with individuals and organisations to listen, learn and share knowledge to strengthen our anti-racist practices. If you would like to connect, email our accessibility and inclusion lead at: email@example.com.
And if you have any resources, you’d like to share with our Mortal Fools community please let us know in the comments.
Have a fantastic Black History Month!