Black History Month allows us the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contributions people of African and Caribbean ethnicity have had on the world throughout history.
2020 is such an important year for us to truly take a step back and reflect on the achievements and contributions in Black History this month, forcing many to see the reality of racism, with the Black Lives Matter Protests earlier this year. This was a starting point to truly exploring, discovering and celebrating black history, educating ourselves more on the heritage and cultures that black history has to offer and not just past but contemporary.
Throughout history there have been incredible achievements, contributions and untold stories that need to be spoken about and understood, in all the ways black individuals have contributed in making the world what it is today.
Queen Mary’s College has taken Black History Month as an opportunity to shine a light on Black History and to tell the whole story honestly and truthfully about the amazing black community. Educating and enlightening students on the achievements and historical events that black people have played a massive part in throughout the years.
Black History month is a time for people to come together and honestly learn lessons for the present and the future, a commitment to learning and understanding in order to stand against racism.
Different departments around the college have been enlightening students as well as the college community about Black History, by sharing incredible stories on social media and around campus.
Here are a few to mention.
Tash, one of our passionate Media teachers here at QMC, has been sharing incredible stories from throughout the years onto her Instagram page @the_mediateacher every day. Giving recognition to sportsman, actors, music and many more. Creating awareness on a daily basis throughout this month.
The maths department has been sharing incredible stories about black individuals who made history in the maths world.
Click the videos below about Ramanujan, an Indian mathematical genius from the early half of the 20th century and Mary Jackson, a pioneering mathematician and computer scientist for NASA, the first black woman to be employed in the US space programme.
The PE & Sport Department were sharing an incredible story about Jimmy Peters, who was England's first black male rugby union player. It was 82 years until the next one.
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The Music department celebrate black history throughout the entire year, they study genres such as the blues, jazz, soul, RnB and Rock and Roll. The students recently played ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ by Etta James, which is an incredible soulful and talented female black musician, who sadly passed in 2012.
The Social Sciences Department have made a number of posters highlighting the achievements, and influential moments that black individual had in history. These posters were posted on social media on a weekly basis, as well as display up around the college.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Co-ordinator , Lisa Hotten - 'QMC celebrates and promotes equality and diversity for all. We aim to create an environment where everyone feels safe and valued and within which they are treated with dignity.
The L2 Performing Arts students have been devising a piece of theatre exploring George Orwell’s, 1984. They focused on the words; oppression, torture, uprisings and revolution. They focused on how George Floyd was killed in Police custody and how he was held down for 8 mins and 46 seconds.
Events this year such as the murder of George Floyd, have emphasised the need to learn about racism and to oppose it. It is within this context that students and staff have marked Black History Month at QMC. Students and staff have enjoyed learning about Black role models whose contributions may not have been sufficiently recognised and valued. We hope that celebrating Black History Month in this way will help us to remember the importance of celebrating these achievements and of educating ourselves on issues of prejudice and racism throughout the year and not just in October.'
The sports & PE department brought to light the story of Jimmy Peters, England's first black male rugby union player. It was 82 years until the next one.
We found Black History Month to be a very important month to be heavily involved in as a college, to educate that everyone is accepted. We have expectations that we strive to meet every single day, having respect and tolerance for one another and equality among everyone. Come as you are at QMC.