WHITMORE CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH
October is Black History Month and, as with previous years, students and staff at Whitmore are celebrating this important event in a number of different ways. The school community is dedicated to making this event the most exciting and informative BHM celebration yet.
Recent events that have dominated the news in 2020 make this a very poignant time to further raise awareness, educate and celebrate black history throughout the academic year and beyond.
In addition to our student created timeline, as a school community we are:
ï· Focusing on black history in assemblies and pastoral sessions, with a particular focus on current media events
ï· Organising a competition for students to submit original poems, pieces of creative writing and art, celebrating the theme of equality. The winning entries will be published in the next edition of the newsletter
ï· Promoting a range of fiction and non-fiction books via the Library with the ambition of inspiring the next Benjamin Zephaniah or Zadie Smith!
ï· Focusing on specific aspects of black history within English, History and Music curriculums so that students have the opportunity to explore black history themes in greater depth.
We hope that you will encourage your child to explore the theme of black history at home by exploring further some of the activities included in this Newsletter.
TALES FROM WHITMORE’S TIMELINE
The centrepiece of our celebrations this year is our Black History Month timeline. Our timeline is displayed outside the Drama studio and students will be learning about a range of influential black British people from the twentieth century who have made significant and impactful contributions to society both in the UK and further afield.
The timeline was created as a result of our students researching a number of black British people who they thought had been important in carving out a significant role within our society. The famous faces chosen by the students included those who are renowned for their work in the arts, sport, film and politics. Each form group chose to research a ‘famous face’ to contribute to our eye-catching display. Our students have been inspired as a result of their work and we are very proud of the timeline we have created.
The youngest person on our timeline is Marcus Rashford. He has been hugely influential in gaining government support to provide meals for young people during the Covid-19 lockdown as well as campaigning to end childhood poverty. He is also integral to tackling racism within English Premier League.
Our timeline begins by celebrating the life of Evelyn Dove. She was a well known singer and performer and is of Sierra Leone Creole and English decent. Evelyn was particularly notorious for voicing her well rehearsed opinions during World War 2. She then continued to be a popular voice on radio during the 1940s and 50s.
Other famous faces include Bernardine Evaristo. She is a British author of eight works of fiction. Her most recent novel, Girl, Woman, Other, won the Booker Prize in 2019, the first black woman and the first black British person to win it. We have also chosen to include Sir Lenny Henry. Sir Lenny is a highly regarded comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter who is best known for founding Comic Relief; his work has helped to raise millions of pounds for young people in the UK and in Africa.
Whilst it is important to celebrate global black history, this has been a fantastic opportunity for students to further understand the impact that individual people can have on changing attitudes and values. Change can sometimes be slow as shown by the length of our timeline which is 120 years in length, but to quote Maya Angelou "All great achievements require time" - something we all need to reflect on and remember.
Mr Delaney and Ms Benn