Students mark Black History month

More than 2,000 students in primary and secondary schools in Telford and Wrekin were involved in Black History workshops this month.

They learned about current and historic people, including footballer Marcus Rashford who campaigned for free school meals for vulnerable children during lockdown and holidays. Students also heard about ancient African civilisations, and saw displays of African and Caribbean foods, fashion, music instruments and artefacts.

This year, Telford African and Afro-Caribbean Resource Centre (TAARC) worked with Telford and Wrekin Multicultural Development Team , to deliver the Black History workshops in schools, in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council, West Mercia Police and the Police Crime Commissioner.

Mary Price, Head of School at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary in Wellington said, “We thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a buzz around the school as children learnt new topics and were encouraged to think deeply and consider their responses to difficult issues.”

Just over 500 students took part in TAARC’s Art Competition, using any medium to depict an icon in Black history. Entries included Mary Seacole, Benjamin Zephaniah, Floella Benjamin, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and numerous others. Prizes were provided by ASDA Donnington Wood. Winners of the competition will be announced in November and displayed on TAARC’s and Telford and Wrekin Council’s social media channels.

The celebration of Black History culminated in an online showcase, recorded at the The Place Theatre Oakengates, which was streamed on October 24, via Telford and Wrekin Council’s and TAARC’s social media channels.

Natalie Headley chair of trustees of TAARC said: "The celebration event included lively steelpan music, energetic cultural performances by London-based African dancers, local poets, authors, and local and national speakers. The event can be viewed on TAARC’s and the Council’s YouTube channels.

"Our aim for the Black History workshops is to help build the confidence, self-awareness and cultural heritage of African and Afro-Caribbean students; raise the awareness of the student population which represents current and future generations to value and appreciate history of other peoples, and also to raise the profile of Black History Month through the online celebration event. We would like to thank all the organisations that made this possible."

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