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Black British History: Culture, Community and Activism in London
Drawing from the newly digitised audio archives of the Huntleys & Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications, this practical session will invite students to respond creatively to archive material.
Students will learn about civil rights activists Jessica and Eric Huntley, and the bookshop and publishing company Bogle-L’Ouverture which they founded in west London. Through listening to selected clips from events held at the bookshop in the 1980s, students will come to understand the context in which they worked, including institutional racism and poor representation of people of colour in the media.
In considering this material, we’ll explore themes relating to the voice, identity, language, education, activism, resilience and community. The session will look at strategies the Huntleys used to spur change: community engagement, self-publishing and organising cultural events. We’ll listen to a selection of performances by prominent Black British poets that articulate experiences of racism.
Our resources and delivery are adaptable and can fit into your schools’ timetable and scheme of work. We can deliver standalone sessions or work across multiple lessons.
Key Stages 4 and 5:
Students will be invited to use the archives as stimulus to produce their own artistic responses, through zine-making and audio production. We’ll listen to a selection of performance poems and discuss their West Indian origin.
- Develop their ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources
- Acquire and develop technical skills through experimenting with new media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies with purpose and intent
- Develop knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures
This session will look in depth at
- Diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding
The different ways in which a citizen can contribute to the improvement of their community, to include the opportunity to participate actively in community volunteering, as well as other forms of responsible activity
Students will learn about the publishing house and radical bookshop Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications and consider issues relating to the production and distribution of literature. The archive material used in the session includes performance poetry of West Indian origin.
- Be introduced to dub poetry from the 1980s and the works of three prominent Black poets
- Analyse writers’ choices of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features, and evaluate their effectiveness and impact
Understand and critically evaluate texts through, drawing on knowledge of the purpose, audience for and context of the writing, including its social, historical and cultural context and the literary tradition to which it belongs, to inform evaluation
Students will be introduced to a range of primary sources, looking particularly at audio recording as historical evidence. We’ll look in depth at the experiences of Black people in Britain in the 1980s.
- Develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of 20th century British history, and diversity of human experience
- The ability to understand and use critically and constructively a range of contemporary source material appropriate to the period (including written historical sources whose precise provenance is given) to frame their own valid historical questions and make their own valid historical claims
This session shares the archives of prominent civil rights activists in Britain Jessica and Eric Huntley, introducing students to the context in which they worked and their strategies for community engagement, activism and public education.
This session will look in depth at power relationships, and assess different views on factors affecting this, including social class, gender, sexuality, race, age, disability, religion and beliefs.
This session links to themes of migration, and explores the social history of Black people in Britain, with particular focus on the 1980s. Students will build critical skills in connecting history and present day phenomena.