London Launches Black History Season: A New Initiative Put Forward by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, Helps to Cement African and Caribbean History into London's Heritage

New African, October 2006 | Go to article overview

London Launches Black History Season: A New Initiative Put Forward by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, Helps to Cement African and Caribbean History into London's Heritage


The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has always led the way in acknowledging the role that Africa and its people (or in modern parlance, "people of African descent") have contributed to the development of London. Thus, following another successful Black History Month in 2005, the mayor led the Greater London Assembly (GLA) to introduce a "Black History Season" that does not last just a month, but will be marked, in 2006/07, by a series of history courses, walking and river tours, round-table discussions, poetry readings, the unveiling of a Bob Marley plaque, a two-day fashion show, and more.

The flagship programme of Black History Season is the first ever Black History Scholar--a programme in search of young scholars. Launched in October 2005 after a successful pilot, the competition has been expanded to include an "Access to Medical Challenge". Black History Scholar is aimed at people between the ages of 11 and 15. It is to encourage young people to learn about African and Caribbean history by entering the competition.

In fact, the underlying aims of Black History Scholar are multi-faceted. As well as encouraging young people to adopt a proactive and confident approach to the study of African and Caribbean history, it should provide schools, youth groups and community organisations with an environment within which to facilitate the teaching of African and Caribbean history and highlight its importance and relevance to the world today.

It will also help to introduce and develop new educational resources, strategies and tools that will support the learning process and foster high academic expectation and achievement. It is hoped that this will promote academic study and research into African and Caribbean history as a meaningful and challenging way of widening participation and providing culturally relevant and enriched content in the British national curriculum.

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The creation of Black History Scholar builds on the mayor's commitment to promoting London's diverse history and heritage and the need for more inclusive education to raise the academic attainment levels of African-Caribbean pupils in London's schools. …

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