Campaign to bring British black history to schools

A campaign is under way to get a book about the best of black Britain into every school.

Dr. Yvonne Davis has started a campaign to put a book about British Black History into every school
Dr. Yvonne Davis has started a campaign to put a book about British Black History into every school

‘100 Great Black Britons’ is the work of social commentator and campaigner Patrick Vernon and Dr Angelina Osborne and chronicles the achievements of key black Britons throughout history.

The book was created in 2004 as part of a campaign by Mr Vernon and Mrs Osborne to raise awareness.

They invited the public to vote for the Black Briton they most admired, with names such as Lenny Henry, Andrea Levy, Dr Elaine Arnold and Sonia Boyce appearing on the list.

The campaign and the book were a success and, in 2019, following Brexit and the Windrush scandal, the campaign and book were relaunched, with an updated book relaunched on October 21.

Colleague and former teacher Dr Yvonne Davis is now leading the campaign to send a copy of the book to every school in the country.

Target

The 64-year-old said: “I wish I had this book during the 1970s when I started teaching and before when I was in school.

“I decided I would lead a campaign to send a book and a poster by a marvellous illustrator to every secondary school in the UK. It is a challenging target but no more challenging than what the individuals in the book have experienced.”

Dr Davis, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, but was born and raised in Wolverhampton, said the book was balanced, engaging and something that needs to be in all places of learning.

She said: “I am inspired and motivated for all children to have access to a copy with the poster.

“There is no more crucial time than now for all our children and teachers to celebrate outstanding achievements and to have these conversations.”

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