History Curriculum: Black History

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester 5:46 pm, 8th September 2020

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for hosting this debate on such a topical issue. It happens, by glorious coincidence, that the Gloucester History Festival, which I founded 10 years ago, has just started—it is our 10th anniversary. Because necessity is the mother of invention, this year the festival will be largely a virtual, digital event. For those who are particularly interested in black history, the advantage of that is that a number of events will be live-streamed and available on our website free of charge.

If my right hon. Friend does not object, I would highlight that on 13 September there will be a brilliant talk on African Europeans by Olivette Otele, and on 14 September a talk on 100 Great Black Britons by Patrick Vernon and Angelina Osbourne. Those are just two of the great talks that will highlight some of the great contributors to our own story, which involve people of all colours and all nations. If that is something that can flow through our little history festival into cities across the country, that can be stimulated to do something similar and realise that the diversity of today’s populations is an echo of contributions across the ages, we will all benefit and our children and grandchildren at schools likewise. It is such an important aspect of our story. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend.