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Black History Month 2021: Proud To Be

Black History Month is celebrated every October as an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK.

NAHT recognises Black History Month 2021 as a positive opportunity to support schools in their ongoing work to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world, both during the month itself, but also throughout the year. The month can also provide a chance to focus on and/or improve awareness of issues affecting different communities, and an opportunity to explore experiences and histories not currently included within the core educational curriculums and/or resources.

Black History Month 2021 – BHM:21

Inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events, the 2021 campaign theme is Proud To Be. It invites Black and brown people of all ages throughout the UK to share what they are proud to be. This year the campaign has a particular emphasis on encouraging children and young people to get involved and share what they are Proud To Be. This is supported by a new resource pack for schools to help integrate Black history across the whole curriculum all year round, and to support teachers and young people to talk about and understand issues of race and equality.

Resources

There's a wide range of resources available to help schools celebrate Black history, both during the month and throughout the school year. Here is a small selection to help support you:

  • The Anna Freud Centre has created a set of resources focusing on mental health themes to help children and young people in schools explore ideas around diversity, self-belief and the impact of racism on those who experience it.

  • Black History Month UK has also developed a resource pack for schools to integrate Black history across the whole curriculum all year round and celebrate Black History Month 2021, which is available for a fee.

  • The BBC has a collection of useful resources for both primary and secondary schools that you can use to explore Black history, heritage, culture and achievements in your school.
  • Stonewall has resources available to highlight the work and contributions of Black LGBTQ+ people, including assemblies for reception, primary, secondary and SEND settings, and lesson plans for primarysecondary and SEND settings.
  • The Black Curriculum has a number of free and paid-for resources, to help teach students about Black history.
  • Penguin, in collaboration with The Runnymede Trust, has launched a new campaign called Lit in Colour to explore ways it can support schools with making the teaching and learning of English literature more inclusive. The project aims to help increase students' access to more books by writers of colour and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Join us in celebrating BHM:21

Join us in helping to celebrate BHM by sharing with us on social media what you are 'proud to be,' using #NAHTProudToBe, or sharing some of the work you're doing in your schools to mark BHM using #NAHTBHM21.

NAHT's You Are Not Alone: Leaders for Race Equality book

In keeping with the 'Proud To Be' theme, earlier this year NAHT supported members in launching the You are Not Alone: Leaders for Race Equality. Originating from NAHT's first equality network for Black, Asian and minority ethnic members, the book shares the personal experiences of 14 NAHT members from Asian, African, Caribbean and multiple backgrounds.

It includes personal and challenging stories of the discrimination faced as both leaders and individuals through school, university, interviews and promotion, often having to prove themselves at every step on the way to leadership and facing both overt and covert racism from others.

The book is intended to help raise awareness and understanding of the issues facing Black, Asian and minority ethnic teachers and leaders, and to offer support and hope to those facing racism and discrimination. Common to many stories is the impact of the school environment and how vital the support and influence of role models can be.

Further information on NAHT's EDI work can be found here

Read NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman's blog on Black History Month here.

First published 24 September 2021