Hay: Self-Reflection on Black History

jmp Black History Month

Black History Month 2020: Decolonising the Curriculum?

Reflecting on Possibilities and Contradictions at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

Self-Reflection on Black History in CoventryDuring Black History Month 2020, the Equity, Diversity and Decolonisation group at CAWR organised an online conference/workshop/discussion with the aims:

  • To celebrate black history month within CAWR
  • To learn from decolonising and antiracism work within Coventry University
  • To start a conversation on decolonising the curriculum, teaching and learning within CAWR
  • To create an action plan for decolonising the curriculum, teaching and learning within CAWR

The Morning Panel focused on decolonising and antiracism perspectives in Coventry University – and encouraged us to think about how Decolonising the curriculum is rooted in action for transforming society that is personal and political.

Here’s Annette Hay: Self-Reflection on Black History in Coventry, A Celebration:

Annette spoke about the activism of her father Hugh Hay in Coventry. The presentation showed the rich tradition of Black activism in Coventry during the 1970’s. Hay’s activism emerged organically, and in response to the discrimination that black workers faced in factories in Coventry. As such, Hay’s antiracism activism was situated at the grass roots where he challenged police racism alongside racism in the factories and other areas of social life. Annette’s presentation showed the challenging racist context in which black communities had to go through in the 1970’s, and 1980’s, her presentation drawing attention to just how many of the challenges her father encountered continue today. Interestingly, Annette continues to carry the baton from her father, tackling present day racism in all its manifestations. Annette currently organises and coordinates the BME network at Coventry University, which involves learning events, guest speakers, and work to advance race/gender equality at the University.

What is Black History Month and why is it important? The BBC writes:

“..Why is Black History Month important?

Black history month was first launched in London in the 1980s, where the aim was for the local community to challenge racism and educate themselves and others about the British history that was not taught in schools. Black people have been in Britain for a lot longer than previously thought – One of the oldest skeletons ever found was that of the Cheddar Man who had dark skin.

Archaeologists, the people who study human history through digging up sites looking at bones and ancient objects, think that he was alive during the stone age…”.