Corbyn sets out plans to educate children on the legacy of colonialism and slavery

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Children should be taught more about the legacy of the British Empire, colonialism and the slave trade, Jeremy Corbyn will say.

The Labour leader is calling for schools to give pupils a greater awareness of the role played by black Britons in shaping the country’s history.

Mr Corbyn will set out plans for an Emancipation Educational Trust aimed at educating future generations about slavery and the struggle to end the trade.

The Labour leader will set out his proposals in Bristol, a city which grew rich off the back of the slave trade and the scene of more recent battles for racial equality.

Mr Corbyn will meet Paul Stephenson, a civil rights activist who played a central role in the Bristol bus boycott in 1963 aimed at overturning a ban on ethnic minorities working on the city’s buses.

Paul Stephenson played a key role in ending discrimination on Bristol's buses and later joined the Commission for Racial Equality (PA Archive/PA)
Paul Stephenson played a key role in ending discrimination on Bristol’s buses and later joined the Commission for Racial Equality (PA Archive/PA)

October is Black History Month, but Mr Corbyn is expected to say: “Black history is British history, and it should not be confined to a single month each year.

“It is vital that future generations understand the role that black Britons have played in our country’s history and the struggle for racial equality.”

Under Mr Corbyn’s plans, the Emancipation Educational Trust would tell the story of how slavery “interrupted a rich African and black history”, Labour said.

The trust would organise trips to historical sites, deliver school programmes and focus on African civilisation before colonisation.

Mr Corbyn will say: “In the light of the Windrush scandal, Black History Month has taken on a renewed significance and it is more important now than ever that we learn and understand as a society the role and legacy of the British Empire, colonisation and slavery.

“Black History month is a crucial chance to celebrate the immense contribution of black Britons to this country, to reflect on our common history and ensure that such grave injustices can never happen again.

“That’s why the story of Paul Stephenson and the Bristol Bus Boycott is such an inspirational reminder that our rights are hard-won, not given – and of the fantastic example set by so many black Britons.

“Paul is a true British hero and his story should be as widely known as Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“It was the bravery and determination of people like Paul, standing up against injustice, that paved the way for the first Race Relations Act and the outlawing of such discrimination in our country.”

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