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David Olusoga’s Black British history lessons for kids in The Times

Posted on: October 6, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Times is serialising a guide to Black British history by award-winning historian and presenter David Olusoga to help teach kids and parents the history that is missed from the curriculum.

The five-part exclusive series is being published each day this week to mark Black History Month.

The series comes as Olusoga’s new book, Black and British: A Short, Essential History, has been published especially for children as a follow-up to his best-selling 2016 exploration of the relationship between Britain and Africa.

Starting in Saturday’s The Times Weekend supplement, Olusoga focused on Romans, Tudors and the Age of Discovery, with subsequent extracts focusing on the rise, fall and profits of the British slave trade.

Introducing the series in The Times, David Olusoga said,

“When I was at school there was no Black history. None of the Black people from the past who we know about today were ever mentioned by my teachers, and my textbooks contained nothing about the role Black people have played in the story of Britain. So what I presumed was that there must not have been any Black people in British history.

“It was only when I became a teenager, and was able to read grown-up history books, that I learned that there had been Black people throughout much of British history.”

“Black British history is growing. We know more with each passing year,” he added.

The series will end tomorrow (Wednesday) with a look to the modern day in an extract entitled From the First World to the Windrush and Black Lives Matter.


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Throughout October, the Society of Editors will be spotlighting how news organisations are marking Black History Month and will be including the initiatives in our regular email bulletin. Please email mariella.brown@societyofeditors.org to be featured.