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Black History Month: Dr Edson Burton
October 18, 2017 @ 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
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Created as a counter to the negative portrayal of African Americans in White US society. Black History Month has spread across the Atlantic and continues to provide a focal point for the celebration of Black British culture and history. In keeping with its original purpose Black History has been co-opted by primary and secondary schools in Britain to provide visibility in what is otherwise a ‘white curriculum.’ In addition, Black History month is part of a wider agenda to counter the underachievement of BME youth by providing positive role models. Unlike primary and secondary school education the role of Black History Month in Higher Education has been less clear.
Despite the barriers that exist within our society BME students are applying to University in record numbers. Their experiences at University have, however. replicated the inequalities in our wider society. Evidence suggests there is a powerful correlation between the low expectations by staff and the aspirations of BME students which has not been countered by diversity schemes and strategies. In this context, a celebration of the skills, the achievements the resilience that Black students possess are a powerful means of changing their self-perception and that of their peers.
Drawing upon personal reflection, historic case studies writer, programmer, and historian Dr. Edson Burton examines the crucial role of Black History Month in combating inequality in the University.
This session is highly recommended for all student-facing UWE staff.
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