Black History Month 2021 ‘Modern Greats’ – Resources

October is Black History month and during assemblies at Oasis Academy Media City, we have been focusing on the theme of ‘Modern Greats’ trailblazers making an impact by breaking the glass ceiling for future generations.


  • Guest speakers from the North west, including Kemoy Walker MBE, Cristina Taylor CEO of AIM SKY HIGH (ASH)
  • Workshops focused on Heritage, culture and identity to run throughout the academic year with the Race Trust
  • The talks from black students in HE/aspirational careers are back on this year through GM Higher. The project aims to bring together current University of Manchester Black students and Black school pupils to critically reflect and share their lived experiences as a Black student
  • With Insight, a course through Christine Kinnear’s ‘With Insight’, that will help students successfully apply to the UK’s leading Universities. Mentored by Black heritage University students they’ll visit Manchester University campus, and get a taste for what they could be working towards.

Next Steps

We will continue to proactively build a school experience and curriculum that supports all children and young people to become people of good character who are active and inclusive. In addition, we will ensure that within our curriculum we are focused on postive representation from Black and Global Majority backgrounds and auditing our current curriculum to ensure that it is not creating or sustaining a culture that stems from colonialism or systems of oppression. See Curriculum update and Anti-racist Audit


I have included some generic slides that I have used for assemblies this year. Feel free to use, modify and share.

Subject specific resources / links


Alt History: Black British History We’re Not Taught in Schools – BBC Stories – YouTube

Discovering the First Black Briton and Race in the Roman Era, with Mary Beard | Black and British – YouTube

The First Black Parliamentarians in our Times – Black History Month 2021

Black History Month website:


Booker Prize 2019: Bernardine Evaristo – YouTube

Maya Angelou – Mini Biography – Biography


Shirley Ann Jackson – 2014 National Medal of Science – YouTube

Biography: Otis Boykin – YouTube


Health and Social Care

BBC iPlayer – Our Black History Heroes – Series 1: 1. Mary Seacole


7 amazing black explorers who made a mark in history – Face2Face Africa

Alt History: Black British History We’re Not Taught in Schools – BBC Stories – YouTube

Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution – YouTube

Discovering the First Black Briton and Race in the Roman Era, with Mary Beard | Black and British – YouTube

Black Poppies: Britain’s black community and the Great War | The National Archives


9 Black composers who changed the course of classical music history – Classic FM

Who is Billie Holiday? Educational Biography for Students (Black History Videos) – YouTube

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, L’Amant Anonyme – YouTube


Ten black British artists to celebrate | Art UK

Barbara Walker’s ‘I Was There IV’ | Art UK


The first person to reach the north pole

Who Was the First Person to Reach the North Pole? | National Geographic – YouTube


Black History Month- Jesse Owens – YouTube

James Peters the 1st Black Rugby Player (


Biography: Otis Boykin – YouTube

Media Studies

Chadwick Boseman Tribute – YouTube



Decolonising the curriculum- Local Black Histories Project

Excited to work with the University of Manchester PHD History students and Graduates in partnership with Heritage Schools to support the development of Local Black History Resources for schools with the aim of promoting Black positive histories, local Black role models and stories of success. Students will research local Black history and will present the material to teachers to turn into lesson plans and resources that can be integrated into the curriculum.  The materials produced by students will then become a resource for the Heritage schools to pass on to schools across Greater Manchester. Materials will also be highlighted on the University of Manchester Hidden History resource page for teachers prompting the work of the heritage fund.

The University of Manchester PhD students have a range of specialist expertise including Migration urban regeneration, multiculturalism, Black Britons in the Industrial North, Oral histories of Black Pioneers and Trailblazers in Manchester. Working with our teachers, various resources including the scheme of learning, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations will be developed at the end of the 2021 academic year.

Black History Month: It’s time to change our approach

Catherine Millan delivering a Black History workshop at Oasis Media CityUK

The appalling events at St Winefride’s Catholic primary school , where teachers asked children to dress as slaves as part of a Black History Month celebrations is more evidence that we need a new dynamic approach teaching Black History in our schools.

I am a passionate activist for a balanced global curriculum that is inclusive for all learners. As it currently stands, the Black Global Majority student population has continued to increase annually with an increase from 27.9% to 29.1% between 2016 and 2017, yet the national curriculum still takes a colourblind approach when dealing with global topics and issues (Demie, 2005).

There is a need for curricula that addresses the specific histories and cultures of racially marginalised students as discussed by Chikkatur (2013). Without the contributions of Black and Global Majority citizens, this country would not be the Great Britain as we know it today.  It is up to us to take a stance to introduce Black History and its contributions into our curriculum on a micro, meso and macro level. It is important to make curriculum links with Black and Global Majority inventors, scientists, civilisations etc, as various studies have found that it will help students to raise their aspirations and understand the background and development of our diverse society (King, 2016; Martell, 2014; Richardson, 2007). A good time to introduce this would be during Black History Month.

This year we used the amazing Catherine Millan from the University of Manchester, who delivered a workshop for young people and teachers about Black History Month and why it exists. Catherine has lots of experience in anti-racist work, having previously created a teaching pack with the Anthony Walker Foundation.

You can contact Catherine directly at

Chikkatur, A., 2013. Teaching and learning African American history in a multiracial classroom. Theory & Research in Social Education41(4), pp.514-534.

Demie, F., 2005. Achievement of Black Caribbean pupils: good practice in Lambeth schools. British Educational Research Journal31(4), pp.481-508.

King, L.J., 2016. Teaching black history as a racial literacy project. Race Ethnicity and Education19(6), pp.1303-1318.

Martell, C.C., 2013. Race and histories: Examining culturally relevant teaching in the US history classroom. Theory & Research in Social Education41(1), pp.65-88.

Richardson, B. ed., 2007. Tell it like it is: How our schools fail Black children. Bookmarks.