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



Cultural recognition in Schools: Diversity Champions

Diversity Champions. The University of Manchester BAME Widening Participation Programme

A diverse group of Year 9 students from Black and Global Majority (BGM) backgrounds designed and presented assemblies focused on community cohesion this week. There aim was to celebrate global cultures within the school population. I was inspired to see the students so passionate and proud to celebrate their backgrounds and challenge any misconceptions. 

“We have noticed that a lot of people don’t have much of an understanding of international culture. The Cohesion Project is about tackling issues surrounding discrimination as well as realising that no matter the race, religion, sexuality or culture of someone, we are all one united community and it is important we recognise and appreciate each other’s differences.” Ana, Age 13

Community cohesion assembly slide: Congo

Community cohesion assembly slide: Angola

The BGM student population has continued to increase annually, from 27.9% to 29.1% between 2016 -2017. Despite this, some schools still maintain a colour-blind stance that overlooks the acknowledgement of cultures from Global backgrounds.  Consequently, this unconsciously fuels issues that relate directly to social segregation and community cohesion. 

‘Tensions can grow where ethnic groups have segregated themselves from each other – whether by choice or circumstance – in housing, work, leisure and education’ UK Gov (DfES, 2003).’

Following the assemblies, the students will form the new Diversity Champions team. This will work in collaboration with The University Of Manchester’s BAME widening participation programme will be launching the project .

This project has been designed in response to the attack that took place in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. Reports of hate crimes and incidents in Greater Manchester rose by 500% in the month following the attack, police figures showed. They included a bomb threat, racist taunts, and graffiti. After this initial spike, and a high of 1,061 reported incidents, the figures have since dropped but remain slightly above 2016 levels.

This project has been designed to equip pupils with the right skills and knowledge to reduce all kinds of prejudice faced by a number of groups in society. It will enable the pupils to learn about a number of issues and topic’s giving them an open space to discuss and learn how to challenge and tackle discrimination. The champions will receive training from a number of partner organisations to improve their knowledge and understanding around mental health, equality and diversity, LGBT rights, conflict resolution and bystander roles and responsibilities.

Thanks again to Catherine Millan and Stephanie Lonsdale  for bringing this project to life.