Following the launch of ‘We Belong’ and a busy term focussing on anti-discrimination and the importance of School values, we celebrated Black History Month during October. A variety of talks, events and discussions took place throughout the month providing many opportunities for staff and pupils to the acknowledge the important contribution of Black people to British History.
Three key events took place in School starting with an inspiring careers event - Alumni Educate - organised by pupils from our Unity Societies which took place in a packed Ben Travers Theatre on Friday 6 October. Two inspiring OCs, Kwaku Awuku-Asabre (G07) and Ben Wilberforce-Ritchie (R12) were joined on the panel by Rosie Ngure, the School’s first Scholar in Residence. The speakers offered a short talk on their respective career journeys and how they overcame discrimination along the way. This was followed by a pupil-led panel discussion.
On Wednesday 11 October, African-Caribbean Society and Junior History Society joined up with Rosie Ngure to host a talk with Professor Deirdre Osborne. Deirdre is a big champion for Black History and a Professor at Goldsmiths University, London.
On Thursday 9 November, pupils gathered to hear Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, author of Anansi's Journey. Dr Marshall is a Postcolonial Literature Reader at Leeds Beckett University. The event 'Tricker's Tale: The Power of Oral Storytelling' was particularly inspiring for sixth form pupils studying History and English Literature.
Leaders of the African-Caribbean Society and Women in STEM joined forces to speak in Chapel. Matthew and Margherita shared an inspiring message about 'Solidarity in School' and highlighted the true meaning of allyship in this important address to the whole School community.
Taking time to learn about any form of Black History or Culture, has a profound effect on your peers. It’s a sign of solidarity and can really make some people’s day. To reiterate, I’m not asking you to celebrate them because of their race. I’m asking you to celebrate them because they deserve it.
Inside our Houses discussions took place regarding anti-discrimination. In Library and History displays showcased Black writers and Black history. Rosie Ngure recommended Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann and Black England: A Forgotten Georgian History by Gretchen Gerzina.
Director of Music Mr David McKee's recommendation to the School community was to watch If I were a Racist by Nate Holder here.
Pupils tucked into African-Caribbean food in a special themed evening meal.
The real highlight (of Black History Month) was my Philosophy lesson the day after my sermon in Chapel with one of our Chaplains who had done research off-course and taught us about Liberation Theology. I think that my smile was a clear sign of my appreciation. While it might not seem like much to others, it’s something I’ll think back on fondly and I’m glad that I managed to make my last Black History Month in Charterhouse unforgettable.
Matthew (Year 13)
It gives me great pleasure to see and hear all of the contributions made by the whole School in teaching and learning about Black History. What a great privilege it is to hear the stories from the past and the present, and to see pupils shine in their support for each other.
M Jolly, Director of Wellbeing and Inclusion