The recent events in the USA have brought tears of sorrow, anger and frustration. This has also been mirrored in the UK regarding Grenfell, the Windrush scandal and the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on minority ethnic communities. It has led to many questions about what can be done, especially in schools and classrooms, to help students make sense of it all.

History teaching in England is not as equipped as you might think to discuss issues of ‘race’ and racism. I’ll go into more detail about this in a talk that I will give to new trainee teachers (and will share on the blog), but I wanted to help teachers get to grips with substantive, first-order concepts that are neglected, despite our apparent fascination with US Civil Rights and the Nazis as part of our GCSE/A-Level courses. Most of the material exists outside the discourse and publications that are used by history teachers in England.

Below are some resources that will help teachers think through some of the issues. As usual, the list is not exhaustive, but should provide enough coverage to ask better questions about the enquiry you teach, your approach and how these notions affect curriculum choices.

The Runnymede Trust has a number of resources that are helpful. In particular, there are two reports. The first is The Runnymede School Report: Race, Education and Inequality in Contemporary Britain. The second report that you would find useful is Making British Histories: Diversity and the National Curriculum. Finally, there is History Lessons: Teaching Diversity In and Through the History National Curriculum.

In terms of books, there are so many that I could reference but I have tried to limit to a few texts that provide a basic overview that cover periods we normally teach in schools as well as ideas that are covered in History/Politics/Sociology at A-Level.

In terms of films, I highly recommend the BBC’s Racism: A History. This three-part series is underrated but is brilliant. The producer, David Okuefuna, also made Hitler’s Forgotten Victims about Afro-Germans in Nazi Germany. There are episodes on Youtube and I’ve asked David if he has any details about a possible future release.

Again, the above is not meant to be a solution, but a way to improve what you are doing in your department/school/classroom.

This blog was originally published on Nick Dennis’ own blog, and has been republished with permission.