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Thread: libraries and LGBT month

  1. #21
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    I obviously misunderstood:
    Quote Originally Posted by Rook View Post
    My own experience of BHM is slightly different. It made not a jot of difference to the sense of community and worth to the youths, if anything, it exacerbated the differences between black youths of Caribbean desent, and those of (more immediate) African desent. It made them feel that their plight was much worse than it was. It also made the white children (like me in case you are wondering of my race) feel excluded from the rest of my class (who were over 90% black). We were not learning 'history', but Black History of which I was not a part. Instead of learning about the Kings of England, or Victorian Britain, or WWII, we learnt about the first black nurse/footballer/MP etc or even worse, civil rights in other countries.

    There are certain areas covered by BHM I think were very important and should be included in the curriculum - the slave trade, Empire etc - but I never saw the reason these had to be stamped with "BLACK HISTORY MONTH"? Or the reason I had to learn about Bob Marley, Viv Anderson and bus drivers/nurses?
    By your own experience you say you felt excluded during Black History Month. Did others feel excluded for the rest of the year? I suggest the reason there is a Black History Month is that even Black history that is part of UK history is not addressed in the regular history as taught in UK schools. Separating it out may be divisive (though not if it's handled sensitively), but not as divisive as ignoring it entirely and leaving substantial discrete groups uncatered for and the indigenous hosts in ignorance.

    You also highlight another failing of UK education its inability to recognise that the UK is not the centre of an empire. Britain's history is bound up with European and World history. If you felt uncomfortable learning about the rest of the world, I suggest the teaching was at fault

    Black History Month was intended to focus on who Black people are and where they have come from. Why should that affect them differently from, for example, Jewish or Irish immigrants? They were both persecuted peoples (some from peasant backgrounds) and each now have had their cultures recognised and celebrated for decades...

  2. #22
    Senior Member Rook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    By your own experience you say you felt excluded during Black History Month. Did others feel excluded for the rest of the year?
    Some did yes, and that was because they had already had "their" history month and felt that the rest didn't belong to them. Their history was Black history, the rest was for the others. A ridiculous situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    I suggest the reason there is a Black History Month is that even Black history that is part of UK history is not addressed in the regular history as taught in UK schools.
    It is not at the moment, because people like you hang on to the idea of Black History Month is a positive thing. It is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Separating it out may be divisive (though not if it's handled sensitively), but not as divisive as ignoring it entirely and leaving substantial discrete groups uncatered for and the indigenous hosts in ignorance.
    I am not advocating ignoring it entirely, I thought I was rather clear on that I want the significant areas to be covered, but I want them covered in ordinary history classes, not segregated out to a specific month and then diluted with trivial tosh

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    You also highlight another failing of UK education — its inability to recognise that the UK is not the centre of an empire.
    Absolute rubbish from a man I suspect has never personally experienced UK education. Your prejudice is showing mate

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Britain's history is bound up with European and World history. If you felt uncomfortable learning about the rest of the world, I suggest the teaching was at fault
    A gross distortion of the point I was making - shame on you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Black History Month was intended to focus on who Black people are and where they have come from.
    Then explain why the civil rights movement in the US should be taught under the guise of BHM? After all, very, very few of our Black children have roots in the US

  3. #23
    Super Moderator eatmywords's Avatar
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    lol. I can see some people have never read Edward Said's Orientalism, nor ever want to
    Faced with certain disaster, defiance is the only answer.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    lol. I can see some people have never read Edward Said's Orientalism, nor ever want to
    I don't think Rook and I are too far apart — we would both like the important points of all histories covered throughout academic year. Though I suspect I might evaluate the resulting courses less from a UK perspective and more from a European and American (not solely US) mix. Also Rook believes the current situation divisive while I think it need not be — or if it is, it is better the subject is addressed rather than ignored...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rook View Post
    Some did yes, and that was because they had already had "their" history month and felt that the rest didn't belong to them. Their history was Black history, the rest was for the others. A ridiculous situation

    It is not at the moment, because people like you hang on to the idea of Black History Month is a positive thing. It is not.

    I am not advocating ignoring it entirely, I thought I was rather clear on that I want the significant areas to be covered, but I want them covered in ordinary history classes, not segregated out to a specific month and then diluted with trivial tosh

    Absolute rubbish from a man I suspect has never personally experienced UK education. Your prejudice is showing mate

    A gross distortion of the point I was making - shame on you.

    Then explain why the civil rights movement in the US should be taught under the guise of BHM? After all, very, very few of our Black children have roots in the US
    I believe it comes down to the teaching and the ability of the material and teacher to interest the pupil. I see nothing wrong with the idea of Black History Month, but I don't believe it should ultimately take a major slice out of the school year — the best of what it teaches should be in the curriculum anyway. Who decides what's tosh needs to be addressed — remember, for many people, the US Civil Rights Movement is an important part of modern history. The month is not solely aimed at schools. In Hackney, community activities take it up.

    My experience of UK education is from 5-8 (hazy memories) and from 16 to 18, and then uni...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    You're the teacher. How much other than British-centric fairy-tale history was taught in your schools?
    Yes I am a teacher and frankly I am embarrased by the current history curriculum, as are many non-socialist history teachers. At GCSE level, history is dominated by issues designed to make the white kids feel small and guilty. All they are taught about the empire is slavery (white villains). The only thing about WWII is the holocaust (more white villains). As for modern history, well of course we have the oh-so-relevant civils rights movement in America (yet more white villains).

    Ask a teenager who Churchill was and they are more likely to say its a dog from a TV advert than our wartime hero and leader. As for the Battle of Hastings, the War of the Roses, Henry VIII and the reformation, the Civil War etc ... you might as well forget it. Why the hell shouldn't British-centred history be taught to British kids? If you say you don't want to learn about British history, then you are not really British are you? Believe it or not, a lot of stuff happened here before your parents/grandparents arrived. You want to continue with your seperate identity holding your old grudges against a country and a people you clearly dislike, but who has taken you in and given you a better life - and then you complain of racism when you don't get what you want. Am I very wide of the mark here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Bollux. Empire and Commonwealth citizens were recruited to counter the labour shortage after the war. An ignorant local population treating them as second class citizens when they arrived sowed the seeds of discontent. And when locals were confronted they resented it, and still do when uppity immigrants do well.
    Oh, so it is all the fault of white people is it? All white people are ignorant and racist then? Obviously the immigrants can't have been treated that badly here because (a) they decided to stay, and (b) they keep on coming. Could it be because life in Britain is much better than life in whatever third-world shithole was like where they came from? Perhaps the whites were not too bad after all letting you come and share in their wealth. A bit of gratitude would be nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Mostly, your Empire was taken away from you, and the rest you lost. You gave only what you had to. Now it's time to realise you're on the back foot and to accommodate and (if you're clever enough) manage the irreversible changes that are taking place within what you see as your country.
    Really, because I can recall only a few conflicts with our former colonies and most countries becoming independent with a visit from our Queen to celebrate. I guess they only joined the Commonwealth for the financial aid then? So now I only "see" this as "my" country. It has been taken away from me right, and I should learn to accept it? I guess I need to bow before my new black supremicist masters like you and accept that my culture is finished and that we are inferior to you? Well thank you mate, but you can keep your rap music, your gangs, your guns and knives, and your drugs. If you want to see true English civilisation, I suggest you take a look at the Cotswolds or the Yorkshire Dales, rather than that shithole you call Inner London. It is still alive and kicking, and we are not bowing to you or socialist traitors like Eatmy or anybody.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    The BNP has become an irrelevant joke, just as most history teaching was in English schools for most of the 20th Century. What has been needed for decades has been the proper teaching of European and World history, not some Bigglesified and sanitised fairy tale to support the notion that God is an Englishman and the world map should still rightfully have great chunks of pink with grateful natives labouring to keep the mother country in subsidised goods..
    As someone who despises racists both black and white, I wish the BNP were becoming an irrelevant joke. However, if you threaten our culture and our way of life, the English people will eventually hit back and you will see support for the BNP rise. I take no pleasure in this - I am just telling you it as a fact. You might think we are divided because there are people like Eatmy who hate the whites and who support you, but you are wrong. There was a chap called Adolf Hitler who in 1939 thought the same way that you did about the English. He was very wrong - thats why perhaps you need to learn a little bit about our history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    As you said earlier, you know nothing about Hackney...
    Why would I want to? Its obviously such a lovely place.
    Last edited by Northumbrian; 08-07-2013 at 06:32 PM.

  7. #27
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    "As someone who despises racists both black and white, I wish the BNP were becoming an irrelevant joke. However, if you threaten our culture and our way of life, the English people will eventually hit back and you will see support for the BNP rise. I take no pleasure in this - I am just telling you it as a fact."

    On the one hand he advocates and the other he denies. And this blame everything on socialism when you know nothing about ideology, even your own, is just puerile. Try reading a book Northumbrian.

    "I guess I need to bow before my new black supremicist masters..."
    "you can keep your rap music, your gangs, your guns and knives, and your drugs"

    Well, if this is all we have to thank for the blacks Northumbrian, I suppose they'd be better off picking cotton, again

    I know who Churchill was, very well. He was drunken schizophrenic who could barely stand half the time. And while he told the Londoners to keep their chins up, he was cowering in his country manor like a scared little girl. Don't ask me, as one of your right-wing historians And The Battle of Hastings actually took place about 20 miles away in a place called Battle See how reliable history actually is on impressionable minds

    And by the way the Northumbrian, I thought you were black. Not nice to denigrate your culture like this
    Last edited by eatmywords; 08-07-2013 at 07:15 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rook View Post
    I did not imply that. I implied that for one 'month' I felt deliberately excluded from the class because the history I was learning explicitly focused on a group I did not belong to...
    I must ask, why did you feel deliberately excluded because you were being taught another culture's history? Can you not see that this is how that culture has felt about being indoctrinated with a history they feel no part of, and were deliberately excluded from the making of. But I do agree, creating a divisive method to teach cultural history can only be divisive itself.

    History is about perspective, and motive. The Empire's bourgeoisie would naturally write history from the perspective of the white race that dominated the world. But history is also a process of evolution, if not engineering, that based on present day ideologies and presentence on how that history will react on future societies. The history of the Empire was designed to eulogise about the monarchy and the gloriousness of the British Empire, with how the two were bringing/imposing white moral civil society to the savages. Even though all of those civilisations preceded the white Anglo-Saxon race, there was a need to build Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land, and then beyond.

    The past perspective reveals that just because a subjugated people were denied access to the social, economic and political conditions of a society, then they had no bearing on that society. Karl Marx proved this wrong, otherwise the poor and the working classes would exist in British History as much as the poor exists in Roman and Greek History. I take it you would consider choice, such as at A-Level or University would be the best option for any culture to study differing histories. But nonetheless this is still divisive as it permits social and political agendas to motivate the student (the American Universities role in agitating the new black intake is an interesting aspect in Peter Novick's: That Noble Dream), and equally much of history is still skewed from the white European perspective. As I mentioned Edward Said considers this in Orientalism, in that you cannot write an unbiased history if you do not consider the culture you are writing about, and if all you are writing about is the slave trade, the Empire's part in it, and how the white race dealt with it, you are still writing biased history. Did the Emancipation of the Slaves begin and end with the American Civil War? In effect there is a whole new industry of History waiting to be rewritten if we would only accept that our perspective was not the only perspective, that we weren't the only motivators for historical change.

    Orientalism is not a mere political subject matter or field that is reflected passively by culture, scholarship, or institutions; not is it a large and diffuse collection of texts about the Orient; nor is it representative and expressive of some nefarious "Western" imperialist plot to hold down the "Oriental" world. It is rather a distribution of geopolitical awareness into aesthetic scholarly, economic, sociological, historical and philological texts, it is an elaboration not only of a basic geographical distinction (the world is made up of two unequal halves, Orient and Occident) but also of a whole series of "interests" which, by such means as scholarly, discovery, philological reconstruction, psychological analysis, landscape and sociological description, it not only creates but also maintains; it is, rather than expresses, a certain will or intention to understand, in some cases to control, manipulate, even to incorporate, what is a manifestly different (or alternative and novel) world; it is, above all, a discourse that is by no means in direct, corresponding relationship with political power in the raw but rather is produced and exists in an uneven exchange with various kinds of power, shaped to a degree by the exchange with power political (as with reigning sciences like comparative linguistics or anatomy, or any of the modern policy sciences), power cultural (as with orthodoxies and canons of taste, texts, values), power moral (as with ideas about what "we" do and what "they" cannot do or understand as "we" do).
    In many regards this might seem like a relativism of the historical system, but if we can find a consensus on what is relative in the interest of a new society, this could break down barriers instead of constantly building them, or maintaining old ones. Does this mean Britain loses Queen Victoria from the opus of Empire? Of course not, it just makes her a little less important to the corpus of World History.
    Last edited by eatmywords; 08-08-2013 at 08:01 AM.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Rook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    I believe it comes down to the teaching and the ability of the material and teacher to interest the pupil. I see nothing wrong with the idea of Black History Month, but I don't believe it should ultimately take a major slice out of the school year the best of what it teaches should be in the curriculum anyway. Who decides what's tosh needs to be addressed remember, for many people, the US Civil Rights Movement is an important part of modern history. The month is not solely aimed at schools. In Hackney, community activities take it up.

    My experience of UK education is from 5-8 (hazy memories) and from 16 to 18, and then uni...
    My concern about focussing too heavily on US civil rights is that black children are told - via the label of Black History - that it is a part their history, that it is something terrible that happened to their parents/grandparents when in reality, it affected very few of them. If you are going to use the line that BHM is about teaching "Black people are and where they have come from" then by all means tell the story of Windrush et al, and explain the conditions their parents/grandparents experienced, but lets not confuse them by saying we are going to teach you about your history and then go on to tell them about Americans!

  10. #30
    Senior Member Rook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    I must ask, why did you feel deliberately excluded because you were being taught another culture's history? Can you not see that this is how that culture has felt about being indoctrinated with a history they feel no part of, and were deliberately excluded from the making of.
    It is typical of you that you seem to not understand why I (a white person) felt excluded, but you can understand why non-white people (supposedly) felt excluded

    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    But I do agree, creating a divisive method to teach cultural history can only be divisive itself.
    So you oppose BHM as well, and would prefer to see it's more significant areas included in the regular classes. Good.

    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    History is about perspective, and motive. The Empire's bourgeoisie would naturally write history from blah blah blah
    I do not oppose the teaching of world history, or of black history. I oppose the segregation of history based on race. If an event is significant enough (like the slave trade) then it should be included in normal history class. If it is not (Bob Marley, Viv Anderson) then it should not.

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