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Kids should learn about British colonialism, slave trade: Corbyn

  Muslim Times(Web Desk) – UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says British children need to learn about the colonial legacy of their country and how it was built on the back of African slaves.

The main opposition leader will make the remarks during a speech in Bristol on Thursday, where he is scheduled to set out plans for an Emancipation Educational Trust (EET).

During the speech, he will ask the trust to educate future generations about slavery and the battle that broke out to end the trade, recounting the story of how slavery “interrupted a rich African and black history.”

“It is vital that future generations understand the role that black Britons have played in our country’s history and the struggle for racial equality, he will say.

October marks Black History Month in the US, UK, Canada and the Netherlands, but Corbyn will say that earning about black history “should not be confined to a single month each year.”

“Black History month is a crucial chance to celebrate the immense contribution of black Britons to this country, to reflect on our common history and ensure that such grave injustices can never happen again,” he will say.

He will also tell the story of Paul Stephenson, a community worker and civil rights campaigner who led the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott due to the company’s refusal to hire Black or Asian drivers or conductors.

Comparing him to Rosa Parks who led a similar civil rights movement again a bus company in the US, Corbyn will say people like Stephenson remind Britons that “our rights are hard-won, not given.”

“It was the bravery and determination of people like Paul, standing up against injustice, that paved the way for the first Race Relations Act and the outlawing of such discrimination in our country,” the Labour leader will add.

Corbyn is set to meet Stephenson later in the day.

The EET organizes trips to historical sites and arranges school programs that are focused on African civilization before colonization.

Tory Members of Parliament were not pleased by Corbyn’s focus on the colonialist aspect of the British history and have asked him to underline more “positive” parts such as the role it played in the two world wars.

Corbyn’s address will come on the same day that UK Education Secretary Damian Hinds is expected to urge Labour to “leave our kids alone” and warn that Labour’s educational plans amount to “dangerous control freakery.”

In his speech at the launch of the Confederation of School Trusts, Hinds will also accuse Labour of “turning the clock back” on education reform.

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