In an impromptu conversation with my younger brother, I managed to gain further insight that has helped me with my project.
There’s no doubt that history hasn’t changed.
Whilst my brother confirmed to me that at the school we both attended, history classes are as dull as ever, it seems that the perspectives and flaws in history remain the same. Both the account of history and teaching of it seem to be losing out to other subjects.
I don’t want to be premature in guessing that this could be a reason why he and his age group seem uninterested in racial identity. His nativity to the racism I experienced, which reflected my parents and grandparent’s especially during 60s- 80s Britain, haven’t compelled him to consider the history of racism like I have. Nor would he consider doing so having been put well off of history from his experience in school.
He told me quite clearly that he doesn’t need to know about as it wasn’t relevant to him in the present day. Nor was he impressed with Black History as it is taught, given that one hour lessons [over the space of one month], couldn’t do the Slave Trade justice, let alone present him with the sexier and more fashionable ideas of blackness in the present day. My opinion is that Black History, at the end of the day, falls into the trap of History, and all its dullness. If it is meant to inspire young black people then it seems to be out of touch.
More findings from my brother:
- Not relevant to present day
- Can’t visualise it
- Can find out quicker online
- Always the same sources, going over the same things
- Too much text and book based
- Never enough information recorded
- Too many estimates and opinions
- Fake reconstructions with actors
- Not titillating enough like Ancient Egypt
- History shouldn’t even be considered if you can’t see it now
- Too narrow-minded
- Too Eurocentric (Russia, Germany, etc.)
- Doesn’t excite or make you feel included
Black history in particular:
- Not all modern-day blacks are from Africa
- Africa has changed
- Causes problems between black and white students
- Not taught fully
- Why is it only Atlantic Slave Trade
I have been using these findings, in combination other research to form the basis of my ideas. I have made a few conclusions from this research:
History perhaps needs more up to date visualisations. How has history been re-visualised?
History should include choice. How do you increase perspectives of history?