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14Jun

Britain can no longer ignore its darkest chapters - we must teach black history | David Olusoga

As they take to the streets and tear down statues, younger generations who have educated themselves are exposing how whitewashed the national curriculum is

What was invisible yesterday is today suddenly clear and obvious. In the space of just two weeks, forms of structural racism that black people and their allies had, for years, struggled to draw attention to or even get acknowledged have become seemingly irrefutable. If the toppling of the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol was the most unexpected and astonishing event of recent days, perhaps second has been the sheer scale of the online discussions about racism and black history that have begun to take shape across the world. 

Books on both of those subjects have by now largely sold out online. Today printing presses across the country are whirring away, busily printing new copies of books on black topics written by black authors. This great surge in interest and engagement has, like much else in our culture, been boosted by the power of celebrity. Actors and singers have shared lists of the books they are reading as they grapple with the ideas and chapters of the past that have been brought to the surface by the global Black Lives Matter protests.

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