Black History Month
This year we were learning Black Firsts in Politics and Religion!
Year 5+6 – Bernie Grant (First European black MP)
BERNARD ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY GRANT
Bernard Alexander Montgomery Grant, better known as Bernie Grant, was one of the first black MPs in London. He was famous for fighting against racism and standing up for the rights of women and disabled people.
Between 1981 and 1984, Bernie Grant founded the Black Trades Unionists Solidarity Movement, and worked for it full time. Also in 1983, he become a founder member of the Labour party Black Section Movement. In 1985 he was an Equal Opportunities Officer at the London Borough of Newham. Also in this year he became the leader of Haringey Council which made him the first ever black person to hold such a position in Europe.
Next in 1987, he was elected to the parliament with 3 other black MPs (Paul Boateng, Diane Abbott and Keith Vaz). Surprisingly, Bernie Grant attended the state opening wearing an African traditional dress.
In 1990, he greeted Nelson Mandela on the day of his release from prison in South Africa. Then in 1991, Bernie Grant founded the Africa University Project and campaigned against oppressive immigration rules.
Bernie was re-elected in the general elections, doubling his majority in 1992. In 1995, he spoke at the first UK African Remembrance Day in Dover. Once again, in 1997, he was re-elected to Parliament with an increased majority.
Then in 1998, he opened a Computer Centre, which was named after him, in Welkom, Free State, South Africa.
Sadly, 2 years later, in 2000, Bernie died from a heart attack, at Middlesex Hospital, in London. His funeral was held at Alexandra Palace, which he had helped to re-build during his early career.
Bernie Grant was a highly respected MP, so in his honour, Haringey Council opened the ‘Bernie Grant Arts Centre’ in his name, seven years after his death.
By Shahidath – Year 6
Year 3+4 – Desmond Tutu (First black man to hold the position of Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the Archbishop of Cape Town)
Year 1, 2, N & R – Michelle Obama (First black First Lady of the White House)
Nursery children got empowered by Michelle Obama’s perseverance and motivation. What can they achieve if they persist in their effort?
Reception children watched Michelle’s Obama’s Sesame street program on healthy breakfast. They have learnt from the former first lady of the USA how important breakfast is. When the visitors came for the BHM exhibition, the children tested their knowledge of healthy food: The visitors had to sort “Healthy” and “Unhealthy” breakfast food.
During Black History Month, Year 2 studied the exciting and inspirational life of Michelle Obama. Children researched different aspects of her life as the First Black American First Lady of the United States of America. Children were excited to discover that she took a very active role in the life of young American children with her initiative Let’s Move. So inspired by Michelle Obama, Year 2 planned and carried out their own Let’s Move Victory activities to help Reception and Year 1 children to be more active.