Celebrating Black History Month with 100 Great Black Britons

Black History Month is a fantastic opportunity to teach younger generations about the great achievements and legacy of Black Britons to our society. To encourage learning and sharing during Black History Month, Angelina Osborne and Patrick Vernon OBE, Windrush campaigner and founder of the 100 Great Black Britons campaign published 100 Great Black Britons, a long overdue book that celebrates the legacy of key Black British individuals.

The book is published as part of the 100 Great Black Britons campaign, which invited the public to vote for the Black Briton they most admired. We received thousands of nominations. In January, a panel of experts were invited to discuss and agree a short list of names. The 2020 100 Great Black Britons list can be found at: www.100greatblackbritons.co.uk

The full list is compiled in the book with accompanying portraits that explore the contributions and achievements of these individuals.

To support learning during Black History Month we also launched a school competition as part of the campaign to encourage students to explore Black British History. The competition is open to young people of all ages, as well as a special category for teacher to submit teaching resources. Children and young people are asked to create a fun and unique project celebrating Black Britons and their legacy.

We are pleased to announce the competition is sponsored by The National Education Union (NEU) and Racing Green Pictures.

The current crisis has highlighted the centrality of Black people in Britain, to the NHS and care work, transport systems, food supplies, utilities, research, education and so much more. The NEU supports this competition to celebrate what we have always known that Britain’s history is irrefutably rooted in Black and global history and that our members do a fantastic job in teaching this.  It will be a fabulous opportunity to showcase some of their work and that of their pupils”. Kevin Courtney, NUE Joint General Secretary

Racing Green Pictures is sponsoring the 100 Great Black Britons Young People 16-25-year-old category and donate the winning prizes of laptops, school vouchers and books to the winners and runners up. The top prize will be an experiential one, an exciting opportunity for the winners to visit the ‘Seacole’ film set, the edit suite and to meet members of the cast.  Mary Seacole was a Jamaican Nurse who was voted No.1 Great Black Briton during the initial 100 Great Black Britons campaign launched in 2003.

Billy Peterson,CEO Racing Green Pictures says,

“I am thrilled that the 100 Black Britons is finally released, and that Mary Seacole is No. 1.The story of her life,  ‘Seacole’ is a true, socially impactful, humanitarian film about a strong woman of colour persevering against all odds is exactly what today’s audiences are thirsting for. Racing Green plans to invite the winners of the competition to the film set so they can learn through experience how her story will be told. Filming on location is one the best forms of education one can get in moviemaking and I’m excited at the prospect of hosting the winners of this great contest created by Patrick.”

Entries for the competition are open on www.100greatblackbritons.co.uk , entries close on the 31st of December 2020. The most creative and innovative projects will be featured on the website. 

The website will become a permanent resource for teachers to support Black History in the National Curriculum. We are encouraging educators who want to share their knowledge and resources to upload content to the campaign’s official website: www.100greatblackbritons.co.uk

“Teaching about our history, equality and diversity to promote a fully inclusive atmosphere in schools should be embedded into daily life in schools. The goal is always to celebrate festivals and events such as black history month to highlight and embrace our community and not to make up for what is often forgotten and overlooked.”Niparun Nessa, Secondary Teacher and Equalities Campaigner

100 Great Black Britons game coming out soon
As part of the 100 Great Black Britons a board game celebrating important Black British figures and their impact on British culture will soon be launched.

“100 Great Black Britons is a great way to celebrate our rich and diverse shared history. The competition is an exciting approach to help build ideas and resources to support schools. We will also launch the 100 Great Black Britons board game for schools and families to complement the book.” Melvin Bell, Director Focus Games

“It is great after 16 years we are relaunching 100 Great Black Britons nomination process and producing a publication to support the campaign celebrating a thousand years of Black British history and achievement. It is even more crucial that our history is seen as part of the national narrative, especially in the context of Brexit, as British identity is going through change and we have a legitimate right and voice in the shaping of this economic, social and political transformation which will have an impact on future generations. By learning about our shared history and the impact of Black British history and successes, I hope we will no longer be marginalised or erased out of public consciousness for the next generation.”
Patrick Vernon OBE Founder of 100 Great Black Britons

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