By Damali Eastmond-Scott – History Teacher at Manchester Enterprise Academy, Wythenshawe
Hip-hop as an umbrella for multiple subgenres has always been my number one. Sharing with reggae, a multi-faceted genre that I grew up to; a sound that brings back memories of sunny days in South London, sitting in my mother’s red Ford Orion bopping my head to the popular urban radio station, Choice FM. Hip-hop allowed me to explore social issues that other commercial genres wouldn’t dabble in. However, there was always one theme that caused listeners to question hip-hop and its intentions; forcing people to validate its sentiment and subconscious messages. This stretches as far as turning listeners away from it. The contentious problem is the topic of love and relationships. Continue reading →
As anyone who works in mainstream education will tell you, children and young people are offered increasingly little in the way of original, exciting and experimental ways of learning. Pupils are so swamped with exams and teachers are so pressed to get certain results that classrooms rarely see new, subversive methods put to use. Testing has supplanted teaching in schools’ priority lists.
Almost a year after the workings of a Hip-Hop resource first began, we are pleased to announce that the Hip-Hop Study Guide is complete. We have high hopes that the study guide will be an essential tool for those studying Hip-Hop as part of their university work, but also a resource for those interested in new perspectives on race, gender, music and culture more widely. As anticipated, the study guide has multiple sections, including summaries of books in the library, links to further scholarly reading online, and examples of Hip-Hop Education lesson plans written by students at the University of Manchester. It also features a glossary of Hip-Hop terms, for those researchers puzzling over what ‘OG’ actually stands for, or the meaning of the widely used term ‘baller’.
And so the day finally arrived – on 3rd August our Director and long-standing Education Co-ordinator Jackie Ould logged off for the last time and headed into retirement.
Jackie has been involved in our organisation since its inception. She originally met our founder Lou Kushnick when she was one of his American Studies students here at the University of Manchester.
In 1998 Lou was establishing the Resource Centre – an open access library of books about race and race relations, amassed during his academic and activist career. He asked Jackie, who by this point was a Black achievement and EAL (English as additional language) teacher for Manchester City Council, if she could help. She was, in her own words ‘pretty sceptical really about how it was going to succeed’, but agreed to be involved and immediately started to think about the educational potential of the library:
I wanted to know how all of these academic books were at all relevant to that strand of my other life, if you like – and how we could make them relevant and applicable and useable in schools
She started to look at developing the collection for teaching purposes, but quickly realised the task would be bigger than that:
…we could buy books about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks and any number of other African American heroes. But it was extremely hard to find any about Black British heroes, other than the occasional one like Mary Seacole. Very hard indeed to get those. So I wanted to know how does this connect with that other part of my life which is the teaching role? And how do we use this as an opportunity to start generating those materials… First of all buy them in if they exist, but if it doesn’t exist then logically, start making them.
This was the start of our outreach programme, which has always been much more than a just an outreach programme and is based on co-creating educational materials on BAME histories and experiences with the communities those histories and experiences come from.
Book review: Streetsmart Schoolsmart: Urban Poverty and the Education of Adolescent Boys by Gilberto Q. Conchas & James Diego Vigil (Teachers College Press, Columbia University: New York and London 2012)
Review by Jo Manby
This is one of the books you find on the shelves of AIU Centre that starts out as an academic study but offers up so much more in the reading of it – a real insight into the potential for social change within the American education system and into the real life issues that affect young people there.
Although BHM has a distinctly cultural flavour, it has always been about education. Back in 1987 Akyaaba Addai-Sebo explained that October had been chosen as the UK’s BHM because in Africa it is traditionally a time of plenty, of reconciliation and of bequeathing wealth and knowledge to the next generation. This coincides nicely with the start of the British school year, when children’s ‘minds are refreshed and revitalised, so they can take in a lot of instruction’. Quite right.
Source: David from Washington, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The education of children was at the heart of the work of Carter G Woodson (1875 – 1950), the so-called ‘Father of Black History’ and founder of Negro History Week, the precursor to today’s US and UK Black History Months. Continue reading →
With the Syrian refugee crisis dominating the news at the moment, Jo Manby has been looking back at her archive for reviews of books, available in our library, that look at the refugee experience. Read the others here and here.
Book review: Educated for Change? Muslim Refugee Women in the West by Patricia Buck and Rachel Silver (Information Age Publishing, Inc.: Charlotte, North Carolina, 2012)
An unexpected outcome of war and migration has been an increase in Somali girls’ and women’s educational opportunities, when historically their literacy levels have been ‘among the lowest in the world’ (United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], 1998) (p.xv). Authored by Patricia Buck and Rachel Silver, co-founders of Matawi, a nonprofit NGO that works to increase educational opportunities for girls and women from the predominantly Somali Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, this anthropological work examines the impact of ‘new-found access to schooling ….. in the everyday lives of Somali refugee girls and women’ (p.xvi).
Source: UK Department for International Development. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
An interesting series of events is taking place at the moment in Warwick, the Warwick Open Education Series: ‘After Talk Must Come Action: Racial Resistance and Remaking’.
In this blog post the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University Library talk about their recent event ‘Why is my Curriculum White?’, which ‘examines and unravels the ideologies behind the existence of syllabuses that fail to reflect global experience and thought’.
Take a look – there’s a video of the panel session and a list of related resources in their collection.
The first event in the Warwick Open Education Series, ‘After Talk Must Come Action: Racial Resistance and Remaking’ was “Why Is My Curriculum White?”, which explored the limited syllabuses in UK institutions…
Last time we discovered Barrington Young had become the first Black railway inspector in Manchester. We also found that he’d begun a United Nations in his own home by marrying an Austrian in the 1950s. This time, we’ll see Barrington fully engaged in transmitting knowledge of his own, as well as wider Black history, to youngsters of all ethnicities.
Barrington retired in 1994. Counting his years on the railways as the best time of his life, he joined the Railway Club to continue that good experience into the future. But by 1998 we find him in a different role. It was the 50th anniversary of the arrival from the Caribbean of the good ship Empire Windrush in 1948 and Barrington was enrolling on an exciting innovative new course – Mapping Our Lives: The Windrush Project.
Thousands of students are flooding back into Manchester. Here at the Resource Centre we’ve been busy preparing for this enthusiastic new cohort of scholars. Thankfully the Roving Reader has had the time to take a more reflective view of proceedings.
Anyone who hasn’t noticed that Manchester recently exploded with students must have just come from Mars. So for any Martians out there – the academic year’s beginning, lectures are starting, and the buses are full to bursting. Take my advice. Add another half hour to your journey so you get to your destination on time…
But hang on a minute! Stand back and take a closer look. Have you ever thought how many in the fresh-faced crowd are from overseas?
Over the coming months our cataloguer and book reviewer Jo will be profiling sections of the library. First up, the Education section…
The Education section is of primary importance in some ways since the driving force behind the original founding of the Centre and the Trust was the commemoration of the life of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, the 13 year old Bangladeshi student murdered in a racially motivated attack in a Manchester school playground, 1986.
We can smile when you are free. Happy Birthday Mr Mandela – Aklisur
It won’t surprise you to hear we have a lot of material about Nelson Mandela in the library. The influence of this one man has been so far reaching it’s difficult to comprehend, and in these weeks after his death the whole world is reflecting on his impact. Of course, his influence is felt no less strongly at the local level – here in Manchester and in our schools.