Following recent government figures which revealed that white disadvantaged boys are the least likely to access higher education, a new analysis has found that fewer than 3% of students enrolled at Oxford and Cambridge are poor and white. A report from the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon) has shown that more than half of universities in England admit less than 5 per cent of white students from deprived areas. Neon have found that: “Young people in the poorest areas of the country are up to 16 times less likely to go onto higher education than young people in the wealthiest areas.” Read the full article here.
in this TES article. “With no BME leaders, how do we address the unconscious bias that we are instilling in all our students, of any ethnicity: that leaders are white, and for that matter, most often male and middle-class?” writes Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, which runs 52 academies in England. “We are in a cycle of low aspirations; a cycle that will never eradicate racism and unconscious bias; a cycle that will never break the ceiling on career opportunities for BME teachers.”
Referring to the Swann Report of 1985, he asks: “Why, when everyone has recognised a critical issue for decades, can we not find a solution?” At a day conference for those involved in education on March 9 Chalke is launching a movement called ‘Break the Cycle’ to urgently address this issue. Read the full TES article here.
At their recent meeting in January the trustees of MJR decided to defer the Zong voyage for 12 months until the summer of 2020. As part of our larger Zong project, the plan is to sail a C18th square rigger fitted out as a replica slave ship around Britain. Our aim remains to provide the ship as a free resource to support local groups in developing associated activities and long term follow-up projects to build awareness and educate about the legacy of slavery.
The budget for the voyage is £175k and whilst we have raised nearly half of these funds, unfortunately we have not yet secured the full level of funding needed to allow us to confidently proceed with the project this June and July as originally hoped. We are still waiting on a number of funding options and whilst we remain confident full funding will be secured, we are also very conscious that we cannot commit to expenditure of funds we do not have. Therefore, after much prayerful consideration, the trustees have decided to postpone the voyage for one year until the summer of 2020.
Deferring the project will not only allow time to secure the necessary funding, but will also enable a greater level of planning, and concur with the feedback from some ports who felt that 2019 was ‘too soon’.
Meanwhile, our local networking, publicity and funding efforts continue and we would ask for all who read this update to consider how they could help with one or more of these. And, for those who do, please pray for the Zong project.
'Slavery Routes' is a new 4-part documentary which examines the history of enslavement back to the 7th century. It is described as the 1200 year story of "a world whose territories and own frontiers were built by the slave trade", a trade which saw over 20 million Africans deported, sold and enslaved.
The producer's statement says: "When shootings specifically target the black American community, like in Charleston; when the police shoot down an unarmed black man in Ferguson; when nearly 2/3rd of the poor in Brazil are blacks; when the “statues of shame” still adorn numerous French cities… It is time to question the roots of evil and to understand why racism and anti-black discrimination remain so persistent. In June 2015, Barack Obama stated that “The legacy of slavery […] casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. […] It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. […] societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.”
Slavery Routes' will be shown in different countries on various TV networks. As we hear of upcoming showings we will advertise them on this website. If you hear of a showing, please let MJR know and we will publicise it.
Find out more and watch the trailer here.
This article on Jerry Seinfeld calling out some fellow comedians on their use of the N-word makes the important point that "it’s important to realise that non-black people like Seinfeld have a much easier experience when it comes to calling out racism." For starters, non-black people "are less exhausted" because it is black people who "currently bear the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to educating people about racial insensitivity." Non-black people don’t have to address these issues daily or need to "worry about being cast as an 'angry black person' (an insidious stereotype designed to silence righteous indignation)." Non-black people confronting racist behaviour amongst their own means "engaging with issues that don’t affect us, and supporting the arguments of people who experience oppression." It should not be the rare praise-worthy exception as here, but "the very least we can do". Read the full article.
This is the title of a recent article in the Independent, following up the Raheem Sterling racial abuse incident. In it Chief Sports Writer Jonathan Liew writes about the casual racism in football, saying every journalist has a "stack" of stories, such as the Premier League manager who once confided his opinion that black players “belong in the trees”.
Liew goes through the joke and banter defences and other difficulties within football culture of exposing these attitudes and identifies a fundamental problem with discussing racism: "a startling number of people don’t really know what it is. Never suffered it, never been affected by it, never really examined it in any great detail. And thus labouring under the first misconception of racism: that it is, essentially, all about incidents." And nothing else. What Sterling has done in his recent social media posts is take "two forms of discrimination – the violent public act and the insidious, unacknowledged bias – and bind them irrevocably together." If football is a power for good, it has a responsibility to face up to the deeper issue. It won't be easy but a "continuous process, a slow and a tough process of education and awareness and sensitivity." Read the full article here.
The alleged racist abuse of footballer Raheem Sterling during a recent match has been in the news this week. Four fans have been suspended pending an investigation. Sterling's comment was: "Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better.” To further illustrate his low expectations, Sterling posted two pictures showing Daily Mail Online stories about fellow Manchester City players Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden buying new houses. The story about Foden, who is white, has the headline: “Manchester City starlet Phil Foden buys new £2m home for his mum.” The story about Adarabioyo, who is black, has the headline: “Young Manchester City footballer, 20, on £25,000 a week splashes out on mansion on market for £2.25million despite having never started a Premier League match”. Read more here.
In a blatant example of selected reading of the Bible, a new exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., features an abridged version entitled ''Parts of the Holy Bible, Selected for the Use of the Negro Slaves'. It shows how Christian missionaries converted enslaved Africans to Christianity by teaching them the Gospel... except the parts about freedom, equality and resistance. Obviously they knew those parts were there!
The censored version removes 90% of the Old Testament and half of the New Testament. It has been described as: "the enslavers extended remix of the King James version of the Bible, leaving out all that unnecessary junk that might lead slaves to turn on their masters."
Read more here.
In this article Elliot Ross says Scotland should take responsibility for the major and highly lucrative role it played in the transatlantic slave trade. He refers to a recent BBC documentary, Slavery: Scotland's Hidden Shame, which followed the publication of a major book. It gave a thorough and critical expose of an aspect of Scottish history that has often been ignored or else reduced to little more than a footnote beneath grander and more comfortable narratives about Scotland's distinctive scientific and intellectual contributions to modernity. Recent emphasis on Scottish participation in the abolition of slavery and the slave trade has come at the expense of a proper understanding of the ways in which Scottish institutions and elites were enriched by chattel slavery. This "structural amnesia compounds the original injury and extends the contempt for black life that made the transatlantic slavery economy possible to begin with." Read the full article here.
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