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How HWHS are supporting BAME History Month

Posted on Friday 20th November 2020


Written by Mahrukh Shah

This article will explain what BAME History Month is and will explore what students have been doing in English classes at Hazel Wood High School to support this movement.

What is BAME History Month?

BAME History Month is a celebration concerning cultures that differ within a white community and the word BAME itself is defined as Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic. This is always celebrated during the whole month of October with poetry, literature, donating money and making enchanting, dashing work by all sorts of diverse BAME activities.

English classes

In English classes at Hazel Wood High School, students have been (and will be) exposed to BAME literature and themes. In Mr England’s class students read the poem ‘I am nobody’s nigger’ by Dean Atta. Dean Atta has been listed in The Independent newspaper as one of the most influential LGBT+ people in the United Kingdom as his poem written in 2012 titled, 'I'm Nobody's Nigger' was a response to the racial slur by Stephen Lawrence's murderers, and had achieved much media coverage.

In 2019, Atta released a verse novel called 'The Black Flamingo' about a boy who does not know his identity and is bravely trying to find it, which most of his poetry are about, identity and social justice. Dean Atta was one of the winners of the Stonewall Book Award 2020 in the Children's and Young Adults category. His writings shine in perfection no matter what you read of his like the blazing sun, is how his poetry could be explained.

Students at Hazel Wood High School were inspired to read Atta’s latest text, 'The Black Flamingo'. In response to students’ enthusiasm of this text, Hazel Wood High School paid for the English department to have 32 copies of this text so that students could borrow and enjoy this story. Students have been inspired by this text and many even read it in one evening!

Furthermore, during the first lesson of the school day, pupils have been given a word of the day linking to BAME History Month. Students had to explain how this word linked with BAME History. This is to show the importance of BAME people and how the tiny details should be noticed and celebrated.

Next step

The English Department at Hazel Wood High School does not want to stop there. We believe that BAME history and literature should be celebrated all year round. We have created a BAME literature board in Mr England’s classroom, so that students can be inspired by influential BAME writers and be tempted to read some of their work and Mrs Adams’ and Mrs Lockheart’s English classes has produced some amazing poetry celebrating BAME History Month. The English department will also be taking the time to review the curriculum so that we can include more BAME writers in our future lessons.

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