New teaching materials on Black history

New teaching materials on Black history


Written by: liam

Innovative lesson plans based on key documents from within the IRR’s Black History Collection can now be downloaded from its website.

Teachers of Citizenship and History and anyone interested in Black history in the UK are invited to use the resources that have just been created around items selected from the Institute of Race Relations’ recently catalogued Black history ‘archive’ with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Download them for free at

Documents from the 1960s and 1970s include a poster for the Black Power-inspired Harambee project, a newspaper account of the creation of Southall Youth Movement, a leaflet to free ‘The Virk Brothers’ who defended themselves against a racist attack, a programme of action from CARD (the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination), a notice for a public meeting of the Campaign Against Racism in the Media, cover stories from The West Indian Gazette, as well as interviews from activists of the time.

Lesson plans are based around a number of themes which still have resonance today – youth and protest, community and identity, the media and racism, community safety, racial discrimination. As project manager Jenny Bourne explained, ‘Black history, as we see it, is not about the achievement of individuals, but about the movements that were thrown up over time. Our collection was gathered to reflect struggles waged against racism, struggles for justice. The documents we’ve selected have a universal application. Young people with whom they have been piloted were really keen to learn about this vibrant history and could see how to apply the themes raised to their current preoccupations. Our starting point was Black history but the finishing point is neither exclusively Black nor exclusively historical.’

In particular, the five modules, which have been validated by practising teachers and educationalists, are appropriate to use on Key Stages 3 and 4 of the Citizenship Curriculum.

The IRR hopes that the materials will interest teachers and others to use its Black History Collection, which has an online catalogue at, and use its other educational resources on the history of racism and Black British history which can be ordered at

Related links

Downloadable teaching resources: Struggles for Justice

Black History Collection

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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