Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 19 December 2021

Brighton & Hove Black History Launches Three African Kings Online Teaching Resources To Help Combat Racism In Schools

A Brighton community group has launched new educational resources for primary and secondary schools, thanks to support from Sussex University, focusing on the story of the Three Kings of Botswana and their visit to Brighton and Sussex in 1895. 

Educators, schools and teachers from across the UK are now invited to use the free downloadable schools resources on the Brighton & Hove Black History website, which include resources for teaching Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 and two short films aimed at secondary school children.

The aim of the project is to combat racism in schools by providing much needed, high quality resources for teaching Black History and histories of the Empire with a thrilling local angle for schools in Brighton and Hove and Sussex. 

These resources will help schools teach citizenship, history and other parts of the curriculum, as well give local students a rooted connection to Brighton's history of multicultural diversity during Black History Month.

A largely untold story from Brighton's diverse past, the Three Kings of Bechuanaland (now called Botswana) came to the UK to urge the British Government to stop Cape Colony Prime Minister Cecil Rhodes and his company The British South Africa Company from taking ownership of their country. 

Rhodes was a well known racist and brutal employer. He wanted to build a railway across Bechuanaland linking the Cape to Cairo and to giving all the land 20 miles either side of the railway line to white farmers.

The kings took control of the situation and commissioned a local Brighton man, Charles Willoughby, to organise a tour of Britain for them.

They visited Brighton and Sussex as part of their visit to the UK, including visits to Elm Grove Primary School, Brighton Dome, Brighton Museum and Union Church on Ship Street.

Local Brighton educators Anoushka Visvalingham, Dulani Kulasinghe and Neil Panton were involved in testing out the resources and two young people Archie Rowles and Ibby Maryoud even made their own film response to the project.

The resources and film were launched at Brighton Dome as part of Black History's annual Family Day on Sunday 21 November 2021, with a talk by Suchi Chatterjee, Lead Historian, and Dr Bert Williams MBE, Historian from Black History.

Chatterjee says: 

"Getting the chance to work on resources that will give young people a new perspective on Brighton's diverse history has been fantastic, mind blowing even. 

"Who would have thought that a little community group"s contribution to a university project in 2018 could potentially have an impact on the school curriculum, nationwide. 

"And all because three African Kings came to Brighton in 1895 with the aim of changing the fate of their own country. 

"It's truly amazing what you can uncover when given a fragment of information. It's exciting to know your city played a part in King Khama's fight against Rhodes" apartheid."

by: Mike Cobley


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