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    A maquette of a statue commemorating the enslaved Africans whose lives were lost during the slave trade is pictured as it is unveiled by London Mayor Boris Johnson in central London, on August 18, 2008. The statue is to be erected in Hyde Park

    UK Tells Its Own History From Perspective of Being on Right Side - Researcher

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    Britain’s Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn has stated that schools should teach children about colonialism, slavery and the legacy of the British Empire, and give greater weight to the “immense contribution” black Britons have made.

    Sputnik spoke to Ibtisam Ahmed, Doctoral Research Student at the University of Nottingham for more insight on the issue.

    Sputnik: The Labour leader also wants schools to give their pupils an increased awareness of the role black Britons have played in the country's history. Is this a welcomed move?

    Ibtisam Ahmed: I think it’s an absolutely fantastic move. Marginalized groups, particularly people of color, in Britain have seen an increase in hate crimes since the Brexit vote and have seen a lack of understanding in what we actually bring to the culture and the history of Britain.

    Sputnik: The slave trade, Colonialism and imperialism were essential products in building the British Empire. Why is such a vital part of history not being discussed in British schools?

    Ibtisam Ahmed: I think it’s really important to remember who gets to write histories and much of the perspective of British histories being on the winning side major conflicts such as World War 1 and World War 2 but also being recognized as the wider push for liberal democracies that you’ve seen since the end of the cold war.

    Britain gets to tell its own history from the perspective of being on the right side of these ideological and physical battles. Because of this they get to choose which bits are most savory, whilst colonialism and slavery in particular, although they are an intrinsic part of British history in how things came to be they are certainly not things to be proud of.

    I think the recognition of that actually erasing it, tell you more than how people views these incidents are parts of British history.

    Sputnik: Taking into account Windrush and Theresa May's hostile environment policies — could we see and overhaul of votes in the future to topple Theresa May's conservative party and shape British society forward?

    Ibtisam Ahmed: I think it’s vital to remember that a lot of the people we are referring to as voters and all the individuals being affected by the Windrush scandal are British.

    With any population, the people of colour population is not monolithic, so it would be fair for me to simply suggest that something like has been done by Labour, and I think it’s an excellent initiative, that votes are going to shift.

    What I do think will happen is that all parties moving forward, and certainly the conservatives with their history in very shameful policies, should be under the microscope a lot more.

    I do hope Labour doesn’t get complacent with this and Labour moves forward in a positive way and actually engage with the groups they’re going to protect.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Ibtisam Ahmed and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    schools, recognition, slavery, colonialism, history, Ibtisam Ahmed, United Kingdom
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