After a three-month research trip to New Zealand, Lavinya Stennett, who was in her final year of African and Developmental Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), felt moved by the country’s investment in teaching indigenous culture and history – including the uglier history of its colonial past. Comparing this with her own education in Britain, upon returning to London Stennett immediately resolved to set up her social enterprise, The Black Curriculum. The stated mission of which is to address the epistemic gaps in current curricula by delivering virtual and in-person programmes on Black British history.
This is a formidable challenge for a young graduate, particularly with current political attempts to stifle demands for more teaching of Black British history from an increasingly stubborn Conservative Party crying about “wokeness”. But Stennett has held firm in her resolve, and her vision has already grown into an incredible digital resource. The enterprise’s official account has reached over 176,000 followers on Instagram, and the account is constantly sharing educational infographics, as well as podcasts, and free springboard programmes for young teens.
Text Jason Okundaye