On Saturday 25 April, a conference was held to discuss why there are so few history students and teachers of African and Caribbean heritage. A short video was made of the conference highlighting the key issues, which you can view here.
Some disturbing facts:
- Last year only three Black students were admitted to train as History teacher
- Official statistics indicate that History is the third most unpopular subject among Black undergraduates
- During 2012/13 there were 1340 Black undergraduates studying History, 1.8% of the total
- At present it is estimated that there are less than 10 Black PhD students studying History in the country
- Why are so few Black students studying History?
- Why are there so few Black teachers of History in our schools?
- Why are there so few Black academic historians?
- Why do some young black people view History as just a ‘white middle-class pursuit’, when history is so popular at community level?
The History Matters Conference explored these questions aiming to understand why such low numbers of Black students are engaging with History as a subject. Teachers, school and university students, as well as professional historians convened to discuss their experiences of studying history and to suggest ways forward. The objectives were to identify the reasons for this under-representation and to encourage more young black people to study history.