Lavinya Stennett, founder and CEO of The Black Curriculum organization, was featured on a June 29, 2020 episode of CNN News Room Live with Michael Holmes. Stennett spoke at length about why black history should be mandatory in all UK schools. Black history is typically touched upon briefly or omitted altogether, even though it’s an integral part of British history and culture.
Stennett founded The Black Curriculum in June 2019 as a social enterprise to support the teaching of black history year-round. The organization includes a diverse team of individuals ranging from teachers and researchers to magistrates. The organization’s creation was in response to Stennett’s first-hand experiences within the British education system.
Black history is typically relegated to Black History Month in October. Stennett’s first encounter with African history was an adjunct to the accomplishments of Europeans, combined with a few references to Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a practice that has changed little over the years and one that she’s determined to change.
The daughter of Jamaican parents, Stennett has a passion for music and history. She chose to pursue African Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. It was then that she realized how little access to information about black history she and others had in school.
Stennett also studied at Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand, where she studied Maori & Indigenous Land Law. She discovered that colonial and indigenous history was part of everyday life and taught side-by-side. It was a lesson that she took to heart and kept in mind when founding The Black Curriculum.
The organization and its work of educating the public and developing a syllabus for black history have been featured in the BBC, Guardian, Metro, and Telegraph. It’s also gained support, donations, and international exposure through the Black Lives Matter movement.
Photo Source: Lavinya Stennett Facebook