People are calling for books about racism to be added to the GCSE reading list

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  • There’s a petition asking the Department of Education to add two books about racism to the UK’s GCSE reading list.

    As Blackout Tuesday gains traction, a petition calling for books about racism to be added to the school curriculum has reached over 7,000 signatures.

    People are calling for The Good Immigrant and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race to be added to the GCSE reading list.

    The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla features a collection of essays written by those who have experienced racism.

    These essays are written by actors, journalists, musicians and authors.

    And Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race confronts British history, feminism, and the class system.

    The book started out as a blog post and was developed into a book following a huge response. It’s since become an international success.

    Read more: Holly Willoughby leads by example on what white parents can do to educate children about racism

    The petition was set up by Molly Crossley, who wrote, ‘Education is where it starts.

    ‘Although you can have debates and go on marches in the hope of battling closed minds, school is where minds are opened and where we should grasp the opportunity to teach students about diversity and our current society, including the injustices.’

    She added, ‘These two books wouldn’t only contribute diversity to the current GCSE reading lists, they would also highlight our current society’s diversity, inequalities and opportunities for change.

    ‘Highlighting this to young adults will hopefully ignite a desire to be part of the change and also stamp out ignorance towards diversity.’

    Molly also argues that although the GCSE reading list spans ‘a wide range of content’, it does ‘very little to reflect our current society’.

    The petition is looking for 25,000, and fo far over 18,000 have signed, with many people explaining why they support children in schools learning more about BAME history.

    One said, ‘Fantastic books first of all, secondly diversity builds tolerance and strength.’

    Another added, ‘These are phenomenal books and students deserve more diverse representation in the literature they are reading before leaving compulsory English studies.’

    A third wrote, ‘When I read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, it opened up my eyes to the full extent of racism, how it has shaped generations of black experience, particularly in the UK. What struck me most was what vital reading it was, and I thought it should be on the national cirriculum. Change comes from knowledge creating shifts in perception. Education is the best place to equip future generations with this knowledge.’