Future Publications

Recording the History and Development of the Black Supplementary School Movement

In July 2000 we wrote to many of our contacts who had played an important role in the history and development of the Black Supplementary School Movement, to seek their cooperation and involvement in an initiative from the trustees of the George Padmore Institute and Winston Best, one of the early education activists and founder of the Paul Bogle Youth Club in North London. The George Padmore Institute has committed itself to charting and recording the history and development of this movement, arising as it did from the nationwide concern among black immigrant communities from as early as the 1960s about the experience of black children in the British schooling system.
Four decades later black settler communities are still having to depend on supplementary schools to help Black British children develop positive and grounded self-identity and to compensate for the failure of mainstream schools to give children their educational entitlement. Lately the Black Supplementary Schools have become the subject of academic study by students who are mainly of the generation which the movement had within its focus. The product of many of these studies is often not only misleading, but perpetuates any number of gross factual inaccuracies, historical distortions and suspect analysis.
We believe that we, the founders, the early activists and those who were students within this major movement must embrace the responsibility of recording the authentic history of the movement, placing it in the wider social, economic, cultural and political context of the interface between black people and British society in the post war period. We have therefore embarked on a detailed study, which began with three sessions in September to November 2000. These concentrated on the origins and early development of the movement and involved a wide number of people who had been active in the early years of the movement. The materials from these sessions will be transcribed and there will be supplementary sessions and interviews to go along with these. Together they will form a detailed study: The Origins, Development, Present Status and Future of the Black Supplementary School Movement.