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Black History Month 2020 at Mill Hill

October marked Black History Month 2020, which we are very proud to have celebrated as a school across our curriculum.

Over the month we posted daily content celebrating black history and culture, and shared personal experiences from staff and pupils at Mill Hill School, through videos, poems and posts across our social media and on our website.

We have collated all of this content here.

Art

Scroll through the album above to see a series of artwork produced by Year 11 pupils, Ajani (Priestley), Emilie (Atkinson) and Otto (St Bees) on the theme of the Black Lives Matter movement.

House Videos

Some of the Mill Hill Boarding and Day Houses also made videos and presentations, showing their own research and work and sharing personal stories. Click on the name of the House below to watch their video.

Burton Bank

McClure

Cedars

Winfield

Atkinson House – Dima’s video

Pictured in the gallery above, Kenna (Lower Sixth, Atkinson) also made a series of posters as part of the Atkinson celebration of Black History Month. He said ‘I created these posters to help educate people on underappreciated influential black characters throughout history.’

Staff and Pupil Videos

Some pupils and members of staff also made personal videos, sharing their own experiences and focussing on research areas of their choice. Click on the names below to watch the videos.

Mr Bingham – Housemaster of Atkinson House. 

Mrs Kaplan – Head of English.

Miss Curtis – French and Spanish Teacher. 

Mr Fletcher – EAL Teacher.

Miss Wine – Drama Teacher. 

Miss Sheffield – History and Politics Teacher. 

Miss Williams-Walters – Exams Administrator.

Rachael – Lower Sixth Pupil. 

Harry – Lower Sixth Pupil.

Sixth Form Pupil Video. 

English

The Upper Sixth also took part in a poetry workshop on the theme of Black History Month. Below is an example of one of the poems produced.

Two Different Worlds by Temi (Burton Bank)
As young children we are told that
we have to work twice as hard as
others. Why you may ask? Well
because our parents knew that the
world wouldn’t allow us to be
mediocre.

Mediocrity in our community
would feed into the perceptions
that the world already had of us.
That we are lazy, poor and not
worth even
a friendly conversation on the bus.

Mediocrity would allow brothers
and sisters to become victims of
the system, starved and deprived
of any satisfaction.

So when you ask from your privileged
position “Why does he or she always
work so hard” or “Why do you never
say hello, but always say goodbye”

Understand this:
“This is just a job for you, but this
is our lives.”

Extra-curricular Work by Staff and Pupils

Below is a poem written by Ayub in Learning Support.

I may face flack
but let’s face facts
there’s no language or place named black
a colour has no history so let’s change tact
and it’s strange that
I have to state that
we are greater than our pigmentation  
do not “other” us from this our nation
some words  are spellbinding  incantations
a multiplicity of men and women with diverse tongues, cultures and histories but
the miscellaneous box we’re now sitting in is called black
see I find this quite troubling
what’s the connection between us other than this ‘othering’ 
see history is just story telling
and this story’s telling
it’s a sin of omission like our existence is an imposition on the main story their selling
so we get 4 weeks of those who share our melanin
Folks like us were just cargo for these destinations that we’re dwelling in
so we have no role in the fables of these great nations that’s just evident but be patient  and lower your expectation
once a year they’ll celebrate some folk who share your pigmentation
and the tragedy
the negation  of our humanity
the negation of  our commonality
no share in the making of this locality
the inanity is lost on the victims of this insanity
call me black but pan-African is what I’d rather be

Crash the Curriculum Day

As part of the school’s Black History Month celebrations, on Friday 16 October, the Fourth Form enjoyed a ‘Crash the Curriculum’ day with a host of inspirational black speakers from a range of fields, from musicians to nurses. Special guest speakers and sessions hosts included:

We also had a special Chapel service on the theme of Black History Month, let by our Chaplain Dr. Reverend Richard Warden. You can read more about that and watch the recording of the service here.