Martin Luther King Jr once said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” So, too, we are told that discriminatory ignorance resides with the older generation and that the next will usher forth a more inclusive world. Sadly, as an educator, I know that this isn’t the case. Increasingly, young people, perhaps disenfranchised by broader social inequality, are rejecting multiculturalism and aligning themselves with racist views.
Education will always remain a key instrument for disarming ignorance and bigotry. Both the 1999 Macpherson report, published in the wake of the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence, and the 2020 Windrush Lessons Learned review strongly recommended that black history occupy a more integral role in school syllabuses. Sadly, 20 years on from the Macpherson report there have been no significant advancements.