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Corbyn wants children to be taught legacy of empire

Jeremy Corbyn is calling for children in schools to be taught more about the legacy of the British Empire, colonialism and the slave trade.

The Labour leader also wants schools to give their pupils an increased awareness of the role black Britons have played in the country's history.

Mr Corbyn will set out his plans for an Emancipation Educational Trust on a visit to Bristol on Thursday.

He wants the trust to educate future generations about slavery and the battle to end the trade, telling the story of how slavery "interrupted a rich African and black history".

It would organise trips to sites of historical significance, deliver school programmes and focus on African civilisation before colonisation.

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Bristol is a city which grew rich off the back of slavery and was the scene of more recent battles for racial equality.

During his visit, Mr Corbyn will meet with Paul Stephenson, a civil rights activist who was an integral part of the 1963 Bristol bus boycott which saw a battle to overturn a ban on ethnic minorities working on buses in the city.

Mr Corbyn will say the stories of people like Mr Stephenson should be as well known as that of Rosa Parks, who died in 2005.

File photo showing civil rights icon Rosa Parks at a ceremony where she was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, on June 15, 1999 Image: Rosa Parks is regarded as a pivotal figure in the US civil rights movement

Ms Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 – with her act of defiance regarded as a key moment in the US civil rights movement.

October marks Black History Month, although Mr Corbyn is expected to say that learning about black history "should not be confined to to a single month each year".

"It is vital that future generations understand the role that black Britons have played in our country's history and the struggle for racial equality," the Labour leader will say.

He will also say that Black History Month is even more important in light of the Windrush scandal and that it is vital Britons "learn and understand as a society the role and legacy of the British Empire, colonisation and slavery".

Mr Corbyn will add: "Black History month is a crucial chance to celebrate the immense contribution of black Britons to this country, to reflect on our common history and ensure that such grave injustices can never happen again.

"That's why the story of Paul Stephenson and the Bristol Bus Boycott is such an inspirational reminder that our rights are hard-won, not given – and of the fantastic example set by so many black Britons.

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"Paul is a true British hero and his story should be as widely known as Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

"It was the bravery and determination of people like Paul, standing up against injustice, that paved the way for the first Race Relations Act and the outlawing of such discrimination in our country."

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