CAMPAIGNERS are calling for Black history to be celebrated and taught in Scottish schools.

The call comes as Black History Month marks its 20th year in Scotland after being established in 2001 by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER).

A full programme of events is again taking place this year – but Nelson Cummins of CRER said a month was not enough for this “crucial” work.

He said: “Black history is Scotland’s history and needs to be more integrated into the ways in which we teach and tell stories about Scotland.

“It is as crucial as ever that Black history is celebrated and taught here. This only happens with a change in our history and heritage sectors and our education system.”

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Cummins said CRER would continue to campaign for Scotland to have its own national museum of empire, slavery, colonialism and migration as it would bring together narratives on the country’s Black history as well as “offer a space for learning and reflection” on how to be “more equal and inclusive”.

While CRER says a month is not enough to mark Black history, the organisation believes it still has an important role to play.

Cummins said its origins were rooted in the solidarity of the anti-racist movement and created the chance to celebrate the contributions of minority ethnic people to Scotland as well as recognise the historic racism they had suffered, together with the racism they still experience today.

He continued: “It offers an opportunity for us to reflect on Scotland’s ‘hidden histories’ and further our understanding of histories that we are often not taught about.”

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The month’s programme is continuing to grow with partners across community, voluntary and public sectors contributing dozens of events every October, including talks, concerts, workshops, film screenings and exhibitions.

Highlights include a panel event on Climate Change, Sustainability and Race, featuring one of the three claimants taking the UK Government to court to challenge the Oil and Gas Authority’s policy in the North Sea and the subsidies and tax breaks the industry is given by the UK Government.

Mikaela Loach’s activism focuses on the harm caused by the fossil fuel industry and the intersections of the climate crisis with oppressive systems such as white supremacy and migrant injustices.

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The online event is organised by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights on October 19 and will seek to understand the intersections between Black history and the environment, including discussions on how Black and minority ethnic communities are impacted disproportionately by the worsening climate, how Black voices are often excluded from climate activism and how policymakers can be held accountable at the upcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow.

Elsewhere on the programme, there will be a spotlight on the connection between Bute and the first Black and Indigenous person to achieve international recognition and acclaim for her work as a sculptor in the 19th century.

Mount Stuart, a neo-Gothic Victorian mansion on Bute, holds one of only two works by Mary Edmonia Lewis in public collections in the UK and her only work in Scotland.

Mount Stuart will put her sculpture on permanent display this month and there is a roundtable discussion on the life and work of Lewis, her refusal to conform and her relationship to Bute at an online event on October 22.

For the full programme go to