Taunton School Main Building at Dusk

What Black History Month means to me

Posted: 9th October 2020

Eliza Getman Chaplain

I always forget that October is Black History Month, because I guess I’m programmed to think that black history should be embedded in history EVERY day.

I read an amazing article about the way Black people often feel invisible and threatened and unwelcome in the great outdoors yesterday – the author said: We belong here. Keep showing up authentically and unapologetically.

I want to showcase black voices and history all the time, because the curriculum tends to overlook so much. I am doing the Exodus journey out of slavery in Egypt and into the wilderness – I’m not sure we will ever make it to the promised land. But I am tying it in with Gospel music (we had Louis Armstrong and a gospel choir singing Go Down Moses last week) and a bit of reggae (we listened to – and watched – a rendition of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song).

And Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement (starting in Kenya in 1977) was the perfect example of Planting Trees symbolising planting hope – Mama Mithi (Mother of Trees) is a lovely children’s book that I shared with them via Youtube.

My next Chapel is going to be around the story of crossing the Red Sea, and I have (African American women’s accapella group) Sweet Honey in the Rock singing Wade in the Water and the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr delivering the ‘I have a Dream’ speech in 1963. My early education was in an integrated inner city government school – I was one of a handful of white students and all my teachers were black. I have been using the Desmond Tutu Storybook Bible for the Pre Prep chapel services, he is a great mentor and icon for us all – of humility and forgiveness and joy and compassion.

Eliza Getman, School Chaplain

Categories: Blog Nursery Pre-Prep Preparatory Senior Sixth Form