Taunton School at Dusk

International students at Taunton School help save UK’s first black publisher New Beacon Books from closure

Posted: 20th January 2022

International school students sat at a table with books on the desk

Students at Taunton School have helped to save the only remaining independent Black publisher and bookseller in the UK from closure. The students contributed £110 to the national crowdfunding campaign ‘Save New Beacon Bookshop’ by organising a bake sale and a raffle of two books written by Black writers.

New Beacon Books was founded in 1966 and has been pivotal to the growth of the Black Education Movement. It specialises in Black British, Caribbean, African, African-American and Asian literature.

Exploring Black History and diversity is an important focus at Taunton School. Building further on the celebration of Black History Month in October, a number of new titles by Black authors have been added to the school library at Taunton School International Middle School, such as ‘Boys Don’t Cry ’, ‘Black Women in Science’, ‘You are a Champion’ and ‘Black and British’.

The school, which has students from over 40 different nationalities, is looking to grow its relationship with the bookshop with visits and plans to work closely together in the future.

Teacher of English and EAL at Taunton School’s International Middle School, Suzette Youngs, says, ”Teaching students about Black history through literature, poetry and fiction is an excellent way of developing understanding, empathy and a general awareness of the immense contribution of the Black community to so many aspects of our shared histories. We hope to work closely with New Beacon and possibly set up a Q&A session with the bookshop owner in the future. I think that it would be interesting for students to know why diversity and challenging mainstream narratives is so important.”

Categories: International News
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