This week at All Saints’, we have been celebrating the history and culture of people of colour around the world, as part of our Christian ideas of Embracing Diversity.
We started the week with a whole-school worship to introduce the theme for the week and discuss why it is important to celebrate Black History. Ms Wood played us the song “Change is gonna come” by Sam Cooke, which showed us images of all those who stood up to injustice and inequality over the last century. If you have never seen this wonderful video, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEBlaMOmKV4
The Revd Jonno continued this theme into the KS2 Eucharist service on Tuesday. He told us the story of Jesus reaching out to the Samaritan woman at the well, demonstrating that Jesus saw through race boundaries and accepted all people as equals.
We worked in our classes during the week, focusing on an important person of colour to find out more about their significance to change in the world. On Thursday, we shared our research and stories in morning worship.
Year 1 told us about the important work of Mary Seacole, a British-Jamaican woman who created field hospitals in the Crimean War. The soldiers there called her “Mother Seacole”.
Year 2 looked at Michelle Obama, the first African-American First Lady, who has campaigned tirelessly for equal rights, both for black people and for women. She has inspired many people to work for change.
Year 3 shared their learning about Nelson Mandela, putting themselves in his shoes as he languished in prison for 27 years before becoming the first Black President of South Africa after the ending of apartheid.
Year 4 gave us a drama which described the fight of Rosa Parks to secure civil rights for black people in 1960’s America. She refused to give up her seat for a white person on the bus, which led to protests and, ultimately, changes to the law.
Year 5 found out about the famous athlete Jesse Owens, who became a sporting legend for his achievements at the 1936 Berlin Games. Hitler refused to present him with any of the four gold medals that he won but his achievements led the people of Berlin to hail him, an African-American, as a hero.
We finished our Black History week with a worship led by Year 6, who retold the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, who was so desperate to escape slavery in the 1880’s that he posted himself in a crate to freedom. Year 6 also honoured all other slaves that struggled to find liberty, with the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The class had learnt about the hidden messages in songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and also in the freedom quilts. They made their own beautiful version of a freedom quilt, as you can see in the photo.
We finished our week with a message from Barack Obama: Yes We Can.