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History is about more than kings and queens
I AM appalled that Michael Gove is seeking to remove Mary Seacole from the curriculum.
Over the past decades, the education system has slowly recognised the cultural diversity in our history. History never was only about kings and queens and prime ministers. Our nation’s culture and values and traditions are the product of all those who came before us.
Mary Seacole, a West Indian nurse with a Scottish father, ran a boarding house to treat the sick and wounded during the Crimean War. Her 4,000-mile journey to the front, on borrowed money, is an inspiration. She is the proof of our nation’s diversity and heritage and is exactly the kind of person our children should learn about.
In 1999, I composed the score for the Channel Four series ‘Untold – Britain’s Slave Trade’ which revealed how far back our nation’s multiracial past goes. Hundreds of petitions were submitted to Parliament at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, calling for an end to the slave trade.
One, which declared that all people were born equal, carried signatures from people in Selby. It was moving to learn that all that time ago, local people here in the middle of Yorkshire understood their common bond with human beings everywhere.
Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake.