THE Scottish Government should consider proposals to open a dedicated museum of black heritage in Scotland, Joanna Cherry has suggested.
Writing in The National today the SNP’s shadow justice and home affairs secretary also said Afro-Scottish history could be added to the curriculum in all schools.
The Edinburgh South West MP and QC set out her views after meeting with the Wester Hailes-born model, actor and writer Eunice Olumide, who has launched a five-point campaign to improve racial respect in Scotland and to tackle discrimination.
[Olumide’s] plan includes setting up the first-ever BME heritage museum in Scotland and finding space in central London for a fitting monument to the contribution made by the Afro-Caribbean community to British society,” said Cherry in her column.
“Her fifth request is being advanced through a petition to the Scottish Parliament urging the Scottish Government to make sure that pupils in our schools learn about Afro-Scottish Caribbean history and the contribution that community has made to Scottish and British society.
“The Scottish Curriculum for Excellence is not prescriptive and teachers have the freedom to teach about black history – but what would be good would be to make sure they have the resources to do so effectively.
She continued: “Eunice’s campaign will help achieve this and chimes with the One Scotland strategy introduced by the Scottish Government in 2008 and with the Race Equality Framework for Scotland.
“Above all her campaign is about giving black and white children positive black role models as a major tool in the fight to tackle racism.
“Whilst the Scottish Government has a better record than the UK Government on these matters there is no room for complacency and Eunice Olumide’s campaign is an important contribution to the debate about how Scotland responds to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Olumide wants a museum of black heritage to open in Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, a building once owned by tobacco and sugar merchant William Cunninghame, who made a fortune in the 18th century from the slave trade and tobacco plantations in Virginia. It is currently run by Glasgow Life.
She believes a black heritage museum should showcase not only the realities of the transatlantic slave trade but also the positive pre- and post-colonial contributions that Afro-Caribbeans, including innovators and artists, have made to Scotland.
In an interview at the weekend she said she is encouraged that the Black Lives Matter campaign has resonated strongly with people in Glasgow, where many city-centre streets are named after merchants linked to the slave trade.
This article was culled from The National