David Oyelowo is one to speak his mind. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Selma star voiced his disappointment at the selection of Black roles in Hollywood, and today, Oyelowo has come forward advocating for Black history curriculum in British schools.
In an interview with The Africa Channel, Oyelowo backed an online petition that the British government require that schools teach all of the “not so nice bits” of Black history.
“My hope would be that we don’t just put in the nice bits,” he said after praising the island nation’s diversity. “We put in the not so nice bits as well, which are very real in terms of colonialism, in terms of racism, in terms of the things that happened in the past in this country. Not because we want anyone to feel bad about the past, but so that we don’t make the same mistakes going forward.”
The petition, which was started by a 46-year-old mother, has attracted more than 40,000 signatures. Once it reached 10,000 names, the government responded, agreeing with the petition and offering a new structure that “provides plenty of scope for Black history to be covered.”
“Black people are a part of the fabric of this nation,” Oyelowo said. “We pride ourselves now on being a multicultural society; it is outmoded and outdated to remove black history from schools because, like I say, it is a very real part of British history and British culture.”