Mama Africa Online is a Black History Resource for schools, community groups or individuals. The resource is aimed at everyone and the topics will contain scope for investigation that will interest any inquisitive mind. One of the basic tenets of the resource is that the history of Africa is often presented in a negative light, and we would seek to challenge that. The resource looks first at the contributions to world culture that Africa has made.
Schools in the UK tend to focus on Black History around October/November but Mama Africa Online aims to provide a teacher’s toolkit that can be used to integrate projects at any time of the academic year, with clear links to the National Curriculum. Mama Africa can be used as a stand-alone online resource or optionally we can supply teachers to deliver a more in-depth project.
The resource is presented in 3 connected sections. Firstly, the Tasks are aimed to stimulate the imagination, asking open questions that can be worked through with a teacher’s help, in groups or as an individual. Many of the tasks are hands-on projects, and the idea is that the class teacher can expand on the themes of the topic while the pupils are engaged in making, writing, composing, etc. There’s no wrong or right to these answers, and the aim is to allow teachers themselves to participate in the research and find out a bit more for themselves about the subjects.
With this in mind the second section, Teacher’s Resource, will flesh out the themes of each topic and provide a jumping off point for research. Pupils are welcome to look at these sections, but they may be a bit word-heavy for very young children. Don’t expect to find answers here though, rather a starting point for a research journey. Delivering Black History studies can be a challenge for many teachers, and we want to empower you, through the resource, to go beyond the more obvious or tokenistic topics and discover a bit more about Africa.
Thirdly we have provided some links to the National Curriculum. This is a recognition of the fact that teachers may have to justify using the resource in a school setting. We have tried to show where tasks in each topic connect with areas of the curriculum, mostly in English, History and Geography but also some other subjects such as Music and Arts. We feel that the resource has much to offer beyond this, in terms of citizenship, cultural awareness and self-awareness, but the aim is to make Mama Africa accessible in a mainstream school setting.
We wish you all the best in your research and we welcome feedback about the site. We will develop new tasks in new topics as the resource evolves and we would love to hear from you about what you find out, or what you think we should cover.