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Britain's Black History - Black Britons

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Summary

This KS3 black history lesson starter video looks at some of the black people who came to Britain centuries ago and the role they played in British society.

There has been a black presence in England as far back as 211AD when Septimus Severus, one of the African roman emperors, died in York. Historian Tony Warner explains there were black people living in Britain in the 16th - 18th centuries, who were neither slaves nor servants.

Throughout the centuries, there is evidence of independent and influential people of Caribbean and African descent in Britain. One record is from 1511, when a North African trumpeter was depicted on the Westminster Tournament Roll. He was probably employed by both Henry VII and Henry VIII. Black men and women made appearances in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and in 18th century portraits.

Tony explains how by the late 16th century, trade had opened up between West Africa and Britain and Africans began to settle here, especially in seafaring places like Bristol, London, Liverpool and Glasgow.

This classroom resource is designed for use with Year 7 to Year 9 classes, but can also be used with Key Stage 2 pupils.

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