As part of Black History Month, the Year 13 History students went to a talk at the University of Birmingham given by Dr. Julius Garvey. Dr. Garvey is an eminent surgeon and the son of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican African-American-Civil rights leader during the 1920’s who students have studied as part of their A2 History course.
Dr. Garvey’ talk took place in the Guild Chamber in the Guild of Students at the university but was open to all. A series of welcome speeches were made, most notably by a university student who read directly from Marcus Garvey’s work and by an ex-Young Mayor of Lewisham who spoke very knowledgably about the legacy of campaigners like Garvey and the African diaspora today.
Dr. Garvey unexpectedly only spoke for a short while before engaging with the audience about issues affecting the African diaspora today. At times, heated and opinionated discussion ensued raising issues such as the importance of education, a theme which runs through the A2 History course as well. This gave students an opportunity to experience a little of what it would have been like to have been in a civil rights meeting in the 1920’s and to evaluate as an historian a variety of strong opinions.
It was a very interesting talk and students got an insight not only into the work of Marcus Garvey but also into the continuing issues in the African-American community.