Socialist Worker

Education and black students

Issue No. 1919

OVER 2,000 people attended a conference on black education held at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London at the weekend.

Diane Abbott, the Labour MP for Hackney North, was instrumental in bringing together the conference and was a keynote speaker.

But it soon became apparent which way the top table wanted the day’s discussions to go.

Among the speakers Abbott introduced were two executives from US corporations, as well as a black manager from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Many of the speakers focused their remarks on the supposed need to return to “black family values” or tackle “gangsta rap culture”. The BBC’s Garth Crooks denounced black youth culture as a “virus”.

Missing from the proceedings was any discussion of the impact of wider education policy, discrimination in the jobs market, or racist policing.

Lee Jasper attacked government complacency and received the most enthusiastic response of the day.
GARY McFARLANE, chair of governors Coleraine Park School, Tottenham (personal capacity)


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Sat 18 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1919
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