The launch of the new book Tell It Like It Is: How our schools fail black children, at City Hall, central London, on Wednesday of last week was a magnificent event.
The packed room of concerned and angry parents, teachers, academics, students and activists heard from contributors to the book.
Speakers included Natfhe lecturers’ union general secretary Paul Mackney, professor David Gillborn and Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
The room was full of the belief that we ourselves hold the solution to this problem. The contributions from the floor were full of passion and demanding action.
The most inspiring part of the night was hearing from some young people from west London who have made a DVD where they discussed issues such as racism, anti-social behaviour orders and hoodies.
This film Spotlight On Us was due to be screened in full on Tuesday of this week.
It shows that young people want to have a say in the issues that affect them, but very few people are listening to them.
There were many calls for a national movement to put a halt to the institutional racism that is failing black children.
There were calls to embrace the spirit of the US civil rights movement, fighting for what is rightfully ours.
As Tony Blair pushes through policies destroying comprehensive education, we need a movement to win decent education for all working class kids, black and white alike.
Tell It Like It Is: How our schools fail black children is available for £6.99 from Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop. To order copies, phone 020 7637 1848 or go to www.bookmarks.uk.com