British Education + Colonialism | Space Camp 2017 Day 6 [CC]

British Education + Colonialism | Space Camp 2017 Day 6 [CC]


Hi everyone. So if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen yesterday I was talking a little bit about how shocking it is that we aren’t taught about Partition in any great detail in school and it is something that is really glossed over. To be clear when you learn about Britain in the UK, at least when I was at school there are certain things that you keep going back to. So like we did the Tudors and the Victorians over and over and over again and depending on which teacher you got you did get a little bit more about, so like with the Victorians for example we did study aspects of the racism of the Enlightenment and aspects of where that focus on classification ended up propelling this idea of like white superiority and so on but we really only touched on that and it was only when I got to university in the US and I did critical race theory that we really analysed that in great detail But colonialism overall wasn’t really something that came into the narrative in my education in my compulsory education from the age of like 5 or whatever right up to the age of 17 when I finished school. In history classes the time periods I remember most learning about were: The War of the Roses and the Tudors over and over again and the Victorians over and over again and then you did the First World War and the Second World War and the way that the effects of the First and Second World Wars was spoken about was very much like “and then Europe sat around a table and divided up the countries” “and, you know, we didn’t have as many colonies anymore” and that was kind of it like there was no analysis of what this really meant. There was no focus on the people who were made into refugees from those actions. From the violence that ensued from those actions, from the real violence of colonial rule itself and the ways in which it affected people’s day to day lives it was very much seen, it was very much like kind of arms length but also quite micro whenever we studied history broadly I found myself looking back at it realising that we studied you know the kings and queens and the prime minister decisions and the kind of very small history where you don’t see the effects of it as much other than this big dates and times and big events and big battles and big approaches to it but that are also not inclusive of all the people who are affected by it. I’ve become increasingly aware of these huge gaps in my education in what happened in the world and I’m never going to be able to sit down and take in absolutely everything that happened in the world but I feel like I have a personal responsibility and I’m trying to hold myself accountable to it and educate myself on this front to know more about Britain’s history because Britain’s history is essential in understanding where we are today as like, as a Britain and understanding why we are in this political situation, why people can get away with calling refugees cockroaches, and playing with language in this way and using other people, especially Brown and Black people, as pawns in this larger narrative and why also, and this is something that I’ve felt over and over again, broadly speaking, I don’t want to speak for everyone, we’re quite good at embracing stories of black people in the US. People really threw their support behind films like Selma and Hidden Figures and so on which are important, vital films and I’m so glad that they exist and I want more and more of them with more and more Black film makers and Asian film makers and please, please more and more Latinx film makers and also people supporting them with their money I do feel very strongly like British Black, Brown history is just not spoken about It’s this feeling like “oh well that’s happening over there”. When you are looking at ethnicity the make up of the UK is different to the US, it’s a much whiter population frankly speaking overall. That’s not the case in like London, like London is such a metropolis and it’s brilliant and I love it but broadly speaking the UK doesn’t have as big of a population however that doesn’t mean that there weren’t Black and Brown people in our history, throughout our history and not all of them were servants or lower down. Some of them were extremely powerful. Some of them were extremely well connected. I definitely like enjoy putting up the bunting and having tea parties and you know going, I saw the Queen once and it was very exciting and all that stuff and I really do enjoy that stuff, I’m not going to pretend that I’m completely separating myself in some kind of purist sort of form but I have always had quite–I would say– healthy scepticism of nationalism and what it is showing to me over and over again is that it’s like these desperate grabs for its own survival. For the survival of the story in which we must believe in order to “justify” the actions taken in the name of our country. We can’t look at these issues in the eye because they call into question the “Greatness” and the inherent victor, like the winner, the hashtag-winner sense of Britain. That’s not only flawed in and of itself I think that’s just a travesty and kind of extremely inhumane and it also leads to these huge gaps in understanding about where we are today and like the kinds of questions and the kinds of things that are being said in our press today I would be interested to hear about firstly what your education was like especially in terms of colonial rule post colonialism was a bit more present in university but seeing as I didn’t really have that background I didn’t so much know to go looking for it so in some ways I did look at writing back and when I went abroad I also looked at other poets and Derek Walcott especially has been very influential to me It wasn’t really something I even considered because it just seemed like a very specific academic field rather than something that is a direct effect of Britain being in the world and the decisions that have been made in the name of this country not this country but also I mean this country is a whole other story I would be really interested in whether this is similar to your experience, how you learnt about colonialism in the world whether you I guess agree or have any other thoughts on the things that I’m saying in this video I would also be interested to know if colonialism or I guess that sense of like invasion felt separate from you because I remember learning about the Spanish and the Mexica–the Aztecs–and feeling so outraged and so horrified and just like in my heart just horrified that this could happen but having no recent parallel for it I felt like it was very separate and not something that I needed to look at or address in any real way because it was so in the past and part of that is privilege and looking the way I do despite being Mexican, like it is a matter of privilege but at the same time it’s also this huge chasm in my education that I frankly feel so uncomfortable about and so ashamed of but rather than just like sitting at home feeling ashamed of it I thought I would try to shine a little light on it Yeah, I think it’s vital to understanding why we are the way we are and why people feel like they can say the things that they can say and why it’s like institutionally supported. So that’s it for today see you tomorrow, probably. Bye.

100 thoughts on “British Education + Colonialism | Space Camp 2017 Day 6 [CC]

  1. I feel this a lot from a Canadian perspective. While the periods of history we revisited were slightly different (how many times do we need to learn about the fur trade) I related to the sterilizing of colonial history and, from a Canadian perspective, the way cultural genocide by white settlers was largely ignored. Likewise, where colonialism was touched on it was as the past rather than an ongoing reality.

    University really changed that for me, particularly as a political science major in BC where most aboriginal title has not been settled. I was lucky to be exposed to indigenous scholars and ongoing debates over self-governance and indigenous rights. I think a good read for anyone looking for a place to start is The Inconvenient Indian, if you're looking for recommendations.

    I also hope that the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission come to fruition, with greater education on residential schools and indigenous experience of colonization incorporated into the high school and elementary school curriculums.

  2. CC should make a "History from the side of the losers, the poor and the disenfranchised". I know I'd watch the SHIT out of it.

    You are absolutely right that this lack of empathy comes from a lack of understanding of other people's History.

    I'm a middle class Brazilian and even having the privilege of studying in very good quality schools with dedicated teachers I learned absolutely nothing about the many indigenous populations that existed/still exist in the country. The transatlantic slavery trade was taught mostly from an international perspective. No word was said about what happened to black people after slavery ended (1888) and the fight we had to go through to get rights.

    And I think this not learning is one of the factors that allows news such as deforestation and dam construction in indigenous territories to not cause shock. It's what makes people angry at black people being given quotas at universities.

    About colonialism: the History we learn has its main characters in the Portuguese kings that ruled the country. The main reason/excuse for it is that we don't have enough documentation on the lives of indigenous and enslaved populations. It's mainly focused on dates and the name, decisions of the ruler. We didn't have an epic tale of independence such as the US, but that doesn't mean there weren't fights for independence. Those were mentioned, but not properly studied.

  3. my education on all of this has really come from university, in my sociology course we've already done a lot on contemporary racism but have also looked back at British colonialism (I'm only a fresher). Once you start looking at it, you really see how little you know, whereas before I assumed that I was quite knowledgeable. Now I really see the expanse that I have previously missed. And it is all so easily missed, I had great high school teachers in religious studies who helped open my eyes to these things but it was never the topic of an exam so not something we went into great detail about. It isn't on the compulsory curriculum so it isn't widespread knowledge. The laws instituted to stop immigrants being citizens, after they had lived here for their entire lives years after the second world war was something I found out through HE, something I chose to do. Even that is relatively recent but I didn't know, and there are many more things like that presumably.

    It's hard to know what you don't know, until you know it.

  4. I'm from Serbia (South East Europe) and we didn't learn too much about colonialism as we weren't involved in any way. We had our own opression under the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, we have learned more about colonialism in geography than in history class. I'd be interested to learn more.

  5. As an American student in rural Indiana, I learned about colonialism as a child, because my parents were vocal about Native American/white relations. In school, I first really learned about colonialism in Advanced Placement English classes, where my teachers were vocal about the Rwandan genocide, South Africa and Nelson Mandela, and we read the books The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and Cry the Beloved Country, by . Alan Paton.

  6. The amount of English people I've talked to that had no knowledge of Anglo Irish relations was mind boggling. The Irish Famine (where over one million Irish people starved to death), the Penal Laws (where the Irish language, education for Catholics and the practising of Catholicism were all outlawed), the Irish plantations (where thousands of Irish people were removed off their land and replaced onto boglands), the Irish Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War all mostly unheard of by a lot of English people. And then I've had MANY encounters with English people who don't even know that the Republic of Ireland is independent and question me whether I'm fully sure we aren't part of the UK.

  7. I mean, I'm from South America, so our history classes were obviously much more focused on this continent, and we viewed colonialism mainly through what happened in 'la conquista de américa' (with throughout study of all the atrocities the conquest brought). I do remember learning about British colonisation, but I think mostly in terms of trade and the such, and of course we knew which countries had clearly been colonised by their use of the English language – but we weren't really that aware of what all that entailed, and of how close in time it all was. My country had been independent of their colonisers for almost two hundred years, so I thought of all that as something of the past. There's also the fact that so-called World History classes in secondary school were mainly Europe-America-Russia-sometimesJapan History classes, so we knew there were colonies, but if anything was related to Africa or Asia there was not much learning involving that, with only a glimpse when studying imperialism as a cause of World War I. I still remember watching years ago the film Empire of the Sun and being so confused about why there was a whole English-speaking community in China.

    And it's not like this lack of learning of the extent of the 'bad side' of Britain comes from a love of the country – we retain a kind of obsession with it, from years of trade relationships and a strong cultural infatuation, but we did have a war with the country very recently. It's just that, apart from our own continent, only Europe seems to matter.

    Maybe because I did have a great history teacher, but in class we very critically went over how we basically massacred the indigenous people that occupied most of our territory, for example. Our great deal of nationalism (which manifest mostly in football matches) does not generally extend to our own history, and we have many a dictatorship to prove it. I'm still surprised thought that over there you don't study your own colonialism in more depth; as surprised as I sometimes are that you are still a monarchy, a fact which in turn shouldn't make the previous thing that surprising.

  8. Our education in Singapore was sadly a lot like what you've just said. We talked about how Sir Stanford Raffles came and founded modern Singapore and Singapore does emphasise a lot of its past history and culture and wealth that came from being an important port in Britain's empire but we never talked about the unhappiness any locals must have had or the indigenous Malays must have had when their land was suddenly populated with Chinese, Malays, Indians the races that now make up part of the 4 main races here. Like for example, the British introduction of stereotypes of the races like Chinese are hardworking but Malays are lazy which still lingers in society today. These things aren't discussed and as I grew up, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with Singapore's emphasis on how great colonialism was. There never was an outright saying on that but rather implied as Raffles still is till this day called the founder of Singapore even though all he mostly did was to sign a damn paper lol. There was a recent exhibition over here about British colonialism and how it was seen in the region and it was very moving for me as a local. Unfortunately, a lot of tourists mainly British middle-aged tourists didn't seem to get it as much and that was quite disappointing. But at least now I get it. Why none of the bits in the exhibit moved them at all.

  9. I hadn't realized that Britain's population was significantly whiter than here in the US. I'm actually surprised to hear that. My main exposure to British culture is through media an something I've noticed in all the years I've watched British TV and movies is that interracial relationships are pretty common in UK media whereas showing them is STILL controversial in the US. In general it seems to me that there are more POC in the British media I consume than in the US based media. I guess I figured that was a reflection of the population but now I'm forced to conclude that the US is even worse at representation than I thought.

  10. I'm in an Australian context. We were never really taught about the impact that colonialism had on people. Even in university it was more looking at actions that higher ups took.
    I just completed my teaching degree and one of my subjects is history and with the curriculum that was in place unless students did one unit in year ten they could go through all of high school not even touching on Aboriginal history which hopefully will change. Saying that, there was also the element within curriculum to connect to Aboriginal history across subjects but that doesn't help create empathy or understanding and it is often an extra element left to the teacher to touch on. This means it often gets shoehorned in if its included at all.

  11. Thats pretty upsetting to hear. Especially since the effects of colonialism in Australia are still being felt in a very, very big way.

  12. Colonialism aims to create two populations, a colonizing population celebrating colonial violence under the guise of "state security", and a colonized population desensitized to that violence.
    Under colonialism, ignorance is policy.

  13. It seems as though America and Britain teach history very similarly! My school curriculum focused a lot on nationalism and what made America look good. It was very frustrating just as you said!

  14. 💚💚💚 I wasn't able to tackle these until topics until university either. such a shame, but hoping to unlearn and relearn now

  15. Completely agreed! In the Netherlands is exactly the same.
    I am currently educating myself about the colonial history of Latin America and our (and Europe's) part in it. If you are interested to know more about this, read "The open veins of Latin America" by Eduardo Galeano (Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina, if you can read spanish)!

  16. [Kay I'm from Brazil and I don't think I'm very good with words, and I'm not even gonna spell check this so I apologize for any mistakes jajshdks] I started learning about colonialism from a very young age, and although there's a lot I've forgotten, and a lot I feel I could know more about (like the Britain – India thing), at least the bad sides of our own colonization were always made clear to me, the cultural genocide of the native peoples, or the importance of black culture in our identity, I remember learning about some uprisings, reading a poem about the horrible life inside a slaving ship, how when the slaves were officially freed in reality they were still marginalized, and how all of that still effects us today, etc. etc. We learnt a lot about our colonizers and the rest of the world too but I think I was lucky to have a lot of context. At the same time, I've seen some comments from other brazilians saying it was different for them, so I guess it varies. We're a big country, with a tendency towards not so great education, after all.

    Now, this does annoy me a bit, seeing many countries that are very influential to the rest of the world …not know important things? That's a generalization, of course, but like, in school the starting point for our history is the portuguese arriving, we learn a lot about Europe and the relationships between european countries and their formation stories, and how they kind of fucked Africa up when they divided it arbitrarily, and the World Wars and their effects, and the Cold War, and Vietnam, A Whole Lot about the U.S.'s foreign relationships in general, and here I am writing in english, which is often mandatory and it's everywhere in our lives anyways. And,,,, what do the U.S. or Britain or whatever know about us, or all of this colonialism stuff, for example? I don't know, maybe I'm exaggerating or sth, but I still feel ……kind of annoyed hdlasjdncnd I don't know. Sigh lol

    But, anyways, thank you for making this video. Reading the comments and learning about the differences in what people get taught around the world is fascinating 🙂

  17. I know so many people who say things about Britain "civilising" Africa, and that though it was "a bit brutal", it was essential for the continent. As someone brought up in London by Irish parents (one of whom lived through the troubles in Derry) I have a different view of it, 800 years of oppression was a refrain I often heard. Also I was taught history by some pretty cool people, one Irish woman, one half Indian half Malaysian man, but because of the restrictive curriculum all they could say was asides and tangents where they taught us things.
    I think coming from a multicultural area of south London also influenced our understanding of colonialism, a lot of girls were first gen children of parents from Ghana, Jamaica, Bangladesh, turkey etc. So when I compare what I was taught to my privately educated friends, or those from the countryside, it was much less blinkered, though still far from perfect.

  18. I am German. The effects of WWII, and to lesser extend WWI, were a big part of my history classes, with an eye on Germany's involvement.

    But: Germany lost both of these wars (thankfully). And that kind of forces later generations to look for faults Germany made. And I think that's why some think Germany deals well with its past. However: That is (1) more recent (my mother was thought very differently) and (2) it glosses over a lot of other German history. Germany had colonies as well, and that was barely more than a footnote. I remember learning about British colonialism, slave trade between Britain, parts of Africa and America. But also more in important dates and numbers and not so much in how it affected people.

    I should also say that I was by far more interested in science than in history. Partly because of my intrinsic interests, but also because there was always a distance between history and people that kept me from understanding why it is so important to understand more than the general course of history.

  19. I'm from Germany but I grew up in Austria. Our history classes covered a lot, but always just western history. From the middle ages to modern times, it was almost always focused on europe or the US. I had an elective on african history once, but that was about it. I know very little about asian history for example.
    We must have covered WWI and II three times, that was always very extensive and self-reflective, or self-aware. We learned very early on about the terrible things germans and austrians had done, we even visited concentration camps.
    I don't think we ever really talked much about germany's history of colonialism, just briefly in the lead up to the world wars. As I was in an austrian school, we talked a lot about the austro-hungarian empire.
    I remember we covered british colonialism too, mainly in regards to india.

  20. Like you I remember learning about the Tudors & Victorians a lot! I also learned about the "slave trade" in some detail at both primary & secondary school but I think that was mainly because the city that I live near played quite a big role in it. The only time civil rights & racism topics were touched on was when I took history for one of my GCSE's & we studied American history on the time period of MLK. We barely studied anything about Britain's history for the time, the only things related to Britain that we studied were the two world wars.

  21. I'm from Germany and while I do feel like we're doing very well with education about the third Reich and the two world wars as well as the Cold War, I still think I'm lacking a lot of world history education. I've never learned about the colonies Germany actually had, instead they told us that Germany was "too late" and all the land was already taken my the U.K., France, the Netherlands and Spain. First of all, we did have colonies, Namibia for example and we actually committed a genocide there. So why don't we learn about? Because we're already talking about the holocaust and the murder of 100.000 people doesn't matter? The second thing is that I don't understand why Germans shouldn't learn about slavery, just because we weren't really part of it. We barely touched on slave trade at school and looking back I really think that's ridiculous. I used to consider slavery as something long gone that Germany didn't have anything to do with. But I actually think we shouldn't just learn about the crimes our own country committed but also look at wider world history. Yes I had to memorize every important date between 1914 and 1989 but that did not give me any grasp of world history.

  22. In Sweden we did not have a lot of education about colonialism, we had a seperate study about it in an additional course in history. But we only smudged upon it. Now in uni, I study Global Studies and it feels as if I have missed out on so much, like why the world is the way it is. It's horrible to feel that you never had any clue about it.

  23. Scotland was obviously very similar to England and the rest of Britain in the sense that we looked at the World Wars, but that honestly felt like that was it. We would look at it from Scotland's perspective — and only Scotland's perspective — and we would look at the Scottish migration from the Highlands to the Lowlands, and maybe have one module per year that was something like Tsarist Russia. We never addressed "colonialism"; the connotations were obvious, but it was something that the school system seemed to shy away from. I study History at university, and I had the same experience: my university offers entire classes on colonialism and its impact — but it's only at this level of education that it's called out for what it was.

  24. I'm so glad you made this video, especially in this political climate. You're definitely not alone in not knowing about Britains complex colonial history. The education system here in the U.K. as a whole has made it so people aren't knowledgeable of it.
    My family is Somali, from the breakaways region of Somaliland and I learnt about British colonialism and it's impact (still ongoing) from my parents, grandparents and wider family. There's so many things which are the direct cause of having been a British colony (or Protectorate as it was officially called).
    One of the most obvious ones for my family is how my parents where educated. My dad had the tradition colonial education and learnt to read and write in English, with the curriculum being similar to the UK. And my mum, who's younger had a post-colonial education and didn't begin learning English until she was 17. I think for people of and from Somaliland colonialism isn't that happened a long time ago, like it's portrayed in the U.K. But something that many people remember well and grew up in.

  25. I did quite an intense colonialism module in my first year of university and it completely blew my mind. I had NEVER considered the British Empire to be a negative thing before. Obviously we had been taught that slavery was bad, but that was literally it. I think to some extent the subtext of the history we are taught is that we should be PROUD of British history, and by extension, that we are BETTER than the people we used to rule over. The idea makes me sick to my stomach now and I am so ashamed that I ever thought that, but I had never had cause to stop and think about it before. My deep concern is for the people who didn't study humanities or arts at university and have therefore never had cause to stop to consider that maybe we aren't better than other people at all. My guess would be that a large number of people in this country still think that the reason we are a wealthy country with success in our past is because we deserve it, not because it is build on the suffering of other humans who are exactly the same as us.

  26. I grew up in Australia and studied history in school and then later majored in history at uni. It wasn't until I reached University level study that we even touched on the legacies of colonisation. I can't speak for every school and I have had some fantastic history teachers in the past who did their best with a narrow curriculum but these very white, male narratives were definitely the most prominent. We did study the White Australia Policy and the Stolen Generations which is massively important but it was framed in a way that robbed Indigenous peoples of any agency or even a voice in their own narrative.

    People here seem to have a complicated history with colonial history due to the implications of 'guilt' associated with fully embracing the truths of our past. It's why there is such a furore around 'Australia/Invasion Day', as there was when our former PM apologised to the stolen generations. I think part of it is that as a nation we are stuck believing in our own lack of racial bias and think that because we were not directly involved we're not responsible. It's gotten so convoluted that I'm not sure what progress looks like, I'm hopeful though.

  27. Brilliant video, Rosianna! I was talking about this with a friend the other day. I think the history we're taught at school is very blinkered.

  28. I think terms of education at high school and 6th form, i've learnt more about British colonialism from studying Geography than studying History.

  29. Portuguese here. My country had one of the biggest slave trades for the longest period of time and none of its consequences are addressed at all during mandatory school. In our textbooks, 'The Discoveries' (what we call the colonisation of parts of India, Africa and Brasil) are still referred to as great for Portugal and something to be proud of. I learned more about our slave routes through Crash Course than through history classes. (I mean, look at how this is written: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_discoveries )
    On that note, we were discussing Robinson Crusoe in a literature course at uni the other day, and when a shy girl at the back said she was ashamed of our colonial past, there were immediately people defending it. Someone actually said "but the moors and the japanese did the same many centuries before" like that could excuse it.

  30. I was born in Singapore and lived there for most of my childhood(i currently live in Australia). Singapore was very much treated as a port/trade centre since the British came, it was too small a country to be colonised like other south eaat asian countries like the Philliapines, many Singaporeans outlook on colonisation is more reverance as the Brits were given the credit of what the country became today. Though it is quite different looking at racism in Singapore as it is more of ethnic east asians having priveledge and being against ethic malays and indians compared to more white european countries with white supremecy. There is a very much under current of xenophobia in Singapore too.

  31. I am Indian, so most, if not all the modern history that I have learnt is colonial. It has always irritated and pained me when I see British people unaware of this huge chunks of their history, because, very clearly it has had a HUGE impact on the kind of country India is today as well as, and this most will be reluctant to acknowledge, a HUGE impact on how Britain is what it is today. Large portions of its prosperity were derived directly from deprivation of its colonies. I think education about colonialism is extremely important. I can suggest you a book (that I haven't actually read but has been recommended to me on this topic) if you want to get better informed on the issue- Inglorious Empire by Shashi Tharoor.

  32. I'm an American and in my high school U.S. history textbook, there was a line that essentially said that the Spanish imperialists "brought civilization" to the native peoples of Mexico. There are probably many more examples of this, but this is the one that I remember most clearly and I can still recall how absolutely enraged it made me feel. Luckily, all my history teachers in high school never pushed that narrative, but like you said, there still wasn't really an open discussion about the realities of colonialism and the inherent race issues that come with it and the /legacy/ of it. I'm abroad in Beijing right now, and have had the fortune to be able to attend a class on African urbanization with a South African professor. The first few lessons so far have been a great historical overview of European colonization of Africa and the terrible scars that were left by it, and many of my peers are African themselves or have visited Africa or studied Africa extensively. Having grown up in the U.S., I really feel so ignorant about Africa, and like you, this was an ignorance I felt deeply uncomfortable with. So, I'm hoping that this class, with an African professor and knowledgable classmates, will help to remedy this! Thanks again for talking about the real stuff. 🙂

  33. I really enjoyed this video and I'm gonna keep a close eye on the comments for recommendations about where I can learn more. I recently saw the film Viceroy's House (which is absolutely astounding, if you can see it I really recommend it), and it was a fascinating little intro into post-colonialism that I'd never heard before, and the Pakistan Movement, and partition, which I had honestly never known about. It was directed by a woman whos grandparents were alive during the mass migration after partition, and I'm hugely interested in learning more. But also I'd like to learn more about colonialism itself, not just post.

  34. Regarding education, I really only remember learning about WWII. I vaguely remember writing a letter imagining I was a nurse in WWI writing to my family, but it's not a period I learned about fully. I went to a non-mainstream school, where I had to take a taxi to and from another mainstream school in order to do my GCSE History (and was the only one in my year group doing more than one GCSE), so my education was pretty poor during that time.

  35. If you hear Brits call refugees cockroaches, you should hear some of the things East European people and countries (most of whom have had no colonial, imperialistic nor slave filled histories) say about refugees and vulnerable people-it's horrific. (hint much worse than Brits, trump, or UKIP, often many of their moderate politicians are on par with Nick Griffin and BNP…I'm not kidding).
    In fact it's made me sympathetic to libertarian Brits who think the EU gives an unfair advantage to EU migrants over the commonwealth or non-EU migrants (I no longer welcome East European migrants to the UK, I'd rather they go, frankly when their countries are literally so fascist which they ignore, accept or are passive to and supportive of, I'd rather not give them opportunity or a better standard of life in my country).
    Why do we offer open borders to countries who spit in the face of war torn refugees and don't allow large scale non-White immigration to their countries because they're white supremacist and want to preserve their white genes'?

    I am a descendent of Britain's colonialism, it's as a result of britisncolonising my parents and grandparent's countries that I'm born here (I consider British my home though, and not my ostent's country). agree that the UK needs to change its history curriculum and teach us about colonialism, imperialism and slavery more vigorously and thoroughly, but the same applies to Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Turkey, Denmark all who've had colonial, imperialistic and slavery filled histories.

    I mean In Belgium, king Leopold the ii caused a genocide in the Congo where some millions died, but you don't see Belgians show any remorse, guilt or sorry for that (in fact there's consensus via Quora questions and answers that, most people/students in Belgium take the genocide as matter of fact, and most people view it neutrally-compare that to the many left wing/guardian type of Brits who are disgusted by our imperialism…we are a lot more remorseful and guilty than much of the continent).

    Or take into consideration, the fact the Netherlands switch their imperialistic and colonial history still celebrate

  36. For films about black and brown Britons, please everyone go and watch Belle directed by Amma Asante. She's a great black British director and the film covers one of the type of people you were talking about – a mixed race woman in the late 1700s who had a very influential/wealthy family. It's an amazing story and the film is one I've returned to again and again.

  37. I learned a lot about imperialism in Africa (by the British and French) and in America (British, French, Spanish) in my US schooling, but with the exception of my AP US History course, the treatment of Native Peoples in the US was woefully scant. I can also tell you as someone who lived in Northern Arizona, close to many tribes and reservations, the prejudice and racism toward these people is very high. I think, in America, it is easier to demonize the Spanish over Central and South America and the British over, well, everywhere, than look in the mirror about what we did to the Natives here. I really wish we did more.

  38. EXACTLY! I'm always so frustrated/angry/disgusted/embarrassed by the lack of ownership and responsibility by the UK (I'm British) in acknowledging how it fucked up so much up and continues to do. Grrrgh etc! x

  39. I think the complete absence of teaching about colonialism really becomes clear when I think about how I learned about World War One and two. In both world wars Britain relied so much on soldiers from its colonies, and both wars had such an impact on the situation in colonised nations and yet we learned nothing about it. I know SO much about the tensions in Europe leading up to World War One but nothing about the impact of this war in Africa or Asia or anywhere else apart from Europe.

  40. Whilst at secondary school the only thing i can remember studying the slave trade, and it felt glossed over. However, in college for my AS level in history we spent a year on the British Empire in India(1900-48), and our teacher was critical of British rule- we learned about the Amritsar Massacre, Churchill's contribution to the Bengal Famine and the partition in great detail. It was fascinating (and painful) to gain such a different perspective, especially of events like the two world wars which had previously been taught through such a specific western narrative, but it was by far my favourite course. It has also been very influential in shaping my politics, and has definitely encouraged me to listen to experiences which are different from my own, rather than shouting them down.

  41. I completely agree that we never learn about colonialsm at school in England. I think I learned about WW2 every year. My family is from Somalia which was a British colony and I'm only just learning about the realities of colonialism studying History at uni now. What's weird is thatI feel this default patriotism towards Britain despite knowing how bad they were.

  42. I'm Dutch, graduated 10 years from high school, and we did learn a bit about colonialism. We have to, it's something of a formative part in our history, considering it made us one of the richest countries in the world. But looking back, though my memory is definitely quite vague, I think it was sugarcoated & whitewashed quite a bit. We did learn about our colonies, the VOC, the trade in spices, the slavetrade and our part in it, but a lot of it is referred to as 'the golden age' because it was economically an immensely good time for the 2 Holland provinces (nevermind the rest of the country, most of our history is aimed at the west side of the country). That's how we were taught: that it was a great time, we were powerful and getting super rich, and we're kind of sad it's over. We did also learn about colonialism by the Brits, French & Spanish, and a lot of US history, sugar plantations, things like that. But to be honest? By far most of our history classes are about WWII. We tended to kind of skip quickly over all the important bits of history before 1940, and I feel like every single year we would spend months on WWII (you'd think I'd know more about it, but turns out I spaced out a lot in history class because it was just the same info over and over and over.) So we never really went in-depth into, well, any historical age. We went into the industrial revolution a bit more, the golden age as well as specifically our Indonesian colony, and for some reason I remember classes about the development of our educational system several times, but it was mostly negligible really. Just. All WWII.

  43. Thank you for this video. Its not surprising to hear that history lessons fail in teaching about oppression. That is the case everywhere. Reminds of the Agha shahid Ali quote – "Your history gets in the way of my memory"
    As an Indian, it irks me when someone like Winston Churchill is glorified and quoted widely for his 'success'. His role in the oppression of our country as well as in engineering the Bengal genocide/ famine is forgotten sometimes.
    However we forge on, learning and relearning to keep the memories.

  44. At my school (in the uk), I remember the teachers talking about it as if it were something we should be proud of (having conquered the world) and being sat there feeling very uncomfortable and thinking 'there must be more to the story then that?'. I had sorta forgot about it since then, but having watched your video and reading some of the comments I now realise I need to be for informed about this stuff. Do you have any suggestions of resources that could help educate me and others?

    Thank you for such a thought provoking video 🙂

  45. I feel like in grade school I actually did learn some about the effects of colonization on Canadian aboriginal peoples (the effects of disease and residential schools, for example) but that it was then dropped completely in high school. So from the age of 13 certain ideas were revisited constantly (like WW1 and WW2) but many more problematic areas became unvisited.

  46. This is my perspective as someone from the US. I just told my husband how frustrated I am by the lack of recent history education. I feel like the most recent world event I ever learned about in school was the industrial revolution. I was a history nut and I really wanted to know more about 20th century history. I genuinely feel that this nationalistic movement is due in part to our lack of knowledge of recent history.

  47. here in the US british colonialism is definitely talked about and taught in certain history classes. in my own personal experience we spent a decent amount of time talking about it in my european history class, and it was being taught through a critical lens. however, i grew up in a fairly liberal area and i'm sure this was not everyone's experience. but I do know that anyone in the US who took the AP european history class did learn about colonialism and all of it's effects to some extent.

  48. i definitely had the same experience with my education in the united states. the first time i realized it was when i was learning US history in high school and we glossed over the vietnam war. both of my parents were immigrants, vietnamese boat people who risked their lives to escape communism. my father was part of the south vietnamese navy and fought alongside americans against north vietnam. they both talked to me about the war and their home country a lot as i grew up, and i was surprised that what we learned about the war was so drastically different than what i was originally taught at home. the facts were the same, but the way in which it was presented (tone, details being glossed over, other details being glorified) was like night and day.

    and that made begin to question the rest of our history textbooks. what are other things that these textbooks and teachers have portrayed to skew my understanding of events to be more favorable for my country? up until that point, i had been led to believe that textbooks were just factual, always from a very straightforwardly showcasing what had happened in the past for us to learn from. but that's not the case… and now that i'm older and i can observe our education system (without being a part of it), it's even more glaringly obvious.

  49. It was strange learning about colonialism and post colonialism modules (mandatory on my English degree) as I'd never really understood until then the meaning behind the facts, I mean rather than remembering a list of facts for exams we sat in seminars and discussed in great depth how people were affected in every aspect and I remember thinking why isn't everyone having to do a lesson on this, although a girl on another more business style course had a module like that but she didn't understand why .. all I thought was that it's because it effects everything.

  50. One of the most confusing realisations relating to colonialism for me was understanding that my family came to the UK as a result of the colonisation of India and partition. I exist in the UK because of colonialism. My ancestors were oppressed by the British under colonial rule and now I tick the 'British' box on forms and the like. It's not something in the past; lives like mine are directly impacted in so many ways as are societies generally. I only started to understand the outright racism etc I have experienced since being a young child and the impact of colonialism once I was at university around people who were questioning the silence on issues like race, and colonialism we have in the UK.

    There's so much to be said about this topic and about the history and the present but the discussion can get so tiring, especially when it's impact still rings through lives on a daily basis and is so often ignored.

  51. Does anyone know any good resources about the history of people from the colonised countries coming to Britain and their lives there?

  52. I don't remember learning about colonialism in any formal kind of education. The first thing I remember knowing about colonialism is when I went on a family holiday and my mum was commenting on how some of the buildings were so "old colonial style."
    It was explained to me simply that some British people moved to various different countries and built houses that looked like that.
    Though, thinking about it now it seems like I was always somewhat aware of what we had done although I didn't know it- all I thought was that we'd moved to Australia and India and started lives there. The small pieces of information I was told was very watered down and omitted large chunks of information, for example Captain Cook discovered and settle in Australia… Christopher Columbus discovered America, but gasp it might not have actually been Christopher Columbus who went there first! That was it, until I got older and have actively tried to research and educate myself about it (albeit only a very small amount.)

  53. From an Irish perspective every single part of our history and even our modern culture is defined by colonialism, which we are still living with in a sense. Obviously the form of colonisation that exists now is much more complicated and deeply entrenched but it's still a constant reminder of the affect our history has on our every day lives. You constantly live under its shadow and, even as an independent country, the inferiority complex remains and there's this sense that we have to defer to other countries for validation. Growing up, our history education revolved almost entirely around it with Britain playing the role of villain and Ireland as martyr (I'm not saying that's right either but that's how it was). I remember wondering what English children learned in school and if they felt bad for what their ancestors did to mine (again, I'm not saying that's right – obviously I don't think so simplistically now – but it happened).

    I totally understand that like you, even though you come from a Mexican heritage you look white and so there is privilege with that. It's similar because even though I come from a colonised and persecuted people, I still get the advantages of being white today. However, there can sometimes be a sense of disregard for Europeans affected by colonisation because their whiteness is thought to somehow erase their suffering. It's also common to lump us in with the very people who exploited, enslaved and attempted genocide upon us because we're all the same colour and so it fits conveniently into the modern narrative. I think that's very easy to say unless you've actually lived it. It's important to remember all of the transgressions of the past – even if they're not trendy at the moment – so as not to become complacent and repeat them. This is something that is really a risk at the moment with Brexit in particular and the complete ignorance of and apathy towards the affect this may very well have on NI/ROI/UK relations and the potentially devastating impact it could have on the ongoing peace process.

  54. I'm from Nicaragua so the Spanish colonialism is very much present in our country and history classes. However I'm in a U.S style bilingual school with all the classes in English. When we studied World History, colonialism was given a chapter and no more. The effects the U. S and Spain had on Latin-American countries is almost ignored. It's distressing to see this because personally I see the outcome of this every day in my country. It is something that should be taught with much more respect and given more importance in my opinion.

  55. In America, at least until you get to high school and do AP US like I am (which is optional) colonialism is again treated at arm's length and all history is Euro/America-centric. We learned about the Revolution, the Civil War/Slavery, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War OVER AND OVER AND OVER with really nothing in between and maybe a LITTLE bit on industrialization/Prohibition/the Great Depression. You don't really see until high school how all that is linked and the stuff that happens in between, and what caused all of it, in which colonialism has a massive part. Also American Exceptionalism, which basically forbids us from talking about the negative aspects of colonialism ("The French and the Spanish and the English all came here and wiped out the people already living in this new land and it became AMERICA! And now we're here!"). I will never, ever forget the day when a history teacher I loved subbed for my English class while we were reading Anne Frank and spent the entire 100min block talking about genocide, because it was the first time I'd ever heard it spoken of in depth.

  56. I am in Humanities and International Studies Program at my school, and sophomore year we took World Cultures. First semester was Asian history, first with the Middle East, then India, then China, then Japan, then Southeast Asia. We also read books by or from people from these places in our Literature class. Second semester was Latin America and Africa. I feel like I can say fairly confidently that my teacher taught colonialism appropriately. We learned about it first in Africa (he also tried to humanize the story of slavery) and then Latin America, which we got into more detail about, at least the politics aspect. It was really really good for me and all of us (the students) in general. I believe my teacher understood the importance of these topics and did them justice to the best of his abilities. He asked us hard questions about what culture and identity and even geography means. Ultimately, it wasn't perfect, but certainly better than what it seems like you had growing up. It wasn't America-centric, either, but we did talk about the US when appropriate, especially with Latin American colonialism. 👍🏼

  57. I'm in Australia and in primary school in the '90s, we were taught multiple times about the great Captain Cook discovering Australia. The Aboriginal people were briefly mentioned, but we were basically taught that poor ol' Cook just didn't realise that these people 'owned' the land because they didn't have houses and fences… how was he to know?! As I got older, I learnt that Cook and his men knew damn well, they just decided to classify the Aboriginal people as part of the flora and fauna, which meant that under British law they weren't human beings with rights. This is why they weren't counted in the Census until the 1960s. Because they weren't legally recognised as people. The more I learn about the history of Australia, the more I am just appalled by the way Australian's talk about our Colonialist history.

  58. Thanks for posting this video. Anything to get the message/idea out into the world. This is something we should be discussing and encouraging in schools around the world. I have lots of respect and love for your courage to speak up about issues which are important.

  59. It definitely frustrates me (as a white British female, for context) that we talked about colonialism so little in schools. A lot of britains involvement in the slave trade wasn't even mentioned in school despite us doing a whole project on slavery and it's aftermath in the USA when I was about 13. I learnt a lot from fiction books. We talked about Germans colonial ambitions and the effect it had on some African nations. In fact I remember a teacher saying to us that although it was terrible to be a colony if you were going to be one at least if yo were a British one you were better off as democracy stuck in most former British colonies (Zimbabwe being a notable exception). However I also remember studying the Arab-Israeli conflict at 17/18 and us spending the entirety of the time we were studying 1900-1950ish thinking that the British were complete tools and hating them. But this was the first time we had really studied the terrible effects of colonialism. Oh I also remember a teacher saying the main reason we got rid of the empire was because we couldn't affford it anymore after letting India go.

  60. You're so right about this. We never learned about this. We did the tudors and the world wars over and over again. I feel that's because we don't have to take responsibility so much for our poor decisions there. We absolutely should be learning about this

  61. Super interesting content! I remember that we learnt quite a lot about ww I&II and, having finished school in Germany, the Nazi regime over and over again. However, we did cover colonialsm and the British Empire in depth in my English class. The book we worked with was "One Language, Many Voices" (publisher: Cornelsen) offering a diverse collection of short stories from Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe to Hanif Kureishi. The stories deal with all stages of British colonialism including post-colonial consequences. It's an interesting, non-history-book-like and structured read – I still use it today and can recommend it.

  62. Its really interesting and shocking to me how different the history curriculum is in the republic of ireland vs in northern ireland. I think its a really striking example of how differently history can be told even on a tiny island. In Answer to your question: the education in the republic definitely focuses a lot on colonialism and the fight for independence, which i think makes colonialism very close to irish students and kind Of makes us feel a solidarity with other countries where similar things happened- which isnt to say that there isnt still a huge amount of racism, but theres also a solidatrity there. Whereas my friends from the north didnt learn about that side of history in the same depth at all (they also arent taught the irish language as a compulsory subject in schools, which i think is relevant). But yes i agree with everything you said!

  63. I have always wondered how colonialism was taught in Europe, I'm from Ecuador and every school will teach you about how bad it was and how it destroyed many cultures, not until I listened about how a small war was taught in the other country it occurred to me that it was the perspective of the "losing side" so I became interested in the "winner". Reading the comments is actually interesting, to me it seems like the countries that had colonies never talk about it while the colonies themselves never want this period to be forgotten.

  64. Thank you for this! As an Indian growing up internationally, I was surprised and upset to realize that the childhood experiences I connected with other Indians over were reading British children's books (Enid Blyton, etc). that had food and aspects of culture that were so unfamiliar to us and made us idealize White people and British society even more. As a result, I feel that I've carried a resentment towards England for denying us narratives like our own and ignoring colonialism to this day, while the US is increasingly bringing racism and slavery into public discourse

  65. I'm from Pennsylvania, and all around my hometown are rivers and roads with Native American names or anglicized versions of them. And I was realizing that those names are almost all that's left of the civilizations that once lived on the same land where I lived my whole childhood. In school when we learned about the history of our valley, we learned about the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Quakers in great detail, but basically nothing about anyone who lived there before colonial settlement. When we did talk about native americans in school it was always in this kind of reverent, almost mythical way that really minimized their humanity and the violence of european settlement. Recently I was having a conversation with a friend, and we laughed at how difficult it was to spell those "Pennsylvania names" – but as soon as I called them that I realized how strange and awful it is that all that history has been rubbed into the background, only to be remembered as weird "Pennsylvania" names.

  66. Too bad we do not get a good understanding of history, the good and the bad. History in schools fails us, if we do not learn from it and use that knowledge for future decisions, like voting.

  67. In USA , Texas public education system we spent a lot more time talking about historical events that took place in the 1600 – 1900. 20th century historical events were briefly mentioned but most of the time was spent discussing the revolutionary war, Texas history (Remember the Alamo!), and vague world history. At the time I didn't really think about what I was not being taught but as I have continued my education (I am currently a PhD candidate in the liberal arts) and through your video, I have realized that I was taught more about British colonialism than American colonialism in my history classes. I remember a very brief discussion of the Japanese internment camps in a paragraph of my history textbook but that is really it. I think that teaching British colonialism was a way of my education system pointing a finger and shaming other countries as a means of a distraction from our own failures. This is also why the revolutionary war was so important. We were taught "Look how terrible the British were. Colonialism, India, Slavery, etc. We did the right thing starting a war and we are THE great power now." I too am skeptical of nationalism. I love my country but I also want to hold it accountable for the atrocities that it participated in.

  68. I am in year 13 right now, and I have just finished my history coursework, and our question was "To what extent was British involvement in Africa from 1791 – 1914 primarily down to economic motives?" (I think it's interesting that AQA didn't include the downfall of the Empire…). Therefore I know a lot about it, which I think is really important, but other than the slave trade, I had never learnt about it previously. My whole education for history just seemed to centre around the first world war, as you mentioned. I think it's awful that we never learn about any black British historic figures, and that it's not compulsory to learn about Empire, when it is such a huge part of our history – even if it is incredibly shameful, it's necessary.

  69. I remember doing The Tudors and The Victorians and then some super boring WWII stuff that felt very removed from the actual realities of the war – more about tactical type of stuff??? And I always wondered – why these particular topics?

  70. As an American, this really reflected the things I've been thinking and feeling and learning about ongoing settler colonialism here in the US. I've been thinking a lot about the statement "we are all immigrants", which attempts to express a very nice pro-immigrant sentiment, but totally erases not only Native American histories and ongoing presence in the US and Canada, but also the experience of black Americans, whose ancestors were not immigrants but slaves.
    My education up until this year (my final year of university) has been totally inadequate on this front, and similarly to you, I learned about American colonialism and indigenous histories as something of the past, totally separate from my everyday experience. Of course, this is a total falsehood, because my childhood home and favorite park and university, and the entire United States continue to be on occupied Native land, a reality that I'm still grappling with….
    Anyway, thanks for this video!!

  71. Sooo many thoughts on this. Apologies for the essay to come.The first thing this made me think of is when I (US-ian) was teaching English in Germany. The curriculum focused on the US and the UK and there was actually a decent amount in our textbooks about race. However, when it came to race in the US, the takeaway always seemed to be "this country is Very Bad and Very Racist and thank god we aren't like those awful people Over There." When it came to the UK, the message was, "look at this diverse multiethnic country! Let's ignore why there are so many immigrants from the Caribbean and the Subcontinent!" All of which is ridiculous because the US, the UK, and Germany are all very racist in distinct, and yet deeply intertwined ways, all of which have a lot to do with colonialism and its legacies. Saying one country is "more racist" than another is counterproductive and reductive.
    Another thing I thought about a lot while living in Europe is that it's bizarre that our education in the US primarily relates our history to that of Europe and not that of other settler colonial states like Canada/Australia/NZ/Mexico/Brazil etc. etc. (It is absurd how much territory Europeans invaded. Just starting to list those countries made me angry!) It's difficult to articulate what I mean by this, but I guess I just realized in Germany that although I'm (mostly) ethnically European and my native language has its roots in Europe, I don't feel European at all. I once joked with someone that I was a citizen of the "new world," but that's actually how I feel and how I'd guess a lot of people in the US feel, though I can't say for sure.
    And of course the US is a complicated, though not unique, case bc it was a colony that then invaded and colonized other territories… Colonialism is complicated, man.

  72. I am an American and go to a highly progressive school that values effects of history just as much as learning about the events themselves. Last year, for example, we did a lot with colonialism. It was a focus on African and Middle Eastern history, so we did much with European colonialism in Africa and US nationalism effecting the Middle East. It was so interesting, beneficial, and refreshing to get a real world view instead of the glorified America that my friends at public schools receive.

    In America, I feel that we study the American Civil War, our Revolutionary War, World War II, and our Civil Rights Movement over and over. I wish we got to study more Eastern history (in particular China and India) because a) we get to learn new information and b) we get to learn about rich history of the two most populous countries in the world, but instead I have to have two more years of US history, government, and politics where I learn about the four events I listed earlier again. It's so frustrating that I don't get as big a world view as I want. It's so limiting to continue to learn about the "high" points of ones own country through a glorified lens over and over.

  73. I honestly don't remember anything being taught about colonialism at my primary school. I didn't do history at secondary beyond year eight, so Idk if it was covered after that point at all, but when it comes to WWII, we focused on the Blitz and evacuation because that was obviously really child-focused, but I didn't even know until years later that there were countries outside of Europe and the US that were involved in the war. If it was mentioned, it was obviously in such a small way that I don't remember at all. I totally get what you mean about history being taught in a sort of removed way. I think it's because the events we're taught about aren't linked properly to the present day, so we don't fully understand their impact.

  74. As a Thai person, I am inherently grateful that my country wasn't colonized unlike its Southeast Asian counterparts. It's still very sad and infuriating to see countries such as Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines and Vietnam lose a huge part of their vibrant history and cultural identity when it was occupied and colonized by Europeans and what profound, lasting consequences it still has to this day. Malaysia and Philippines no longer have its own written language, they use English characters instead. To me, this is unfathomable.

  75. Hey, am so proud of you making this video, it is a really hard topic to be talking about and I'm glad you did!! More please!

  76. Great vid. I'm from Aus (and we have all own own issues relating to colonialism and denied/ignored history, as I gratefully saw is being discussed below), BUT something I did find kind of…I dunno a bit uncomfortable I guess, is when I was visiting Scotland and saw the Edinburgh military tattoo.
    There were all these separate performances/groups from all different countries (i.e Malta etc). And whilst it was all very celebratory I couldn't shake the feeling that it was this parade of colonialism. Like, look at all these places we conquered and took their people and brought in their culture….I dunno I guess it's also like what they say about there being not many interesting relics in Egypt of ancient Egypt, because they're all in the British museum :S Most young British people however I think at least are aware of this conflict, which is more that I can say for the awareness of Aussies and the atrocities we have wrought on our indigenous population.

  77. In my education in the US, I felt this mostly with our role in many dictatorships and genocides in Latin America. We really only spoke about it in my Spanish class. When it was brought up in my history class, it was merely mentioned to emphasize how anti-socialist we were, not how horrific the effects were. In our narrative about the 70s and 80s, we focus so much on the Cold War and Reagan's economic policy, while ignoring the fact that we were responsible for millions of deaths. Similarly to how colonialism affected many African countries' ability to grow a solid economy, fighting for freedom has greatly hindered Latin America Lin power in the world and their ability to stand up to American corporations (and government) taking advantage of their resources.

  78. As a South African this video speaks to me so deeply. Our education system is still so dominated by colonial values, particularly the literature taught in schools. I finished school in 2016 and never had one set-work book with a protagonist that was non-white. Decolonisation had become a focus in our universities, but it is amazing to hear someone speaking about it from a British perspective. Thank you for the video Rosianna!

  79. Throughout secondary school, we would move through history – so first year was prehistoric and Egyptian, second year was Ancient Greece and Rome, etc (this is true for all Belgian schools). Obviously quite eurocentric but we did catch glimpses of other parts of the world, and Belgium itself definitely wasn't interesting enough to make it the main focus, more often focussing on the relevant (European) countries of the time. In our last year, we discussed Congo in relative detail (Congo was the only Belgian colony), and also colonialism and nationalism as concepts. it does hugely depend on the teacher, though, but I guess I got a decent background. It definitely wouldn't hurt to educate myself further, however, and references to colonialism (in lectures, books,…) often still puzzle me.

  80. Throughout secondary school, we would move through history – so first year was prehistoric and Egyptian, second year was Ancient Greece and Rome, etc (this is true for all Belgian schools). Obviously quite eurocentric but we did catch glimpses of other parts of the world, and Belgium itself definitely wasn't interesting enough to make it the main focus, more often focussing on the relevant (European) countries of the time. In our last year, we discussed Congo in relative detail (Congo was the only Belgian colony), and also colonialism and nationalism as concepts. it does hugely depend on the teacher, though, but I guess I got a decent background. It definitely wouldn't hurt to educate myself further, however, and references to colonialism (in lectures, books,…) often still puzzle me.

  81. Hi Rosianna! Long time viewer, first time commenter here. You briefly mention being of Mexican descent while 'looking the way you do' referencing the fact that your physical traits don't correspond with your heritage. I'm Punjabi (My parents are from the north Indian state of Punjab). More specifically, I'm a first generation Punjabi-American; my parents immigrated here after they got married. Ever since I was little, my parents have socialized in the Punjabi diasporic social circles. I love my culture, but I have always felt…weirdly not a part of it especially at these social events.

    The thing is, I don't look Punjabi. We are supposed to be a tall and lean warrior class, with long hair and strong features. I'm short, chubby and just to be frank, most people assume I'm either Mexican or Persian. I can't blame them, because my name is Nicole which is definitely not an Indian name a a little odd. I'm fine with the way I look with the exception of the fact that I feel like it delegitimizes my ability to connect with my culture within these diasporic social circles and with my Indian heritage. How have you dealt with this mis-match? Do you have any thoughts, tips?

  82. Your thoughts are always so insightful! It is so important to look at history and the world through many different perspectives. At my school I actually just finish the unit on imperialism in world history and I'm really luck to be in a high school which offers a global studies concentration and it seems more studies on global history and literature than other schools. However I feel like there needs to be more. We only focused on colonization of Africa and each person took one country so it wasn't comprehensive of the whole and there are so many more regions to cover. I feel like even as I try to take as much out of my education as I can get there is still so much to learn, especially when it comes to global issues. That is why I love reading and youtube and anything else that presents global perspectives. I think that with awareness of the complexities of the world empathy can manifest and we need this quality so much right now in this current political climate. Thank you again for your wonderful thoughts and I hope you have a lovely day<3

  83. I studied immigration to Britain 1939-1975 for my history GCSE and I'm studying the British Empire 1857-1914 for my AS History course at the moment. But during the years when history was compulsory for everyone we only looked at the atlantic slave trade. Now that I've studied the empire properly and realised how much of an impact it has had on the world today I definitely think it should be taught to all students.

  84. I think I had a very different experience. Although the content of the national curriculum does reflect the interests and ideology of government, many of my teachers throughout the years tried their best to expose us to other perspectives and historical narratives. I do have issues with how history is taught in schools overall though. I remember on my first day at University as an undergrad history student when the senior lecturer stood up and told us all that we had to basically forget everything that we thought we knew about studying history and start afresh. In schools there is a big emphasis on learning about events, facts, and specific dates. At University you get to explore historiography (the study of history), which was, by far, the most interesting aspect for me! I think being able to place things in context and understanding different narratives and concepts is so important. In my experience, it was the lack emphasis on critical thinking that bothered me the most. History is an art, and it's so important to question the perspective of any historical narrative you study.

  85. In Brazil, we're taught in school that a portuguese man "discovered" our country. When it comes to the slave trade, a lot of people learn that indigenous labour was not used because "indian people don't like to work" and that's where the need for bringing people from africa comes from. Of course it's a load of bullshit – how do you "discover" something that was there for years already, with its own people and its own culture, nature, traditions and everything else?

    Part of my family lives in Portugal and it's astonishing to see the way they're not taught about colonialism either. To this day, a lot of people there think invading a country and stealing all of its resources was something completely normal and just the way things were done back then. Also, I find that while everyone agrees that Brazil suffers from great inequality when it comes to race (and that plays a huge role in our society), not everyone is willing to make the connection between our colonial past and the current situation.

  86. I wonder if the way we teach history is the reason that we miss the effects of history especially in lower grade levels. For example most of history classes in the past were about memorizing facts and dates. I'm currently living in Peru and several plazas and streets are named 28 de julio or 2 de mayo etc commemorating battles won or independence. When we just learn those facts and then learn maybe what caused the war, we don't really look at how it affected certain groups of people besides the immediate victor and the loser. Sure Peru gained independence from Spain, but the new Peruvian aristocracy descended from Spanish settlers were fighting against Spain's Crown in that war they're going to be fine because they are still an extension of colonialism. How did this war and it's outcome affect the African descendent slaves that were living in Peru at the time or the indigenous people in the Andes or Amazon? Then there is sometimes the problem that there is a lack of "history" (written history) from the marginalized groups of colonialism because their oppressors truly knew how to oppress them by taking away their voice.

  87. I guess I was lucky that my history teacher went into more depth than "and then there were colonies" when setting up WW1 & 2 to us, but as German didn't have a lot of colonies and not for long, it's not a topic that is generally talked about in depth. As you can see on the fact that the genocide we committed on the Herero people in Rwanda was only officially labled as such by our government in 2015, mostly due to them being cowardly afraid of compensation payments.

  88. Thanks for sharing this! I'm a Canadian new-ish to the UK, and working adjacently to education. This is something I think about ALL THE TIME. I was kind of wondering if my inkling that a real understanding of colonialism was lacking in UK education was justified, or that I was just being judgmental and self-righteous. Not that Canada doesn't have ENORMOUS problems to address in that realm, but I feel like even as a very privileged white person I grew up with a constant understanding that colonialism could not be disconnected from any part of Canadian history or from those very privileges I benefited from (obviously not quite in those words as a child!). And also that it was really bad. Genuinely, one of my first answers when people ask what culture shock I've experienced from the move is that no one seems to see the big elephant of colonialism in the room. Especially with Brexit, even people who voted Remain are so confused and startled that Britain would feel entitled to all the benefits of partnerships with other countries while not wanting to give anything back. We're still colonialists at heart. That's why. Because without learning about it in education we are, to be a cliche, doomed to repeat it. Phew. Can you tell I've been holding this rant in?

    Then again, a Canadian MP just said residential schools weren't all bad so…maybe adding it to the curriculum doesn't always help. :L

  89. This is so true!!! I live in the UK and I experienced exactly the same thing, until at GCSE my teacher chose for us to study Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I find colonialism incredibly interesting and I too am now trying to educate myself about it more. It's so sad though that now the only way you can study colonialism is at A-level (in Lit) 😥 People need to know more about it!!!

  90. We were taught so little about British colonialism/imperialism at school (barely even touched on the slave trade!) that I didn't realise how little I knew about the subject until university – what a hugely important part it has played and continues to play in so many past and present events (global and regional), as well as how contextually crucial it is in our understanding of the world today.
    It felt like such a huge chunk of history had been left out of my education, so I basically took all the modules I could on the topic and ended up writing my undergrad dissertation on colonialism and the Empire too.

  91. Have u looked at the series Black and British: a forgotten history, or black is the new black on the BBC ? I would be interested to hear your thoughts about it 🙂

  92. This was a really great video!
    I'm a history major, and the topics you've brought up relate to some of the discussions I've had in seminars and with professors about historical / collective memory.
    There was something that one of my professors said once that sort of blew my mind a little. He said that romanticized (and often mythological) historical narratives of hierarchy and oppression are used to justify those same systems today. The 'this is how it's always been' thought process, or even how we teach and think about history as this linear progression can be harmful and untrue. For example, believing that things like racism and sexism have only gotten better over the course of history is false. There have been ebbs and flows equality across time and across cultures/countries.
    Also, thinking about how we teach history, particularly to a younger audience. Who do we talk about or focus on, and why? While it is important to teach chronology, you then often miss out on the nuances and the humanity of history. It's only been since the 1970's or so that social history really started to be a thing in academic history writings. There was this huge push to write history 'from the bottom up,' trying to understand the experience of the 'everyday' person instead of using the elites as figureheads to suppose the experience of everyone.
    Sorry that was a bit of a ramble, but this video brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings that are usually rattling around my brain.

  93. In school in Canada, we didn't discuss much colonialism except for that in South Africa re: the Boer War but we did constantly talk about Aboriginal people in Canada (like the infamous residential schools, the Indian Act, forced assimilation, native peoples' roles in the world wars, etc) although we never seemed to go into much detail about what native people actually felt about settler Canada. We discuss modern racism against aboriginal groups in Canada and how they are still treated as second-class citizens and held away from the rest of Canadian society. Because I didn't have any native friends as a kid growing up in an overwhelmingly white town, I only learned about the modern marginalization of aboriginal peoples in Canada in the last few years after graduating high school, which I think is a huge failing of the British Columbian education system (education in Canada is mostly moderated provincially, not federally).

  94. You should look up Shashi Tharoor 's speech at Oxford, he talks about the consequences of British colonialism in India.

  95. Just a small thought to add, on a technicality:
    When I was at university in Canada, I did a course on German history. I wrote my final paper on Angela Merkel. I thought it was pretty decent, but my professor basically docked marks because he considered the topic more of "political science" than "history" (despite pre-approving my thesis, but that's another story…). Apparently anything that happened within the past 30yrs is considered Political Science, and courses would come under that faculty (as opposed to History). That comment always stayed with me, especially as I went on to train as a high school history teacher.
    There is a difference in curriculums – both at secondary and post-secondary levels – between Political Science and History topics. I think that unless people take courses on both, they're unlikely to get a wholly firm grip on ideas. I can definitely see how, in secondary schools, educators struggle to tackle 200+ years (on average, depending on the country and course) of events and narratives in one semester or year. That's a lot of content to pack in! And perhaps they don't feel confident enough in their training (again, if they did History at uni, they may not have tackled more Political Science issues) to teach things beyond WWII or, say, the Vietnam War.
    I agree that our students deserve complex and thorough teaching of history (especially at secondary level, as they might not continue it at university) so we need to reevaluate what we expect of teachers, and what we can realistically expect to fit into a curriculum. Perhaps we should make a modern politics / political science course compulsory in secondary school too?

  96. Here in Brazil we are always studying about how Portugal destroyed the natives cultures by trying to impose the catholic religion on Brazil's native people. But right now I'm studying about how Europeans and Americans did the same thing in Africa/Asia. And of course, using a lot of violence.

  97. Rosianna, you should watch Cecile Emeke's Strolling Series videos if you haven't already!! She profiles Black British people / people in the African diaspora and it's amazing

  98. I'm an American born and raised in the state of Hawai'i, and most of my out-of-state friends didn't learn about the colonialism that led to Hawai'i's annexation in the first place until college.

  99. it is affecting till now, Britons oppressed indians for their own interest, divided the country and now we are suffering till now.

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