Portsmouth Point provided a forum for debate and discussion as the PGS community reacted to the transformative effect the death of George Floyd had across the world.

The death of George Floyd at the end of May this year had a transformative effect across the world. It has led to huge protests and vigorous and wide-ranging debate. No sector of our public life has been left untouched: from policing to medicine, from housing to education. Portsmouth Point provided a forum for debate and discussion for members of the PGS community and we have been glad to include such an extraordinary range of reflective and committed writing on the Black Lives Matter movement since May. Below are links to some of the contributions we have had from across the school.

Grace Powell argues that, after the murder of George Floyd, it is no longer enough just to be not racist; Joshua Yuan warns against protests turning to violence; Ayesha Gyening’s article from 2014 shows how little has changed since the murder of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson; Lauren Robson-Skeete’s 2015 article on the mass-killing of African-American churchgoers in Charleston by a white supremacist reflects on centuries-long racial injustice in America; Christopher Clark assesses the political and cultural impact of Malcolm X; James Burkinshaw explores how the legacy of slavery poisons American politics to this very day and asks whether films about the civil rights era should be truer to history than to art; the Senior School reading groups discuss the importance of diversity in literature; Jo Morgan suggests that more needs to be done to tackle unconscious racism in the classroom; Sophie Reeve-Foster, Becky Wiles, Francesca Aston and Jimmy Cathie explore the intersection between race, gender and sexuality, from Meghan Markle to Lil Nas X; and pupils from PGS and Kikaaya School, Uganda, present an anthology of poems exploring diversity & an exhibition of art (from painting to cooking) that represents race and identity.

Simon Lemieux addresses the implications of BLM for teaching history in schools; Emma Kirby suggests that this is a time for listening as well as acting; Jo Morgan urges people to embrace not fear the chance for change; John Sadden considers the role of race in British politics over the past half century; Nicholas Lemieux examines the questions raised by the presentation of race in TV comedies; Jimmie Cathie-Morgan explores the BLM movement through art and poetry; Edith Critchley reflects on this transformative moment in her poem, 'now the earth shatters'.

Let's Talk About Race

We are founding members of the Schools’ Inclusion Alliance, which is a collaboration between educators, schools and the wider community to support schools and teachers to create an inclusive culture where all young people thrive. Following the recent events in the US, Helen Semple, the founder of the Alliance produced a webinar called “Let’s talk about race” with Mark Gervais and Masha Powell.