By Juliana Lucas
A Tulse Hill councillor has joined a growing number of MPs and race campaigners fighting to prevent any plans to remove Mary Seacole from the school curriculum.
Cllr Adedamola Aminu, the deputy cabinet officer for youth services, children social care and children in care, has throw his weight behind a campaign to prevent the Education Secretary Michael Gove from removing Seacole, a black nurse who cared for soldiers on the front line during the Crimean War. The petition was started by the campaign group Operation Black Vote (OBV).
Leaked documents showed that Gove plans to replace the Crimean War nurse and abolitionist Equiano Olaudah with historical figures such as Winston Churchill and Admiral Lord Nelson, but more than 30,000, people, including the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour MP David Lammy, Diane Abbott, have signed the petition to try and stop him from doing so.
Cllr Aminu, a lecturer at South Thames College, and a school governor at two primary schools in Lambeth says Gove is “wrong to remove Seacole from the school curriculum”.
“I don’t know why they want to remove her”, he said, “The sensible thing would be to keep her in the school books so our young people can learn of the achievement black people have contributed to the country.”
Aminu went on to speak of the importance of keeping such important black figures in the history books and he compelled Gove to leave her there.
“Black people have achieved a lot in this country. Many, including Seacole, were involved in World War Two, but how many people know this? Instead of removing her they should include other notable black achievers into the school books so our young people know what their people have contributed to this country.”