Swing Low Sweet Chariot: England rugby bosses won’t ban slave-era song; will educate fans on its history

The “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” song is one of the most recognized African-American spirituals, rooted in the horrors of US slavery and the oppression of race.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the RFU said in June it was reviewing the song’s use at games, saying many fans might not be aware of its “historical context.”
In a statement released on Thursday, the organization, which oversees English rugby, said it intends to educate fans “on the history and provenance of the song as well as providing platforms for diverse voices across the game.”

“The RFU needs to step up its efforts to improve diversity and inclusion across our game,” RFU Chair Andy Cosslett said. “We are living through testing times, but this will not deter us from grasping the opportunity to better reflect the society we live in.

READ: Sam Burgess steps down from coaching position amid allegations of
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S&T alum gives single largest donation in history of Missouri higher education

In the largest single gift in the history of Missouri higher education, St. Louis businessman Fred Kummer and his wife June have donated $300 million to a foundation that will support Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. 

Fred Kummer, 91, graduated from Missouri S&T in 1955 with a degree in civil engineering. He went on to be the founder and chairman of St. Louis-based HBE Corp., which he established in 1960 and built into the world’s leading design-build firm for health care, a Monday news release said. 

He and his wife have been major donors to Missouri S&T for decades, the university said. 

“I owe much of my success to the education I received at Rolla,” Fred Kummer said. “My Rolla experience taught me how to think, how to work hard and how to manage my own career. June and I believe in the mission of this great

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Missouri University Of Science And Technology Receives $300 Million Gift, The Largest In Missouri Higher Education History

Missouri University of Science and Technology(Missouri S and T) announced today that it had received a $300 million donation, the largest single gift in the history of Missouri higher education. St. Louis businessman and Missouri S and T alum Fred Kummer and his wife June are giving the money to a foundation they created that will support several initiatives at the university.

The Kummers’ gift will be administered by The Kummer Institute Foundation. Funds from the foundation will support several new initiatives at Missouri S&T, including:

  • A new research and development entity modeled after other university-affiliated centers like the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The new organization will be the home to four new research
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Trump’s patriotic education ignores hard truths of U.S. history

Straw man arguments are popular because they’re hard to argue against, but it is certainly the case that President Trump’s recent declarations about anti-racism and education are made of straw — they don’t resemble much of anything actually happening in schools or higher education.

According to press conferences, political rally speeches, and the right-wing author who claims to be the inspiration for Trump’s Executive order, critical race theory has infiltrated higher education and corporate America’s efforts at diversity and inclusion. In response, the president has both forbidden certain ideas in any program that receives federal funding and promised to support a K-12 curriculum that counters the so-called damaging perspective of the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project.

University of Georgia North Georgia professor T. Jameson Brewer

While it is far from clear on how legal or enforceable either of these efforts are given that the federal Department of Education is explicitly

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England rugby bosses won’t ban slave-era song; will educate fans on its history

England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) has decided not to ban fans from chanting a slave-era song — “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” — during matches but will “proactively educate” on its history.



a large crowd of people: Rugby fans in the stands during the Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium, London.


© Press Association via AP Images
Rugby fans in the stands during the Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium, London.

The “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” song is one of the most recognized African-American spirituals, rooted in the horrors of US slavery and the oppression of race.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the RFU said in June it was reviewing the song’s use at games, saying many fans might not be aware of its “historical context.”

In a statement released on Thursday, the organization, which oversees English rugby, said it intends to educate fans “on the history and provenance of the song as well as providing platforms for diverse voices across the game.”

“The RFU needs to

Read More

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: RFU will not ban song but will educate fans on song’s history

England rugby team arrive at Twickenham to cheer of crowd
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot has been sung by fans at Twickenham since 1987

The Rugby Football Union will not ban ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ but will “proactively” educate fans on the song’s “history and provenance”.

In June, the governing body said it would review the song’s use by England fans because of its links with slavery.

It has announced it will use social media to educate supporters in addition to “providing platforms for diverse voices across the game”.

It comes as part of its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion.

“The RFU needs to step up its efforts to improve diversity and inclusion across our game,” said RFU chair Andy Cosslett.

“We are living through testing times, but this will not deter us from grasping the opportunity to better reflect the society we live in.

“We have worked hard to understand our starting point and are now under way with

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History Teachers and “Patriotic Education”

Photograph Source: Larry Jacobsen – CC BY 2.0

Conservatives are kicking around high school history teachers like a “political football.” The Washington Post recently reported that, “Trump seeks to turn local schools into another front in the culture war he champions, positioning history teachers as opponents of American greatness along with kneeling football players.” The President declared his war on history teachers at the first White House Conference on American History: “We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country. We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”

We might wonder what would happen if a teacher took a knee during the daily playing of the national anthem in schools? Colin Kaepernick could afford the repercussions of his action,

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Afua Hirsch: ‘Don’t sell off history with slave links

Afua Hirsch at Elmina Castle in Ghana
Afua Hirsch at Elmina Castle in Ghana

A presenter of a new documentary about slavery has rejected the idea of selling art and artefacts with links to the trade, to compensate descendants.

“I don’t think the sensible way to achieve reparation is to sell off national heritage,” Afua Hirsch said.

“I want people to see it and engage with it. The more accessible it can be, the more it can be used to educate.”

The writer and broadcaster is fronting Enslaved with actor Samuel L Jackson. The series starts on BBC Two on Sunday.

Samuel L Jackson and Afua Hirsch both discovered their roots on the show
Samuel L Jackson and Afua Hirsch both discovered their roots on the show

Hirsch, who writes a column for The Guardian and penned the book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, added: “I’m not about destroying history at all. I want people to see it and engage with it.

“But I do feel quite critical that

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TikTok users educate followers on black British figures for Black History Month

TikTok users are using the platform to educate followers about Black History Month

A number of young black Britons have been taking to TikTok to educate their followers about figures including Roman emperor Septimus Severus and nurse Mary Seacole as Black History Month gets under way.

One TikTok user, DJ Smooth Fuego, said he wanted to highlight these figures as he claims “there is virtually no black British history taught in school”.

The Birmingham DJ uploaded videos about Queen Charlotte and Roman emperor Septimus Severus, and plans to create a new video for every day of Black History Month.

“I wanted to highlight historical figures because of the fact that there is virtually no black British history taught in school, it’s either American black history or the transatlantic slave trade,” Smooth Fuego, 34, told PA.

“I’m both black British and black American and I feel that representation is important, and

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History Center Educating Teachers, Public about Voting Rights

This year marks milestone anniversaries for voting rights. It’s been 150 years since the passage of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted Black men the right to vote, and 100 years since the franchise was extended to women through the 19th Amendment. 

Yet it’s important to remember that both amendments passed after decades of struggle and organizing, says History Prof. Robert Forrant.

“The passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment was the culmination of a battle that had been going on for almost 80 years. This was a long, protracted fight, and it ties into why voting matters, particularly in a presidential election year,” Forrant says. “The Civil Rights Movement and getting the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 was, again, a long struggle.”

“We’re examining voting and voice through the lens of Lowell, as a microcosm for Massachusetts and the United States,” says Kristin Gallas, project manager
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