Culture vulture

17th March 2006 at 00:00
Gabrielle Shahidi-Hartley can't get Bront and Bogart out of her head

Best book ever

I love the passion and romance of Wuthering Heights. I studied it for A-level and find it astonishing that Emily Bront could have written something so haunting and evocative. Howarth is still a wild place, and the description of Heathcliff and Cathy's love in that place is so gripping.

Best film ever

For the past few years a group of us have got together on New Year's Eve and shown our favourite film clips. Mine have always been from Casablanca.

It is so memorable and the one-liners are hilarious.

To share with pupils

I love Jane Kurtz's books illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Almaz and the Lion, pictured, and Mamo and the Mountain as well as the story "Mufaro's beautiful daughters" by John Steptoe. They are all beautifully illustrated and I use them a lot with children in school because they love the stories and appreciate seeing images of black people.

Best inspiration

I run a black history afternoon for two Year 5 groups and I took them to see the National Portrait Gallery's touring Black Victorians exhibition at Manchester City Art Gallery. It was so varied, and good for our children to look into the lives of the many black people who had made a difference at that time.

Best resource

www.100greatblackbritons.com has great biographies and, again, the children love stories about black citizens who have contributed to their society.

It's about creating strong role models.

Looking forward to..

Reading The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger on holiday. There's nothing better than being taken out of your everyday world by a good read.

Gabrielle Shahidi-Hartley, 38, is a teacher with the Manchester diversity and inclusion team. She is based two days a week in Holy Name primary, a multi-ethnic Roman Catholic school in Hulme, near Moss Side, where she runs an after-school culture club. The school recently won a British Council International Schools award. Interview by Elaine Williams

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