Empire study can challenge racists

11th July 2003 at 01:00
Leading historians at the Prince of Wales summer school for English and history specialists last week argued that Britain's imperial past should be reinstated in the secondary curriculum ("The empire comes back", TES, July 4).

I agree with them. Imperialismcolonialism was the most important world trend of the 19th century (and still is!), and Britain had the big-gest and most important empire.

Exposure to British colonial history is also important from a race relations point of view. It is imperative to establish that black and Asian people did not just drop in the UK from nowhere but there was a "cause and effect" where colonialism is the cause and they are the effect and the two are inseparable.

It is interesting that the race relations legislationindustry has repeatedly failed to explain the real context of black and Asian people's presence in this country despite the fact that the racists gain public support by posing their key question: "Why are these people here?"

Husain Akhtar

26 Wellesley Road

Harrow, Middlesex

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