As part of the Education Department’s Black History Month activities, we were approached to run 2 storytelling workshops with the inmates of HMYOI Warren Hill and Carlford. The 15 – 18 year old boys’ differing levels of formal education and literacy had to be taken into consideration, to ensure everyone benefited from our visit.
We ran 2 practical, participatory workshops, with a group of 29 and 10 boys, to help each participant to articulate their response to the words “Black History”. We looked at what Black History meant to them: which people, events and culture did it bring to their minds? In the future what did they want Black History to be?
In both sessions each inmate created a story, based on their experiences of what Black History is for them today and therefore what could become Black History in the future. Boys of all backgrounds considered how Black History affected them, and the role they play in how it will be seen in the future. For some, creating a story was a real challenge but the sessions raised interesting, insightful and valid discussion. Both sessions ended with the brave step of one story being shared to the rest of the group.