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The Curriculum Will Not Be Decolonised

Updated: Dec 29, 2022



The curriculum will not be decolonised,

by talking about how to make students feel good, warm and fuzzy.

The curriculum will not be decolonised by round table discussions

about diversity, inclusion and equality and handing out CPD certificates.


The curriculum will not be decolonised

through unconscious bias training, self-flagellation,

and declarations of white privilege to Black and Brown folx.


The curriculum will not be decolonised by 15-second YouTube shorts or viral videos on TikTok, Twitter hashtags or colour-corrected selfies on Google Pixel camera phones.


A decolonised curriculum will not be sponsored by Squarespace,

Grammarly, Surfshark VPN or the latest trading platform.


Incremental increases in inclusivity, incorporating individualised identities,

will not be enough for the next generation to thrive or to understand,

that the curriculum will not be decolonised.


The curriculum will not be decolonised,

by toppling statues, or removing all dead white men from textbooks, art galleries or concert halls.

The curriculum will not be decolonised in academic journals,

and international conferences held in the Global North.


The curriculum will not be decolonised by White people,

acting alone after reading Reni Eddo-Lodge, Ibram X. Kendi or Ijeomo Oluo,

proudly displaying this new found literature behind them on Zoom calls or foregrounded on YouTube videos.


There will be no government white paper or cabinet minister holding a black, red and green briefcase outside Number 10 announcing a new direction.

The direction has already been decided,

Because the curriculum will not be decolonised.


Decolonisation will not be achieved through inclusive job adverts,

or scholarship schemes for Black and Brown folx to Russell Group or Ivy League universities.


The curriculum will not be decolonised by the waving of flags,

the pinning of badges, tattoos, mehndi or graffiti.


The curriculum will not be decolonised in English.


A decolonised curriculum will not be televised on Netflix or HBO,

Or be available on an app for a nominal monthly fee.


It will not be decolonised by screening Wakanda Forever, or watching historical movies about Black and Brown suffering at the hands of the oppressor.


The curriculum will not be decolonised by refusing to acknowledge how the economics of colonialism continue to affect our world, especially in the Global South.


The curriculum will not be decolonised by playing music by Black musicians during Black history month, only to return to your regularly scheduled programming when the clock strikes 12 on March 1st.


Adding Florence Price, bell hooks, S.D. Burman or Chinonyerem Odimba to reading and listening lists will not be enough,

because the curriculum will not be decolonised.


The curriculum will not be decolonised by this poem.


The curriculum will not be decolonised,

The curriculum will not be decolonised,

The curriculum will not be decolonised.



Inspired by the late great Gil Scott-Heron.

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