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The future of black children is science, says tutor

BLACK CONTRIBUTIONS to science will be in the spotlight at a lecture in Birmingham this weekend in hopes of inspiring the next generation to consider looking at the sciences for life-changing careers.

Leading black history specialist Robin Walker, known as ‘The Black History Man’, in conjunction with mathematician and tutor Eric Mitchell, will host the lecture on Sunday evening (March 29) at Aston Conference Centre in Aston Business School.

Their aim is to make black youngsters and their parents aware of the bright futures that can lie ahead in the sciences, technology and mathematics.

Eric Mitchell, who runs Sankore, a Birmingham-based maths and English tuition service, told The Voice: “I am tired of seeing talented black children making history for all the wrong reasons.

“We need to give them a sense of purpose and meaning to their lives by showing them that incredible careers are on offer through the sciences.

“I know that many young people don’t like maths at school because they don’t see the point of it, but it can lead to engineering and astronomy which can offer extremely rewarding careers.”

He added: “People of African heritage have contributed so much to the science world over the centuries, but people are not aware of it. African American scientists such as Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space, and Christine Darden, a NASA aeronautical engineer, are inspirational examples.

LECTURE: Black history specialist Robin Walker, known as ‘The Black History Man

“We need more people like them in today’s generation because there is a chronic shortage of black young people taking up the sciences. Children need to realise the importance of these subjects so they can use them to do great things.

“I pride myself on instilling a ‘can do’ attitude in the children I teach. They don’t all have to be geniuses but there is so much more they are all capable of.”

The lecture will explain how astronomy, the science that mapped the heavens, started in Africa. With the discovery of the Lebombo Bone in Southern Africa, scholars were able to date the beginning of astronomy to at least 37,000 years ago.

It will also outline why Ethiopian monks and scribes kept 532-year mathematical tables to calculate Easter, Passover and other religious festivals. And who was the African American scientist and mathematician who published best selling astronomical texts in the late eighteenth century.

The lecture will be held on Sunday between 5pm and 8pm at Aston Conference Centre, Aston Business School, Conference Room 1A, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET. For more details contact Eric Mitchell on 07837 620 967 or Cornelius on 07956 174 522.

Adults are £5 on the door and children are £3.

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