Where Are You From? Black British History for Children by SJ Penni

Barrister at Law, Sally Penni MBE, was so frustrated and disappointed at the racist attacks on young footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka following the Europa League games, that she decided it was time to write a book celebrating Black British history, dedicating it to the footballers. We were gifted a copy of the fantastic ‘Where are you from? A book celebrating Black British History for children’ to review, and I’m so grateful for something written on my children’s level, that will help to further educate them.

So where to start?

Unlike most Black History books, which are all important in their own way, I found Where are you From? SO thorough in its approach on educating the children about Black British history. Or as I like to call it… British history! In fact, when I came across the following quote, it made me smile because THIS is absolutely the truth. It’s not Black British history. It’s just British history that a lot of people like to ignore or forget…

Packed with Information

Where are you from is jam packed with information. There are important moments in Black British history, such as the discovery of ‘Beachy Head Woman‘ (believed to be the first known person in Britain from south of the Sahara in Africa), The Bristol Bus Boycott and The Notting Hill Carnival.

It is also full of Black people who have been part of pivotal moments in British history. And my favourite part of the people who are included are that the majority are lesser know people. I know I own a lot of books that contain celebrities and really well known people, so this one is a breath of fresh air in this case. It’s really lovely to read about people who are obviously quite often forgotten.

The book also includes a run down of what Black History month is, why it’s needed and also has a great section at the end that suggests learning activities children could do once they’ve read the book.

Sally Penni MBE

Something that I really love about this book, is that it’s not only about pivotal Black people, it is written by one. Sally is an award winning Barrister, who has been awarded an MBE for championing diversity and inclusivity . She’s a mother of 3, and not only has she authored this book, she has authored another children’s book AND lots of law books too! I think when you read ‘Where are you From?’, you can really feel the passion and drive behind the writing, and that is all down to Sally.

A fantastic resource for opening up conversations, or keeping them going…

Whether you already teach your children that Black history is everyone’s history and have been on a journey of learning more already, or whether you use this book as a starter to opening up conversations, this book is the perfect resource.

I feel like a lot of the conversations we have had so far, have been about well covered people, topics etc, and I felt like this book really delved into a whole world of important Black figures we would have never heard of in our learning.

Challenging what you know about Black British History.

What ideas do you have about how Black people have featured in British history? I can guarantee in this book you’re going to learn about people as far back as from the Ice Age and the Tudor period, to the World Wars and right up to the present day.

You’re going to learn about the first Black magistrate, Soldiers, Abolitionists, the first Black judge and a Black princess…

I feel like this book taught the children (and me!) so much more about those easily forgotten people who made a HUGE difference to history! These people have achieved HUGE things. Country and law changing things.

I love that this book is a celebration of the achievements throughout the centuries. It’s a celebration of the fight and change accomplished by these pivotal, incredible people, and I think all people of all ages should read it.

50% of the proceeds go to supporting great causes.

Half of all proceeds of the sale of the book go to help these 2 charities:

The Black Curriculum – A social enterprise that hopes to teach Black British history in schools across the UK

ACLT – A charity set up to help find bone marrow donors from Black and minority communities, to help children.

Where can you buy the book?

‘Where are you From?’ is self-published and is available to purchase from Amazon.

Overall we absolutely loved the book, and would whole heartedly recommend to anyone and everyone.

L xx

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