Black Sheep tells the story of Cornelius Walker, whose life changed on 27 November 2000 - the day Damilola Taylor was killed. Damilola was 10, the same age as Cornelius. He lived five minutes away. He had the same skin colour. Cornelius’s mother, scared for her son’s safety, moved their family out of London. Cornelius suddenly found himself living on a white estate run by racists. But rather than fight them, Cornelius decided to become more like the people who hated him. They became his family and kept him safe. And in return, Cornelius became submerged in a culture of violence and hatred. But as the violence and racism against other black people continued, Cornelius struggled to marry his real identity with the one he had acquired. Directed by Ed Perkins.
Be the Change, Conflict Matters, Other in My Classroom, You Are Not Alone
Racism, Bullying, Violence, Identity, The Other, Equality, Relationships, Minority Voice, Empowerment
NI CURRICULUM LINKS:
LLW - Citizenship & Personal Development, Drama, Language & Literacy: English with Media Education, UICT/ICT, Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities.
Please note this film deals with the harsh and often aggressive realities of racism and contains strong language. While all the Shortcut films are vital and appropriate for a young audience, some do contain upsetting subject matter, so please be mindful of the emotions these films can potentially trigger in young audiences. The activities in the Nerve Centre lesson plan below have been developed to allow young people to explore these issues through drama. You may choose to deliver all the activities within one department or work cross-departmentally to deliver particular activities.
A recorded interview with Cornelius Walker, who tells his story in Black Sheep, is available in the Masterclasses section of this website. This Q&A webinar was recorded in Oct 2020 as part of our Shortcut Teachers Conference. The conversation has been split into 5 bit size masterclasses for your classroom. Cornelius discusses in detail each stage of Black Sheep film production and use of the camera as tool of empowerment in highlighting the issues and traumas of racism.
This lesson plan will allow students to explore the issues of racism and identity and allow them to think about their own biases and prejudices. They will use drama to explore mental health, empathy and how their actions can affect others.
There are 3 suggested activities: 1. Watch the film and consider the issues of identity, bullying and unconscious bias 2. Explore mental health through drama and research avialab;e support. 3. Use drama to develop empathy and explore how their actions can affect others. Work with extracts from the Black Sheep script to create tableaux.
The students will critically watch the film and use the questions in the worksheet to explore the issues presented. They will use the "Circle of Support" activity to think about what support they have and what other support they may need and will then research Childline and a local mental health charity.