Skip main navigation

I Wish

Co-Founder Lawrence Hoo performs I Wish. This poem explores Lawrence's experience and the motivation behind CARGO Classroom.

Written by Lawrence Hoo
Performed by Lawrence Hoo

Watch the poem and then read the information below.

You can read the poem below and download the transcript using the link provided.


I wish as a boy growing up, more of my history was shown
There was so much missing, that could have helped me, before I was grown

The history I was taught, helped fill me with anger and pain
Because it taught me, my ancestors, were slaves with no name

Captured, kidnapped, traded and taken from their home
That’s what I remember, when my ancestors were shown

So when it came to history lessons, my interest was none
Because whenever it covered my ancestors, they were savages and dumb

But many years after leaving school, my interest started to grow
And that, is when I realised, there was so much I didn’t know

Much of what I was taught in school, and told was fact
Was really, like someone explaining all your life, on just one act

There is so much to be proud of, there is so much that has been achieved
But without going in search of the truth, I would of been deceived

From kings and queens that built great nations
To teachers and scholars that helped with our educations

From people who stood up when what they saw was wrong
To people who risked their life to help the sick get strong

From warriors that fought with so much pride
To all the people who for our cause …died

These are just a few facts, I found, that turned my anger to joy
And I just wish, they were taught to me, when I, was a boy

I Wish

Was exhibited in 2007 as a response to the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Lawrence Hoo was reflecting on how the education he was taught as a young boy, mirrored the education his children were receiving in school some 30 years later.

Something had to change. The next ten years would lead to the founding of the CARGO Movement and the classroom resources now being used globally.

CARGO Classroom’s main focus is answering Lawrence’s wish, offering enrichment through education, readdressing the imbalance of a Eurocentric curriculum by shining a light on the accomplishments, achievements and contributions of individuals who are often overlooked or misrepresented in history.

Western discourse around people of African and African Diaspora Heritage has been one mostly of victimhood. As society gains a wider understanding and perspectives change with time, we are discovering more narratives to undo this framing of history.

Our focus is purely solution based. Our work is iterative and as a result have remained firmly rooted on the innovative transformational ‘edge’ of the discourse.

We can not do this work without you!

So to kick off, we thought we would ask you to share your answers to the following in the comments section below:

Why are you here and what do you hope to learn from this course?

If you had one wish to address history in education, what would you wish for and why?

This article is from the free online

Practical Skills for Teaching Inclusive History: CARGO Classroom

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now