THE early history of Britain is 'horribly white' and should be rewritten to include the black and Asian people who weren't there, the country’s equality chief said last night.
Trevor Phillips said he had read a number of key texts on the Middle Ages and not one had mentioned the major part played by Morgan Freeman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
He said the only dark skinned character to feature regularly in works on the medieval period was the Black Death, which he described as a “typically negative stereotype” of people of colour.
Mr Phillips said: “Read the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People and you could be forgiven for thinking that 8th century Britain was almost entirely free of people of Afro-Caribbean or Asian origin. It’s a disgrace."
Mr Phillips is calling for the introduction of a quota system into British history writing to ensure that at least 10 per cent of major historical figures are black or Asian, including monarchs.
He wants Henry V, Elizabeth I, and the current Queen to all be black but not John, Richard III, Oliver Cromwell, or Ethelred the Unready.
He said: “How can any of our young black and Asian youth in the inner cities ever aspire to work hard at school with a view to becoming a King of England if they are constantly told by history that this is job is for whites only?”