Black History Month

Black History Month

We are joining the Black History Month 2020 call to ‘Dig Deeper. Look Closer. Think Bigger,’ the theme of this year’s recognition and celebration of Black History across the UK and internationally. These web pages serve as a platform for sharing initiatives, projects, events, and recommended materials which have been put together by staff, researchers and students from across the university.

We encourage visitors to engage with these works and acknowledge the important contributions of Black communities both within the university and beyond.

University Statements

2020 has highlighted the difference between being actively anti-racist rather than non-racist and the macroaggressions that Black people face on a daily basis, something I do continue to personally experience. It’s exhausting. The first stage is understanding these points and then thinking about what you can do to address it. An enormous amount of work has been done to change the curriculum; to enable a wider focus and to embrace a different perspective but there’s still lots of work to be done and this celebration helps to recognise this work is still ongoing and we recognise its importance. I am Black 365 days a year, and Black contribution should be recognised each and every day. Our history is always there, it’s always accessible.

We are proud to celebrate the achievements of our colleagues and students - while committing to ensure we centre and amplify Black voices 365 days a year. History shows us the equalities that have been won and the advancements that have been made but it also shows us where there is still work to be done.

This year has seen a renewed sense of determination and vigour to ensure more change is on the way. We know the diversity of our colleagues and students is one of our great strengths and as we work to decolonise the curriculum, we add our weight behind this hope for a better future. We celebrate, learn and grow as we move through the month - and beyond.

The BME Staff Network, welcomes Black History Month as an occasion to reflect, recall and remind everyone of the many wondrous and brave contributions Black people have given to the world, over a millennia. Not forgetting, the violence of slavery that Africans endured for over 400 years. At a time when Black voices and their lived experiences have once again been hurled under the spotlight of international injustice, Black people continue to draw on their resolve, resilience and resistance against an enduring and unforgiving oppression. Yet, the spirit of the ancestors, continue to shine on, across the world, with a glow of ‘Black Brilliance’. Lest we forget, Black History is also British history.

At Coventry University Students' Union we are committed to celebrating the diversity of our Black students on campus. As we celebrate Black History Month, there has never been a better time to uplift and celebrate our diverse Black communities across the Coventry University group. As we shine a light on diverse cultures, traditions and contributions, we also acknowledge the role quality education in a conducive environment plays in transforming lives, and we commit to making our campus as equitable as possible. We make a commitment today to continue this far beyond Black History Month. Going forward, equity and diversity will not just be our watchword, we will have difficult, yet crucial conversations backed up by action.

Black History Month (BHM) is an opportunity to stand in respectful solidarity with Black communities who want their human rights to be respected and upheld. May this year’s BHM offer us opportunities to celebrate whilst enhancing our critical awareness about racialised macro- and micro-aggressions. As an Institute for Higher Education, we need to continue to educate ourselves on how to overcome institutional racism. Daily acts of solidarity and moment-by-moment decisions in the workplace can help advance racial justice and an inclusive diversity. Ultimately, BHM is an invitation to decolonise our minds to enable a more peaceful and just world.

2020 will go down in history as a year of global upheaval, culturally, politically and economically. A global pandemic and the public lynching of African Americans by the police across the USA have caused the world to focus, belatedly, upon racial oppression and racial disparities within and between nation states and the historical origins of racial hierarchies. Black History Month provides an opportunity to engage with the history of the African presence and the experience of the African diaspora in Britain in the last couple centuries. How is that diaspora which is clearly ‘here to stay and here to fight’ being facilitated to help build the future of multi-ethnic Britain?
 

Ethnicity labels - Coffee Break Podcast

Professor Gus John questions the purpose of ethnicity labels and how they impact on our feeling of belonging in society.

Listen

Staff Projects


Student Projects

The King of the Forest - Leroy Da Silva

A film to paint a picture of the current quality of living for young people in low-income areas.



Video

Publications

Interviews

Presentations

Professor Gus John recommends...

Arinola Adefila recommends...

Fiona Secondino recommends...

  • Slay in your Lane: The Black Girl Bible – Yomi Adegoke, Elizabeth Uviebinene
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Taking Up Space – Ore Ogunbiyi, Chelsea Kwakye
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
  • Natives – Akala

2019

Environment Matters to Us Too! Communities, 'Race' and Class: The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) hosted a special event to mark Black History Month. The event will drew attention to what is rendered visible when ‘the environment’ is defined broadly and embedded within wider systems of power and oppression. The session considered struggles that have led to racial advances witnessed in the UK and encouraged thinking about ways in which we can continue to work together for improving health and wellbeing outcomes for Black communities and an inclusive understanding of the environment.

Lecturers film on C4 for Black History Month

A celebration of Black musicians. To celebrate Black History Month, The Hub will be dedicating their playlist for the day to works by Black musicians, for more information please click here

To Celebrate Black History Month, the CUSU are holding a Cultural Night on Friday 25 October at Fargo Village from 7-10pm. The evening will also play host to the BHM Awards, with categories including Shooting Star Award, Community Campion and Staff Recognition.

Changing the Narrative, Panel Event
When: 24 October 2019
Time: 18.00-20.00

Black History Month: update on the winners of the BHM awards

Run4Life Fundraising event 
When: April 29th 2019
Info: Fundraising event for Powerhouse Community Network which supports people who suffer from sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is particularly common in people with an African or Caribbean family background. CU London have supported this annual event by hosting the event at our Dagenham campus for the past three years. Although the run has been cancelled this year due to pandemic, they are still fundraising for this charity.

BME Staff Network Meeting - Tuesday, 11th June 2019

BME Staff Network Meeting - Thursday, 26th September 2019

2018

Black History Month 2018 Seminar Series: Speaking Out Against Racism in the University Space

Curating Coventry: Curious Boys Club


Events

Banner image credit: Laura Nyahuye, John Whitmore Photography.

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