When Black History Month was first introduced to the UK by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo in 1987, it was initially observed in London. In the 30 years since then, October has become recognised nationally as the month in which the history and culture of African and Caribbean people are celebrated, with large-scale events happening across the country. It is considered a time for remembering, celebrating, inspiring, and sharing. During this time, we acknowledge and commemorate the sacrifices and efforts of those who paved the way for us.
We also celebrate the accomplishments of both historical and contemporary Black heroes and use their achievements as inspiration and motivation. Most of all, we acknowledge this as a time for sharing knowledge and educating ourselves and those around us so that we can build communities which embrace and celebrate diversity.
UEA Black History Month 2017, under the theme “And Still, We Rise,” centres around a theme of inspiration with events aimed at not only educating, but encouraging students to aspire to break barriers. The theme of this year’s celebration draws from the work of prominent African American poet Maya Angelou. Her famous poem “Still I Rise” is a profound piece which encapsulates not only the struggles, but the resilience, strength, and brilliance of our people.
With our #BlackBrilliance social media campaign we hope to get students talking about the Black icons who inspire them to break barriers. Additionally, as one of our main intentions is to share knowledge and initiate discourse, various societies will be hosting discussions on important topics such as black representation in media and cultural appropriation. There will also be a host of other activities, including film screenings, a poetry and spoken word evening, and a photography exhibition by a former UEA student.
We will also be celebrating with an Afrobeat's party in the Blue Bar and a Bashment & Afrobeats LCR night. There are so many wonderful events to get involved with and we hope students take the opportunity to engage with as many of them as possible. For the full calendar and details, visit the Black History Month page of the website here.
Ethnic Minorities Officer