For as long as I can remember, the history I have been taught at school and higher education, through media, art and literature, is a white history. Even the month that is marked out specifically for black history too often focusses on the same historical narrative: white empire and slavery.
But black history, and more importantly, black excellence, achievement and ryalty was being made long before colonialism - where Nubian royals ruled the lands of Sudan and Egypt for 1400 years, never to be dominated by the Roman empire, and black queens ruled kingdoms across Africa including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Madagascar and Zulu Kingdom. As the first woman of colour as Welfare and Equality Officer I am keen to change and reclaim the narratives currently dominating our Black History “celebrations”, and honour the black beauty and excellence that our black students deserve. Which brings me to the month’s theme: Black is Gold.
The opening night features dance, spoken word and music performances, a fashion walk, an art exhibition and traditional Trinidadian cuisine, whilst the closing party will take place in World Headquarters with DJ sets from black student DJ’s. The month will also hone in on current issues affecting blackness, with a panel on racism, toxic masculinity, colourism and hyper-femininity, as well as interviews with black students about their lived experiences.
All the events are free to attend and are open to students from all backgrounds who want to learn more about black history and experience some of the beautiful black culture here in the Toon. Keep an eye out for posters and social media posts for dates, times and venues, as well as a full guide in the Courier for the events for the month. If you are a black student and have a keen interest or skill in black history, music, DJing, poetry or dance and want to get involved in the event just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the Your Voice office on the ground floor of the SU to have a chat!