Black History Month is a chance for us to appreciate, remember, and commemorate black history and culture, and to enjoy living in a community that on the whole, is welcoming and diverse. The events hosted during this month are designed to provide a platform for a variety of different voices and experiences, from those seeking artistic expression to those conveying critical thought. It’s a time for us to enjoy and appreciate diversity.
We must also however acknowledge the contemporary issues facing the people of colour community - from the controversy over the NFL, to Confederate Statues, to post-Brexit fallout, we must all take a stand against modern day racism and xenophobia. So enjoy the events this month, but also remember that across the world, there are many issues yet to be solved.
So as October comes to a close, so too does this year’s Black History Month. We’d like to give a huge, huge thank you to the Women of Colour Collective for their extremely hard work throughout the month, we really couldn’t have done it without them. We also need to thank the Afro-Caribbean Society for their hard work too, we’re all very grateful! The month kicked off with Flawless, a night full of celebration and appreciation, as everyone represented their countries. It was amazing to see the sheer diversity of campus on display.
Midway through the month saw you come and watch Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele. A crossover between thriller and paramormal, Get Out did a fantastic job of exploring contemporary race relations in what is definitely an unconventional genre. We’re really looking forward to seeing more of Peele’s work, as well as looking out for more from Daniel Kaluuya.
The month was rounded off with the “Why is my Curriculum White?” panel discussion, hosted by the Women of Colour Collective. The discussion ranged through a huge variety of topics- attainment gap, problematic statues, how we utilize space, the benefits of a diverse curriculum, the difference in expectations of children of colour and white children, along with a whole host of other subjects. The three panellists, Dr Jorg Haustein, Ilyas Nagdee, and Zahra Abdullah, provided excellent insight on all of these topics, and with their wealth of experience and knowledge the event was a huge success.
Although Black History Month may be over, it does not mean that gives us a pass to forget black history. Black history is the history of the world, and needs to be acknowledged as such. We all have a responsibility to challenge racism wherever we see it, and in whatever form in may take. Black History Month is a way of acknowledging the personal and political struggle of the black community, but it is also an opportunity to learn- both from the mistakes and the successes of those who came before us. There is much work still to be done, but step by step, we will get there in the end.
The Women of Colour Collective and the African and Caribbean Society.
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX