Black History Month

    • Banner image with a geometric design in yellow, green and red on a black background and yellow text reading Black History Month 2022, wellness and mental health

  • Black History Month

    In October 2022 Oxford Brookes University is proud to celebrate Black History Month. The theme for this year’s programme is Wellness and Mental Health and we would like as many of you as possible to join in and enjoy our events which promote both physical and mental wellbeing. Events will explore the racialised contexts and experience of wellness in education and wider society.

    Our programme of events during October seeks to highlight the different aspects of wellbeing to allow staff, students and members of the public to come together to learn and socialise. After being restricted to mostly online events for many celebrations over the last couple of years we are very happy that all of our events this year are taking place on campus and face to face.

    Our keynote lecture this year on Mental Health, race and racism in higher education will be given by Professor Jason Arday on Wednesday 19 October at 5pm. This will be followed by a panel involving other external speakers, staff, students and alumni.


    Staff and Student Spotify Playlists

    Spotify logo

    Making the most of streaming services, Oxford Brookes is asking both staff and students to contribute to playlists celebrating Black History Month all through October. Please submit your tracks using this registration form link. We really want to create some unique and diverse collections of music to help us all work and study!


    Anti-racism resources

    Staff and students can also visit our page of Race and Anti-racism resources within the Oxford Brookes EDI wepages and the Anti-racism Reading List created by the Library.

    Overcoming tragedy and finding an enlightened path

    For Black History Month 2022, Observe catches up with Brookes alumnus, Nathan John to tell his powerful and inspiring story.

    Wellness and mental health - Black perspectives

    To conclude Black History Month 2022, we have asked a varied group of Oxford Brookes alumni, all of whom are black, for their perspectives and thoughts on mental health and wellness.


  • Other events

    Brookes Union Black History Month events

    Brookes Union is marking Black History Month with the launch of the ‘See Black’ Campaign which urges students and staff not to turn a blind eye or dismiss the significance of our colour.

    We’ve put together a range of events across the month; from film screenings to discussion evenings, from karaoke to exhibitions. Whilst Black History Month may only fall in October, we will be celebrating black culture at Brookes all year round.

    We have also pulled together a list of resources for you to check out - it includes TV shows, films, podcasts, articles and more.

    Brookes Union We See Black campaign image
  • Black Women at Oxford: Exhibition Launch

    Monday 3 October, 5.30pm - 6.30pm

    Part of Black History Month, Kellogg alumna Urvi Khaitan‘s exhibition traces the lives and careers of some of Oxford’s first black women students.

    White text on a dark blue background. The text reads 'Black Women at Oxford: Exhibition Launch'

    The Unspoken Ms (taboos) - Menopause and Mental Health

    Thursday 6 October, 7.30pm - 8.30pm

    An online event giving you access to a Black Trainee Clinical Psychologist, who’s' research focuses on black women’s' menopause experiences.

    Black illustration of a woman with an afro hairstyle made up of jigsaw pieces on a white background. The text below reads 'Black women in menopause'

    A Cultural History of Race - Live Webinar

    Friday 7 October, 4.30pm

    Join General Editor Marius Turda (Oxford Brookes University) and Volume Editors Denise McCoskey, Thomas Hahn, Kimberley A. Coles, Dorothy Kim, Nicholas Hudson, Marina Mogilner and Tanya Golash-Boza who will discuss their ground-breaking project, ‘A Cultural History of Race’.

    The 'A Cultural History of Race' series of six books and details of the event

    OUH Black History Month: African Caribbean Art and Storytelling

    Tuesday 11 October, 1.00pm - 2.00pm

    Lisa Anderson, Director of Black Cultural Archives, and Dr ‘H’ Patten, choreographer, storyteller and lecturer, will join us to celebrate and raise awareness of the African and Caribbean cultural heritage through visual art and storytelling.

    Lisa Anderson and Dr H Patten

    My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored

    Tuesday 11 October, 7:30pm
    Swindon Arts Centre

    My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored is an urgent interrogation of racial identity, written by Nana-Kofi Kufuor and directed by Dermot Daly.

    My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored

    OUH Black History Month: My Journey from Apartheid to Truth and Reconciliation

    Wednesday 12 October, 11.00am to 12.30pm

    Chris Lubbe, personal bodyguard of Nelson Mandela and inspirational speaker, will be sharing his story on his ‘Journey from Apartheid to Truth and Reconciliation’. This session is sponsored by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

    Chris Lubbe

    SOLD at Trinity College

    Thursday 13 October, 7.30pm to 9.00pm
    Trinity College, Oxford

    A performance of 'SOLD' by Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains, in partnership with research project 'Oxford and Caribbeanity Now'.

    Two performers on stage

    African History Season

    13 - 15 October
    The Barn at Christ Church Abingdon

    What does it mean to belong? Have we truly created a place of welcome that offers acceptance and respect for all? Come and join us in The Barn at Christ Church Abingdon as we explore these poignant questions and the richness and depth of African History Season in our three-day exhibition of displays, activities, talks, workshops & hospitality to the community.

    Beads making up triangles in different colours

    University of Oxford Black History Month Lecture with Dr Victoria Showunmi - Sophisticated Racism: Navigating the Terrain

    Thursday 20 October 5.30pm to 7.00pm

    Dr Victoria Showunmi is an associate professor at the Institute of Education, University College London. She has developed a national and international reputation for her work on identity and leadership.

    Dr Victoria Showunmi

    Decolonising EU Law: Purpose, Principles & Practice

    Wednesday 26 October, 5.30pm - 6.45pm

    Join us for our second annual Black History Month lecture to be given by Iyiola Solanke, titled 'Decolonising EU Law: Purpose, Principles & Practice'.

    White text on a dark blue background. The text reads 'Black History Month Lecture'

    OUH Black History Month Quiz

    Thursday 27 October, 12.00pm - 1.00pm

    Come and test your knowledge of ‘Black History and Culture’ at the OUH Black History Month quiz.

    Red yellow and green text reading 'Black History Month' on a black background

    OUH Black History Month - Virtual Disco

    Friday 28 October, 4.00pm - 6.00pm

    Come and join us as we celebrate Black History Month with a Virtual Disco. If you bring your moves and your dancing shoes, we will provide the tunes.

    Red yellow and green text reading 'Black History Month' on a black background

    Euton Daley’s Unlock the Chains Collective: STILL BREATHING

    Saturday 29 October, 6.30pm
    Sheldonian Theatre

    Still Breathing is a powerful tribute to the fallen and to the millions fighting for a just world. It is both a celebration and a remembrance with live music, song, dance and ritual as the company further develops its storytelling and protest form of theatre.

    A shackled hand holding a dandelion clock with red text reading 'Still Breathing' on a blue background

    Richard The Second

    Saturday 5 November, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
    Pegasus Theatre

    A radical and electrifying new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard The Second. Performed in a distinctive Southern African Township theatre style, this show continues Tangle's long-term commitment to championing African Caribbean artistic excellence.

    The faces of three men

    Writers Make Worlds

    An open educational resource hub for Black and Asian British writing today.

    Writers make worlds

    National Black History Month

    Events, resources and features

    Black History Month logo

    Black and Gay, Back in the Day

    Black and Gay, Back in the Day brings to life a photo archive of Black LGBTQIA+ life in Britain, from the 1970s through to the early 2000s. Each episode is an intergenerational journey focusing on a key photograph from the archive - joining stories of the past, with those of today.

    Illustrated polaroid photos of black people and couples

    Race Equality Week 2022 - ‘Allyship: The Journey from Diversity and Inclusion to Belonging’ with Asif Sadiq MBE (recording)

    Proactive, practical allyship plays a powerful role in making race equity a lived reality and creating a culture in which everyone feels they belong.

    Asif Sadiq MBE

    Previous Oxford Brookes Black History Month Project - Dreams and Legacies

    In 2017, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre commissioned poets and photographers to produce new work inspired by interviews with students and staff of colour at Oxford Brookes University. In these interviews, conducted by Kanja Sesay (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser), the participants discussed mental health, spirituality, family, and definitions of success.

    Black and white image of a sign on some steps. The sign reads 'Success. White path only. Other minorities are to find own alternative route.'

    Explore the Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music

    The Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music (POAAAM) is a mixed media collection that includes books and magazines, music recordings, music scores, audio reel recordings, research papers, and a 1960s jukebox. Find out more about Paul Oliver and POAAAM, visit the online exhibition created as part of the Think Human Festival 2020, or listen to the jukebox playlist.

    Paul Oliver with a group of blues musicians

  • Past events

  • 9 February 2022, 6.00pm - 7.00pm

    Allyship - The Journey from Diversity and Inclusion to Belonging

    Proactive, practical allyship plays a powerful role in making race equity a lived reality and creating a culture in which everyone feels they belong. On Wednesday 9 February at 6pm we welcome Asif Sadiq MBE, Senior Vice President, Head of Equity and Inclusion at WarnerMedia International, in collaboration with our BAME Staff Network, offers a special action-focused webinar on allyship.

    Watch the recording »

    Asif Sadiq MBE

    5 October 2021, 7.00pm - 8.00pm

    The Art of Capoeira - Introductory Workshop

    The fascinating and vibrant series of movements known as Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. Originally practiced by Africans enslaved in Brazil, it has since become celebrated and practiced around the world.

    Black and white image of a Capoeira lesson

    7 October 2021, 12.00pm - 1.00pm

    Belonging: In Emergency, Break Glass

    Euton Daley (Unlock the Chains Collective) and Amantha Edmead (Kuumba Nia Arts) lead an interactive session on the theme of 'belonging', supported by Rachel Barbaresi from Oxford Brookes' School of Arts.

    Watch the performance stimulus for the workshop by Amantha Edmead and Euton Daley »

    Black and white image of Euton Daley and Amantha Edmead

    12 October 2021, 6.00pm - 7.30pm

    A People's Art - The Genesis of Freedom

    A screening of excerpts from the documentary film on the history of the London Notting Hill Carnival. Tony Oldham, award winning filmmaker of two films on the London Notting Hill Carnival (Arts of Conflict and A People's Art) joins Dr Nicole Ferdinand from Oxford Brookes Business School (who is featured in both films) for a discussion of key aspects of the significance and meaning of Europe's biggest street festival.

    Black and white image of Tony Oldham and Dr Nicole Ferdinand

    14 October 2021, 12.00pm - 1.00pm

    The Power of Transforming Life Choice: A conversation with Amani Simpson

    Amani Simpson, award-winning storyteller, social entrepreneur and youth coach, shares his story and pivotal events that changed his life trajectory, with a focus on overcoming, finding your true, authentic self and standing tall.

    Watch the recording »

    Black and white image of Amani Simpson

    15 October 2021, 6.00pm - 7.00pm

    Afro’Dance Workshop

    An online dance workshop presented by Ailey Extension. In this class, dancers will work on musicality heavily influenced by the rhythm and musical trends from the Congo, Ivory Coast, Angola, and beyond.

    Black and white image of three dancers in front of a window with a city view

    19 October 2021, 6.00pm - 7.30pm

    The African Concert Series: A celebration of the African continent through its music

    Join us for a special musical celebration with Rebeca Omordia and Leon Bosch. Professor Marius Turda and Dr Graham van Wyk host and engage in the conversation with opportunities for Q&A.

    Watch the recording »

    Black and white image of Rebeca Omordia and Leon Bosch

    20 October 2021, 6.30pm - 7.30pm

    Why Black History Matters with Professor David Olusoga

    Black history month is an American import. An African-American idea brought to Britain less than 40 years ago. Yet in that time it has grown to become part of British culture, a feature of the calendar for thousands of institutions and companies. After the Windrush Scandal, the toppling of Edward Colston and the summer of Black Lives Matter what next for Black British history?

    Black and white image of Professor David Olusoga

    21 October 2021

    Race in Architectural Education: Decolonising the Curriculum

    Oxford Brookes' School of Architecture’s Place, Culture and Identity research group and Black in Architecture research unit invites architects, academics, industry professionals and students to come together for a day of seminars and a workshop on decolonising the architecture curriculum.

    Black and white image of the interior of Abercrombie building, looking down at the atrium area

    25 October 2021, 6.00pm - 7.30pm

    Celebrating Black Entrepreneurs: Their journey and wisdom in building a business

    Have you ever had a business idea and wondered what it would be like running it? Join Lettija Lee, Sherilyn Carter, and Elizabeth Solaru in a conversation about their entrepreneurial journey. Hosted by Dr Yue Ang of Oxford Brookes University.

    Watch the recording »

    Black and white image of Lettija Lee, Sherilyn Carter, Elizabeth Solaru and Dr Yue Ang

    28 October 2021, 6.00pm - 7.00pm

    Public lecture by Ambassador Andrew J Young - Proud to Be

    Join us for this special closing event for Black History Month 2021. We have the honour to welcome Ambassador Andrew J Young to Oxford Brookes, who shares some lessons we can learn today from the American Civil Rights movement.

    Watch the recording »

    Black and white image of Ambassador Andrew J Young

    Brookes Union Black History Month events

    Every year, Brookes Union runs Black History Month as part of our commitment to representing black students at Brookes, decolonising the curriculum, promoting black history, culture and role models.

    This year, Brookes Union Explores is running free films every Friday in the Kennedy Room

    Brookes Union Black History Month

    2 February 2021, 6-8pm

    Be Ambitious and Model Excellence (BAME) Panel

    Redefining “BAME” as we celebrate renowned black figures who dare to [B]e [A]mbitious and [M]odel [E]xcellence highlighting their goals and recognisable achievements. We will be joined by the CEO, founder, and visionary of the iconic MOBO platform Kanya King, Trevor Robinson OBE, CEO and founder of Quiet Storm, and Euton Daley MBE, CEO of Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.

    Kanya King, CEO and founder of the MOBO platform

    4 February 2021, 6-7pm

    An Evening with Dr Leroy Logan MBE

    Oxford Brookes University BAME Staff Network invites you to an evening with Dr Leroy Logan, who overcame a hostile and racist environment, to become one of the UK’s most outstanding police officers.

    Dr Leroy Logan MBE

    2 October 2020, 6pm

    Kick-off celebration

    Oxford Brookes University kicks off with an artistic cultural performance in collaboration with Kuumbia Nia Arts, Unlock the chains collective and Euton Daley MBE.

    Kick-off celebration

    7 October 2020, 6pm

    Black History Month Quiz

    From Black inventions to Black music, it's time to put your knowledge to the test!

    Black History Month Quiz

    9 October 2020, 12pm

    Be Visible, Be Confident

    In 2019 Louisa founded BAME to Boardroom in order to follow her passion for working with businesses to develop Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent into leadership roles; building confident, focused, high performing, and diverse teams, which in turn impact on organisational culture.

    Be Visible, Be Confident Brunch Workshop

    13 October 2020, 6pm

    Beyond Black History Month

    Beyond Black History Month aims to bridge the gap of conceptual ideas on diversifying Oxford Brookes University to providing real and definitive methods of creating actions on the following topics discussed.

    Beyond Black History Month: A Conversation on Race

    14 October 2020, 12pm

    Lunchtime Showcase

    This year we will be sharing projects, research, initiatives and community engagement activity.

    Lunchtime Showcase

    19 October 2020, 6pm

    AfroFusion Dance Class

    Join Zulum to learn the basic principles of African dance mixed with hip hop in this fun and energetic Afro-fusion dance class that will show you how to lengthen your body and extend your capabilities.

    AfroFusion Dance Class

    28 October 2020, 6pm

    Making Money Work

    The aim of this event is to create and enhance knowledge in personal finance using banking strategies and communicating new channels for students, staff and alumni of diverse backgrounds.

    Making Money Work

    Black History Month 2019

    Black History Month 2019 cover image

    This year marks the 50th year of race legislation in this country. This event will focus on the journey that the UK and race relations have taken. There are some commentaries that indicates that the UK has become post racial, this event will focus on the future of race relations in the UK as well as understanding the intersectionality that interacts with race. Rob Berkeley, writer and activist has focused his work on equality and justice. In particular the areas of race/ethnicity, LGBT rights, and the intersections between the two.

    Events EDI poster