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Professor David Olusoga delivers keynote speech for Black History Month

17 Oct 2019

Sounds of the kora, a West African harp played by local musician Jali, sparked the start of our University’s annual Black History Month celebration event

David Olusoga event

Professor David Olusoga, historian, broadcaster and keynote speaker, drew in crowds from the local community; many of whom had never set foot in the University before. He discussed the omission of Black figures from history, and the racism pedalled by politicians in the 1960s that is reappearing in today’s anti-migration discourse. 

The impassioned speech galvanised attendees to understand that the responsibility lies with all of us to ensure Black history is intertwined with British history, rather than being considered a separate entity.

There were various stalls in the foyer of the Students' Union; the ‘NHS at 70’ team came to speak about the crucial role Black staff played in the formation of the NHS. The Staff Learning and Development Team and the BAME Staff Network (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) encouraged visitors to get involved with initiatives at the University such as the Speak Up! Stand Up! campaign - empowering us all to stand up to bullying and harassment.

Many guests also signed up to donate blood the very same day at the NHSBT stand.

The lively music of Jamaican singer Don Hartley closed the event in a truly celebratory way (complete with cake).