Strathclyde Telegraph

Strathclyde celebrates Black History Month

 

By Titilayo Farukuoye

 

The University of Strathclyde Student Union launches events celebrating and promoting Black history, culture, and heritage for Black History Month.

Strathclyde Liberation, Ethnic- and Faith Groups alongside with the Student Union host cultural and educative events for the month of October.

Amongst highlights are the ‘Students not Suspects’ Tour on 23 October and the Great Debate Tour on 4 November.

Simran Kaur, Vice President of the Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and Student Activist said: “I feel Black History Month is not only valuable but a necessity. It is a way for us to remember, celebrate and educate others about our rich and diverse history which is too often left out of the history books.”

Black History Month is dedicated to raising awareness, promoting knowledge and acknowledging contributions by people of African, Caribbean and Asian decent in Britain.

Raj Jeyaraj, Vice President of Diversity for the USSA said: “It provides the opportunity to introduce Black culture to the rest of the population, reminds us of the sacrifices of progenitors in their struggle for equality and highlights issues affecting Black people.”

Critics have pointed out that black history should not be contained to a single month. Adiaha Nkere, president of the African Caribbean Society (ACS) said: “Some members think that Black people shouldn’t be contained to one month of the year and almost help to promote in-difference to the same Black achievements throughout the rest of the year.”

Sanjay Lago, NUS Scotland Black Student Officer, is dealing with a different issue: “15% of students I’ve encountered don’t relate to Black History Month, they don’t see themselves as Black and don’t feel Black History Month is for them.”

Lago has witnessed positive changes during his five years of working for the NUS: “I have seen Black History Month getting bigger, involving more cultures and people.”

Nkere, points at the importance of people in leading positions spreading the word of Black History Month’s events, as well as Black History Month being widely and positively reported and announced along with regular news. In Scotland the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights Scotland (CRER) detail events and activities attributed to Black History Month in their annual brochure.

Black History Month was first established in the UK by Akyaaba Addai Sebbo in 1987 and has since been celebrated each year.

Jeyaraj added: “Black History Month will always be celebrated, until the day of racial equality.”

 

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