October saw the return of the globally renowned Black History Month. This is a time for us to reflect upon and celebrate the immense contributions that people of African and Caribbean heritage make across the globe. Our Black History Month campaign here at the Union was headed up by our Vice President for Postgraduate students Radya with the support of our collaborators from the university, the Student Success Project and our BME students officer Iqbal.
Our Black History Month campaign aimed to highlight the successes of the Black and Afro Caribbean community at Brunel, whilst bringing staff and students alike together in a celebration of African and Caribbean heritage. Over the month the campaign addressed the boundaries that the community have faced over time, and the triumphs over these hurdles through providing platforms for students to showcase their talent, stories and create a cultural celebration.
Over the course of the month we hosted a range of different events, each and every one completely selling out! We kicked things off with our Black Royalties Comedy Night where some fabulous comics graced The Venue for the evening, causing many a giggle. Our next event was with Arthur Torrington CBE who was kind enough to come and speak at the Union about “The Windrush Generation”. Mr Torrington inspired a full house to become more compassionate towards others, whilst publicising the history of the heritage of Black History Month. Following on from this we hosted our Windrush Art show; an afternoon exhibition honouring the spirit of Windrush through a multitude of images from 1948 that commemorate the sacrifices of generations before our own. We progressed through the month with a SOLD OUT movie night kindly hosted by The Junction (cheers for the free popcorn guys!). And finally, we rounded it all off with a cheeky little Food Fayre in the Atrium thanks to Chartwells and their wonderful chefs!
Iqbal commented, “Black history month is still so relevant entering it’s 31styear of celebrations. It’s designed to inspire and inform others on the depth and breadth of black history beyond the aspects of slavery and injustice, with a focus on celebration of culture and diversity. It aims to address historical wrongs, by celebrating the achievements and contributions of the black community over the years and it’s a great time to cast a light on black change-makers doing incredible things in the world around us. I am pleased to say as the elected BME officer how proud I was to see so many students from different backgrounds embracing and celebrating black culture, breaking down barriers to celebrate the month in unity. Highlights of our events included a sold old comedy night and Black royalties event which featured talented performances from students across Brunel. We have raised the bar for 2018 and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve in 2019”.
A massive thank you to each and every person who came to our events, as well as those who donated at our Food Fayre, and the Student Success Project for helping make all of our Black History Month dreams come true!