A group of St Mary's students smiling

Black History Month

SMSU is proud to have worked with the Afro-Caribbean Society and the BAME student network to create a diverse set of events for Black History Month. We want to put our black community in the spotlight this October, but all students are very welcome to attend every one of these events. There are talks, exhibitions, movie nights, podcasts and loads more - all of these events are fully socially distanced in nature and most are virtual to ensure everyone can join.

We hope that the events programme leaves you feeling educated, empowered and appreciative of the monumental impact that Black History has had on the world and of the impact that our black communities at St Mary’s have on our University. Black voices are crucial, and as your union we will do all we can to amplify them.

A picture of Mary Mandefield

Mary Mandefield: Race, Modern Activism and Celebrations of Black History

Social commentator and broadcaster, Mary Mandefield, will be hosting an evening speaking on race, modern activism and the celebrations of Black British history. For the topics that can often seem huge and complex, Mary will break them down to showcase the exciting opportunities and new ways to discover more about the Black British experience. There will be time for questions and answers and discussions around what you really want to know: from Black Lives Matter, tik tok campaigners, how to bring positivity into campaigning and how we are creating history right now.

Monday 19 October
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An image of a student from last year's Black History Month exhibition

Hidden Figures - A video exhibition

We’re showcasing our Black staff at St Mary’s in a video exhibition. Last year we highlighted our staff and students’ role models in our photography exhibition (a picture from this exhibition is above taken by Sarah Mckenna-Ayres), and this time we’re asking our staff to share their hidden inspirations in life - the people who have inspired them to become who they are. The exhibition will be hosted at stmarys.ac.uk - the link will be posted here nearer the time.

Tuesday 20 October

Some Afro-Caribbean food from Foodlord

FOODLORD on campus!

Join in celebrations this Black History Month with food, music and St Mary’s Afro-Carribean Society! We asked the Society which food vendors they’d like to host on campus, and they told us that we HAD to get FoodLord in. FoodLord serve authentic, delicious Afro-Carribean food. This event will be fully socially distanced - we’ll reveal the timings and more details closer to the day.

Wednesday 21 October

An image of the Black History Month logo

Talk from Rhianon Adams

Rhianon Adams graduated from St Mary’s in 2020 - if you were here last year, you might recognise her face from the artwork for our 2019 Black History Month campaign. We’ve invited her to speak about to you about the Windrush era.

Thursday 22 October, 7.30pm
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An image of Dr Peary Brug

A Talk from Peary Brug

Dr Peary Brug is the Programme Director of Psychology at St Mary’s. Here’s what he had to say about this talk:

“When it comes to slavery and acknowledging that I am the descendants of slaves, I feel like I am meant to feel embarrassed or ashamed by their predicament; as though it would be better not to bring up the topic or to talk about them. However, is that for my benefit or is it so that others do not have to feel uncomfortable hearing about slavery? It is more than time to take pride and show interest and respect for my ancestors (and all the other slaves) who suffered great injustices for decades upon decades so we could be here. We should admire them and remember their sacrifice as we continue the struggle they began. So, I say with pride: “my ancestors were slaves!"

Monday 26 October, 1pm
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An image of some books

Launch of Library Resources on Black History

The Library are proud to be launching new library resources that go beyond education within your degree. They’ve have brought together a host of books that offer you more knowledge on important social areas - the books include texts from authors such as Akala, Beverley Daniel Tatum and Randall Kennedy and many, many more - some are more popular and some have not had the exposure they deserve, so through October and beyond we would encourage you to get reading.

Tuesday 27 October

An image of someone watching Netflix

Movie Night - Mystery Film

You get to choose the film you watch for this one - ACS are giving us a choice of three brilliant black-made films, and you can vote now for which one you want to watch on Instagram through our stories! We'll be hosting this event through Netflix Party - you'll need this installed to watch along and you'll also need Google Chrome.

Wednesday 28 October
Film starts at 8pm

Being a Black British Student

The final event of black history month hosted by the BAME student network is 'Being a Black British Student'. This is a series of short films by students followed by a panel discussion. A mixed panel of students and staff sharing experiences of Black student life past and present with thoughts of what's next.

Friday 30 October
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In addition to these events, our BAME Staff Network are hosting a number of events which all students are invited to.

An image of Obi Oputa, who is giving this talk

The Blackness of Mental Health

As part of Black History Month, a virtual table talk made of St Mary’s staff, students and externals guests will meet to explore and discuss two issues relating to and impacting the black experience of mental health. Join us in an open and inclusive space where we seek to learn and understand by sharing our experiences, thoughts and knowledge.

Thursday 15 October
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The Legacy of Transatlantic Slavery in Britain: Bristol and Black Lives Matter

Carole Murphy is a Senior lecturer at St Mary’s in Criminology and Sociology and Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery (CSMS). We’ll post more details about this event soon.

Thursday 15 October
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Panel discussion - why do we need black history month?

A crucial discussion. Details on this event will be added shortly.

Friday 30 October

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