This year’s Black History Month celebrated many of the achievements of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community and Coventry University Students’ Union held a number of events over the month of October.
The month began with three film nights, with the showing of I Am Not Your Negro, Black Panther and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. I Am Not Your Negro was a very thought provoking documentary about three of the key architects of the 1960’s Civil Rights’ Movement. Black Panther was also enjoyable as it plays on how Hollywood has been for a long time whitewashed and stereotypes are turned around. However, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was very inspiring as it didn’t glorify Mandela, it portrayed him as a human, with faults but still being an inspiration for millions.
The annual Black History Month Fashion Show took place the following week, which saw many different art forms electrify the audience. Ranging from rapping, gospel singing, to showcases of fashion from a number of designers, it was a wonderful and empowering atmosphere. Even behind the scenes and on the catwalk itself, you could just feel the energy of the room.
There was also a collaborative event called Black to the Future which was filmed by the BBC. It allowed a platform for the attendees to promote business ideas, which included pupils from a local school, Coventry University students and staff. It allowed for many networking opportunities as representatives from many different organisations had representatives in attendance.
The Chancellor of Coventry University, Margaret Casely-Hayford and NUS Vice President for Higher Education Amatey Doku were among a Panel Talk, which focused on decolonizing the curriculum. It focused on how Universities can diversify the curriculum to incorporate non-Western perspectives and also utilise resources from people who are from different cultural backgrounds.
The month rounded off with a Gala Night, where staff, students and notable individuals were presented with awards on their contribution to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Community. Food was served, which was based on cuisines from around the world and there were performances ranging from spoken word to musical performance.
This year, it was very much a success and will continue to be for years to come, as the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Community strives for the empowerment of students who identify with this community.