Black History Month: upcoming events in Durham


Societies and departments within Durham are between them hosting a wide range of events all throughout October to celebrate Black History Month.

Dan Takyi, President of Durham People of Colour Association (DPOCA), emphasised the significance of such events. “The importance of Black History Month is one that cannot be understated as so often people look at it and misrepresent it as being about pain and sorrows that have gone before and that is because so often in the lives of so many, black trauma is the only commodity they’re exposed to.”

“This year, under the theme of Changing the Narrative, which after tireless meetings and email chains has been supported by the University, we can celebrate Black history, Black joy, Black excellence as part of Black History Month.”

“We have incredible speakers from all walks of life, Henrie Kwushue excellently kicked us off, Rob Anarfi showing that Black men can make it in business, the Young Historians Project showing the future of Black brilliance, the Black Curriculum showing just how pertinent Black British History is to where we are today and a keynote talk by Akala about Africa in history. By celebrating these achievements and stories, we show that Black history matters and the first, long overdue step from Durham University in remembering that Black lives still matter.”

Below are the events that Durham students can attend for the rest of Black History Month.

Black HERstory Series: Awikino Akech – 14th October Third in this series is from Dr Awikino Akech, a lecturer at the Centre of Gender Studies at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS). Register here.

It’s more than a seat at the table: Rob Anarfi – 14th October Beazley’s Global Head of Compliance discusses how the narrative of tokenism can be restructured. Register via the DPOCA Facebook page.

Why Black British History Matters: Young British History Project – 17th October The Young Historians Project, a non-profit organisation of encouraging the development of young historians of African and Caribbean heritage in Britain, will be discussing their work, their organization and their project on African women in the Health Sector. Register via the DPOCA Facebook page.

Interview with Cranmer Hall alumni – 19th October Cranmer Hall (part of St John’s College) hosts conversations with BAME Cranmer alumni about their stories and to celebrate their achievements. Interviews will be pre-recorded and released on the Cranmer website.

Tuesday College Worship led by BAME Cramner Alumni – 20th October Alumnus Revd Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nic’s College, Durham, leads a service in the chapel of St Mary’s the Lesser. It will be broadcast via Youtube, and can be accessed here.

Black History Now! – 20th October This online panel discussion explores current historical study in the context of the Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall campaigns. The panel includes Miranda Kaufmann, author of Black Tudors: An Untold Story; Jason Arday, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Durham and a leading figure in the Decolonise Durham campaign; and Anne Heffernan, Assistant Professor of South African History at Durham University. Register here.

Revisiting County Durham’s links to the Slave Trade – 20th October Historian Sean Creighton discusses Durham’s connections to the Slave Trade and its abolition in this virtual talk. You can sign up for the event on EventBrite here.

A Struggle for Heritage: Archaeology and Civil Rights in a Long Island Community – 21st October The Department of Archaeology hosts a research seminar with Professor Christopher Matthews to which staff and students are invited. Details for how to sign up can be found here.

The Black Curriculum: Black History and its Importance22nd October
The Black Curriculum initiative teaches Black history to young people, enabling students to learn, develop and build a sense of identity. This talk is on experiences and achievements of Black people in precolonial Britain. Register via the DPOCA Facebook page.

Come in your traditional clothes day – 26th October The BAME Cranmer Community are invited to dress in their traditional clothes. No gathering will be taking place for this event.

Great Zimbabwe: Reclaiming a ‘Confiscated’ Past – 28th October The Department of Archaeology hosts a research seminar with Professor Shadrek Chirikure (University of Cape Town) to which staff and students are invited. Details for how to sign up can be found here.

Akala: Africa in History28th October Rapper, activist and writer Akala speaks about Africa in History from 10,000 BC to 1700AD. Register here.

Further information about events can be found on the DPOCA Facebook page or here.

Image: Bonnitt via Creative Commons

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