This October DUSA and the Afro Caribbean society celebrate Black History Month! We have a range of events that are not to be missed. Check this page regularly for updates on the current listings and additional events.

Black History Month originated in the UK in 1987 and is designed to recognise, celebrate and appreciate the diversity that other races have brought to our country. The University of Dundee is a multicultural Institution; immerse yourself in this month to discover something new!

Events


Cultural Night - Friday 20th October 6pm-9pm

Come down to the Chaplaincy on main campus on Friday 20th October at 6pm for our cultural night! We are celebrating the mix of Black cultures we have on campus! All students are invited for free and are welcome to bring family along. We would like to encourage you to dress in your traditional cultural dress. We will have a West African drum group performing, and a DJ to play Afro-beats. African Light-bites and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. This event is an alcohol-free event. Games and entertainment will be available for children.

Latin Heat – Day of the Dead VS Fela-bration - Friday, 20th October, 10pm

Our monthly Latin Heat dance night will be a bit different this month with a mash up of our Hispanic and Afro-Caribbean societies both presenting their beats. Come along for this cultural clash and dance extravaganza. This month’s Latin Heat brings an early celebration for the day of the dead, a Mexican festivity based on Aztec tradition where the dead are celebrated and remembered over the course of three days. We expect to see you all dressed up for this fancy dress night! And like last year a face painter will be around early in the night, to get your Calavera Catrina look on point!

But that is not all, for Black History Month Latin Heat will be fusing African-Latin American festivities and music. To celebrate this musical fusion, we pay tribute to Fela Kuti, a Nigerian human rights activist, musical legend and the father of Afrobeats! On this 20th anniversy of Fela’s passing we are excited bring to you, Latin Heat: Day of the Dead vs Fela-bration!

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Jazz and Blues night – 24th October Air Bar, DUSA The Union

The Afro-Caribbean society is hosting an open mic Jazz and Blues night. Come along to hear the soul of our University perform, or share your own musical talent!

Show Racism the Red Card Football match – Thursday 26th October 2:00pm Riverside Astro Pitch

William Edjenguele of Dundee United’s football team will be acting as coach to a University of Dundee staff vs student game! This is an opportunity to show your support for race inclusion in football, as well as laugh at your lecturers. Show Racism the Red Card is an educational charity that helps promote a message of understanding in relation to race.

Find out more about Show Racism the Red Card. We ask guests for a £1 donation to our RAG charity MARROW Dundee.

Black History Month Celebrated Individuals


DUSA have chosen to celebrate the lives and achievements of the following individuals for not only their contribution to black history, but to world history. Look out for our posters on campus designed to provide inspiration to our black students. Whether you are a student or staff member from the School of Humanities or the School of Life Sciences, there is an idol among these people for everyone.

Fatou Bensouda

Fatou Bensouda

Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

‘There must be justice, there must be accountability … that drives me’

Fatou was born and raised in Gambia. She claims to have always had a desire to see justice achieved. During her school years she would sneak into criminal courts to watch proceedings. She considered there to be a bias against women within the courts at this time and decided she wanted to address this issue. She has held the position of Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since 2012, and has made its number one concern to tackle rape and exploitation of women and children in war. Read more.

In June 2017 the University of Dundee awarded Fatou with an honorary Doctors of Law degree.

Lord Paul Boateng

Lord Paul Boateng

The UK's first mixed race cabinet minister

Published guidelines to end the denial of adoptions purely on the basis of race

Lord Paul Boateng was born to a Scottish mother in Ghana in 1951. He became the UK’s first mixed race cabinet minister in May 2002. Although in the role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury he endeavoured to provide reform in many areas. One of his most notable achievements is the coordination of the “Every Child Matters” policy which has led to reform of children services in England, Wales and Scotland. Within this report he states: “We must be ambitious for all children, whoever they are and wherever they live.”

Lord Boateng also assisted Gordon Brown in drafting the Africa Commission report, which called for increasing aid to Africa from Western nations to $50 billion a year. Read more about Lord Paul Boateng.

Percy Julian

Percy Julian

Synthesised Progesterone hormone inexpensively from soybeans, preventing miscarriages and premature births for millions of women

Percy Julian was born in American in 1899, he was not permitted to attend high school due to his race. He went on, however, to become one of the most renowned chemists in world history. In 1973 he became the first black chemist to be elected to the National Academy of Science. He has pioneered research into the treatment of arthritis, birth control and glaucoma, as well as extracting chemicals still used in fire retardants today. He is widely recognised for making medicines affordable. Read more about Percy Julian.

Linda Bellos

Linda Bellos

Fought for inclusivity in the 1980's when it was an unpopular concept. Originated Black History Month in the UK

Linda Bellos was born in London in 1950 and became a prominent figure in left-wing politics in the 1980s. During this time she fought for equality and diversity when it was still an unpopular concept. Linda brought the celebration of Black History Month to the UK and has continued to ensure it is the success it is today.

“I apparently wear lots of different hats. I am English ‘cos I was born in England.’ I am Jewish because my mother was, and I am also proud of my Nigerian heritage. And from an early age I thought that I was equal to other human beings. It was later in life that I recognised the systems of discrimination that exist and that I needed to understand how and why they worked so they could be challenged and overcome.” Read more about Linda.

Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas

Artist

“The use of color in my paintings is of paramount importance to me.”

Alma Thomas worked as an art teacher for the majority of her life. It wasn’t until she was in her 70’s that she really came into her own. Her art style was commended for choosing not to focus on the civil rights movement at the time, but to look to the future through expressive colour and abstraction. “Through color I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.”
Alma was the first African American to have her work displayed in the Whitney museum of Art in New York. She was famously quoted to have said:

“One of the things we couldn’t do was go into museums, let alone think of hanging our pictures there. My, times have changed. Just look at me now.”

Read more about Alma.

Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole

Voted Greatest Black Briton

Mary Seacole was refused to serve as a nurse in the Crimean War. She went of her own accord and established a hotel providing aid to many soldiers. Mary was born in Jamaica in 1805 and learned medical practices from her mother. Her father was a Scottish officer in the British Army. In 1953 Mary moved to London to help in the Crimean war effort but her help was refused. Instead of returning to Kingston, Jamaica, Mary travelled to Crimea on her own and established the British Hotel. From this hotel she would feed soldiers and deliver supplies to the battle front. At the time Mary’s efforts were little known, it is only until recently that her actions have been truly recognised.
Read more about Mary Seacole

Get in Touch

If you want to find out more or get involved, contact Caroline, DUSA’s Vice President of Student Welfare.