Introduction to Black History Month

Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya and Professor Ruth Taylor,
Senior Race Champions and co-conveners of the Race Equality Strategy Group

October is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the extraordinary contributions that Black people have made in the UK and beyond. Initiated by American historian Cater G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of African Life and History (ASALH) in 1926, it comprises a series of events each October, to promote Black history and acknowledge the achievements of Black people. Observed across the world, Black History Month continues to educate, inspire and motivate millions of people, whilst acting as a catalyst for change.

This year the University has developed a programme of events, blogs, podcasts and talks which will provide opportunities for our community to engage with the ethos of this celebration – to be Proud To Be. There will also be opportunities to revisit the successes of Black History Month 2020.

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Since last year’s celebrations, we have forged ahead with our work on race equality, ensuring it remains at the core of the University’s business through the University’s strategic plan, Aberdeen 2040 and its Inclusive theme. The concept of antiracism is integral to our strategy, currently being steered by the Race Equality Strategy Group (RESG). 

RESG has driven our race listening activities which have prompted action on our report and support mechanisms. We launched a new online racial harassment reporting tool - through which staff and students can report incidents and receive support and advice.

Recognition of the importance of supporting our community towards understanding antiracism has led to 400 colleagues participating in race literacy training. Additional follow-up sessions have provided space for reflection and planning proactive antiracist approaches.  The Senior Management Team and University Management Group engaged in tailored interventions on leading an antiracist University. 

Listening on race issues will never stop, and our thriving Race Equality Network is supporting this work, as are our newly appointed Race Equality Champions. The contact details of our 21 Champions across the University can be found on our new Race Equality webpages, along with additional support information and resources.

While Black History Month provides an important opportunity to celebrate and reflect, we have much more to do to achieve racial equality. We are committed to addressing issues raised by our data analysis, continued engagement with our local partners such as GREC and NHS Grampian, building on the constructive conversations on decolonisation of the curriculum and, towards the end of this year, launching our Antiracism Strategy.

Please do engage with our Black History Month 2021 programme and our wider race equality work. Through our collective effort and commitment, we will realise real change so that all staff and students experience a true sense of belonging in the University and the North East of Scotland.

News & Updates

Keep up to date with all the latest news and updates about Black History Month at the University of Aberdeen.

Download the Black History Month celebrations PDF programme here.

Get Social

Following our social media accounts will keep you up to date with our latest Black History Month posts!

Past Events

Supported by:

 Development Trust Student Experience Fund
Directorate of People & the Directorate of External Relations.

Collaborators and Partners: Law School, WORD centre, BAME Forum, AUSA, Race Equality Network and Race and Racism Group (RRG), School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, Museums and Collections, Alumni and Student Experience.