Black History Month

The University of Dundee will celebrate UK Black History Month throughout October 2023.

On this page

We have a programme of events aimed to educate ourselves and reflect on the contributions, achievements and experiences of black people among our staff, students and wider community. This provides us with opportunities to promote dialogue around equality, diversity and inclusion.

The University condemns racism and discrimination in all its forms. We are committed to an inclusive learning, research and working environment, to strong support for all of our staff and students, and to a fairer and more equitable society for all. In line with this commitment, the University will continue to identify and challenge institutional racism in all that we do.

The University recognises that we have much to do in tackling racial inequalities. The University received a Bronze Race Equality Chartermark. Through our commitment to the externally accredited Race Equality Charter, we aim to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. Supporting Black History Month across the University is one of the ways we will learn from the lived experiences of our black community.

2023 Black History Month activities

Black History Month – publication award (Boom Publishing) 

Last year, in celebration of Black History Month, we awarded DJCAD alumni Tilda Williams-Kelly with a publication award for her dissertation Sister Painter: Misogynoir, Intersectionality and Black British Women’s Painting. 

This year we are opening the award up to current and former students across all Schools at the University who have written an essay or dissertation in the last three years, which is worthy of publication and reflects the remit of Black History Month - a momentous occasion to recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of black people to British society.  Any profits from book sales will be donated to Boom's new philanthropical fund for disadvantaged students at the University of Dundee.

Students and former students may self-nominate, or they can be nominated by staff members, such as former dissertation supervisors. 

Nominations can be sent to Helen Gorrill for circulation to the panel of judges, by 30 September 2023.

What I am reading now

What I am Reading Now… is the online iteration of a printed column, of the same name in Cooper Gallery’s occasional periodical &labels.

This ongoing online iteration of What I am Reading Now… is influenced by the global political movement Black Lives Matter and invites Black practitioners and practitioners of colour to share, with a preface, a selection of five readings that are shaping their current thinking, research and practice.

Black Lives Matter reading list

Following the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, activists have encouraged us all to educate ourselves. Black history, and anti-racist struggles are amongst the key issues raised by the protests. It is not enough to be non-racist; we have to be actively anti-racist.

The Library and Learning Centre present a collated list of resources (A University of Dundee is required for access). The Main Library Foyer will host a display of material from the Black Lives Matter reading list throughout Black History Month.

Walter and Angelina Kamba video

Dr Kenneth Baxter from the University's Archive Services takes a brief look in this video at the lives and work of two of the University's most distinguished figures from a BAME background, Walter and Angeline Kamba.

Living in exile after the imposition of minority white rule, in what was then known as Southern Rhodesia, the Kambas came to Dundee in 1969.

Walter took up a lectureship in the Law Faculty and Angeline joining the library team. During his time at Dundee, Walter rose to be Dean of Law, at the same time as playing a key role in the setting up of the modern Zimbabwe. Returning to their homeland in 1980, both played important roles in its life as well as carrying out work on the international stage.

University’s Founders Report

The University of Dundee has followed a path of transparency and to acknowledge its historical connections with colonialism and slavery.

In an attempt to try to address some of these issues at a local level, in 2021 the University of Dundee employed a post-doctoral researcher, Dr Cassandra Gooptar, to prepare a report investigating the early founders of the University and their links to slavery and colonialism. Dr Gooptar was assisted by a steering group comprising Professor Graham Fagen (convenor), Caroline Brown, Matthew Jarron, Dr Susan Mains, Dr Michael Morris, Ajit Trivedi and Professor Christopher Whatley. The report was launched during Black History Month in October 2022. This website presents a summary of its main contents.

Previous years

See how we celebrated Black History Month in 2022, 2021 and 2020.