The 2021 UK Black History Month logo with black test on a white background. Text says 'BHM2021, Dig Deeper, Look Closer, Think Bigger'.

We are looking forward to celebrating UK Black History Month at the University of Dundee throughout October 2021. We will host a programme of events aimed to educate ourselves and reflect on the contributions, achievements and experiences of BME people among our staff, students and wider community. This provided 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, and 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 BME community.

To find out more about our activities from 2020 and to view recordings of the events visit our 2020 Black History Month page.

You'll find details of upcoming events and activities during 2021's UK Black History Month in October on this page.


Connecting Communities with May Sumbwanyambe

Thursday 21 October 2021, 17:30-19:00 BST
Arthurstone Community Library, 5 Arthurstone Terrace, Dundee DD4 6RT

May Sumbwanyambe is a librettist, radio dramatist, academic and award-winning playwright from Edinburgh.

Previous productions include; Ghost Light, (Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland), Joseph Knight, (BBC Scotland, National Theatre of Scotland) After Independence (Arcola Theatre, Papatango Theatre) The Parrot House (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) ‘After Independence’ and ‘The Trial of Joseph Knight (BBC Radio 4).

Join May at a book reading event over a selection of African foods followed by a participatory workshop.

Book your free tickets here

Unconscious Bias - Relevance and Risk Workshop

Monday 25 October 2021, 9:30-12:30 BST
Online via Microsoft Teams

This workshop is open to all staff and students at the University. It will look at stereotyping and bias, why it happens, and the relationship with discrimination. We will consider the potential impact on individuals and groups in the University setting and some steps we can take to reduce detriment.

The aim of the course is to raise of awareness of how stereotyping and unconscious bias can influence the decisions we take, to identify where these matters are likely to impact on the University and to provide some direction on how minimise that impact.

This workshop is organised by the University of Dundee's Organisational and Professional Development team. Places are limited and allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.

Reserve your place on this workshop.

Art and Design: Slavery and Disavowal

Wednesday 27 October 2021, 12:00-13:00 BST
Online event

Join Dr Michael Morris (Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee) to reflect on how art and design can illuminate histories.

How effectively can cultural and creative projects navigate and acknowledge Scotland's role in Atlantic slavery?

Building on historian Catherine Hall and psychoanalyst Daniel Pick’s description of the ‘disavowal’ of slavery, Morris will explore projects which reposition thinking to acknowledge Scotland's role in Atlantic slavery, emphasising a willingness to fully see what was always available. From objects in V&A Dundee’s Scottish Design Galleries to contemporary artworks, films and walking tours Dr Morris will examine art and design’s relationship to the avowal and disavowal of Atlantic slavery.

This event will be BSL interpreted, live. Part of Black History Month Scotland #BHM

Book your free tickets.

Why we need an anti-discrimination curriculum

Wednesday 27 October 2021, 13:00-14:00 BST
Online via Microsoft Teams

This is an open invitation to all staff and students to join us and hear about the need to develop a curriculum that anti-discriminative. Although diversity is improving in medical education, inequality and lack of diversity persists at many levels.  It is increasingly important that educators recognise and address discrimination, to produce healthcare workers with the necessary skills to improve the health of a diverse patient population.

Dr Cindy Chew (Consultant Radiologist; University of Glasgow) and Professor Lindsey Pope (Medical Education; University of Glasgow) will provide an insight into the steps being taken to develop an anti-discrimination curriculum and to share their experiences of addressing discrimination in academic and other professional settings.

Join the live event.

The Sacred Task of Black Religion: Speaking Black truth to White power

Wednesday 27 October 2021, 18:00-19:00 BST
Online via Microsoft Teams

James H Cone was an African American theologist and scholar who is widely considered to be the founder of Black liberation theology. His work focused on black power, looking at the role of religion and the preaching of a gospel which is based on white supremacy.

In this talk, Professor Anthony Reddie, Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, will look at the role of religion within black communities and examine the legacy James H Cone left following his death in 2018. Himself a renowned theologist, Professor Reddie specialises in undertaking action research and works predominantly with poorer Black communities in the UK looking at racial justice and equality and seeking to explore how the Christian tradition can become more inclusive.

This is The Margaret Harris Lecture on Religion taking place as part of Festival of the Future 2021 and Black History Month.

Book your free tickets.

Bollywood Dance Class

Wednesday 28 October 2021, 16.30-17.00 BST
Online via Zoom

University of Dundee staff and students are invited to join Usha Mani from Student Services to learn a new Bollywood dance.

Usha has been teaching Bollywood dance at the University of Dundee since 2018 and has conducted various dance events in the Global Room for Holi and Diwali. When we moved to lockdown, she moved her classes online and is adding an extra session as part of Black History Month. As the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion co-ordinator for student services, she organises these events to help students and staff from different cultures to meet via Bollywood dance.

The Dance will be performed to Shakira’s anthem for the 2010 men’s football World Cup - 'Waka Waka - (This time for Africa)’.

The event will be held via Zoom. Meeting ID: 950 6709 7827

Please email Usha in advance for the passcode for this event.

Connecting Communities with T. L. Huchu

Thursday 28 October 2021, 17:30-19:00 BST
Hilltown Community Centre, 15 Alexander Street, Dundee, DD3 7D7

T. L. Huchu has been published previously (as Tendai Huchu) in the adult market, but ‘The Library of the Dead’ is his genre fiction debut. His previous books (‘The Hairdresser of Harare’ and ‘The Maestro, The Magistrate and the Mathematician’) have been translated into multiple languages and his short fiction has won awards. Tendai grew in up Zimbabwe but he has lived in Edinburgh for most of his adult life.

Join T.L. Huchu at a book reading event over a selection of African foods followed by a participatory workshop.

Book your free tickets here

Reading Resources from Diversity Initiative and AfroMedics

Online throughout October

This month, the Diversity Initiative and AfroMedics are celebrating black artists, elevating black voices and learning invaluable lessons from black history. It is imperative that we don’t allow this month to go past without taking time to properly educate ourselves on the history of Black people.

They have collated a list of resources that will allow us properly to engage with relevant topics and issues. For each week of this month, they have designated a theme and will release a list of different resources in accordance with our theme.

The themes for the month are:

Week 1: Reporting: The historical perspective of Black People.

Week 2: Relating: Putting History into context

Week 3: Reasoning: Lessons from lived experiences

Week 4: Reconstructing: Looking to the Future

At the end of the month, a full reading list will be sent out for further reading.

We hope you are able to fully immerse yourself in the richness of the content that is provided.

Access each week's resources as they are released.

Revisiting Black History Month 2020

Watch on-demand throughout October.

Watch the recordings of events and talks that the University hosted during Black History Month last year.

We celebrated Black History Month at the University of Dundee throughout October 2020, with a programme of events aimed to educate ourselves and reflect on the contributions, achievements, and experiences of BME people among our staff, students, and the wider community. 

View the recordings here.

Walter and Angeline Kamba

Watch on-demand throughout October.

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.

View the video.

Reading List and Resources

Available online throughout October.
Requires University of Dundee login.

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. The Main Library Foyer will host a display of material from the Black Lives Matter reading list throughout Black History Month.

Images via LibraryThing For Libraries.