Black History Month 2015


October highlights Black History Month which celebrates the contribution black people have made to UK society.

BU, in collaboration with a host of other local organisations, has created a programme of events for students to enjoy, taking place both on and off campus.

Events being hosted by BU include:

Wednesday 14 October: Black History Month Soiree – Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Equality in Sport and Classical Music Race

Black History Month Soiree is co-hosted by BU Equality and Diversity and Black British Academics. 

This evening includes a number of speakers:

  • Humour as Defence: Black Coaches, Micro-aggressions and Racism – Professor Kevin Hylton
  • Heroines of Opera: Democratising the Art of Opera Writing and Performance – Dr Shirley Thompson
  • Anti-racism in British Football – Bournemouth Kick-it-out Group
  • Pedagogies of social justice and cultural democracy – Dr Deborah Gabriel and Aisha Richards

For full details and to book onto this event, please head to Eventbrite.

Thursday 29 October: Race Relations Act 50 Years on, with Baroness Lawrence

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE is an anti-racism campaigner and Labour peer. Last year she was named the most powerful woman in the country in a list drawn up for BBC Woman’s Hour.

An advocate for justice, Baroness Lawrence has been effective in the change of laws in the UK. She will provide a personal perspective on her experiences, whilst reflecting on changes to UK Relations legislation over the last 50 years, focusing on the arrival of the Windrush and changes to several Race Relations Acts throughout the years.

For full information, and to book your place, please head to Eventbrite.

Other events will be taking place off-campus for Black History Month, including:

  • Old Skool Reggae Night
  • She Called Me Mother
  • Let’s Kick Racism out of Football
  • Thomas Foxwell Buxton Society

For full details and to book onto any of these events, please go to Eventbrite.


The Black History Month 2015 programme is a result of collaboration between:

– Bournemouth University
– Bournemouth Borough Council
– Black British Academics
– Borough of Poole
– Dorset County Council
– Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
– Dorset Police Crime Commissioner
– Dorset Police
– Dorset Race Equality Council
– Healthwatch Dorset, South-West Multicultural Network
– Women’s Academic Network (WAN)


Event marks Black History Month

Bournemouth and the broader Dorset and Poole African & Caribbean community representatives came together for an event to celebrate Black History Month.

The event programme raised awareness of the history of the struggle of the UK’s black community in gaining proper recognition of its important contribution to the nation, as well as highlighting the reality that in too many cases discrimination still exists, including promotional opportunities in the workplace.

The keynote speaker, Mike Franklin, the UK’s first Independent Police Complaints Commissioner, and Bournemouth Borough Council’s Equality & Diversity Manager, Sam Johnson, highlighted these points to the audience that included the Mayors of Bournemouth and Dorchester, the Chief Executive Officer of Bournemouth Borough Council, Bournemouth business community representatives, officers of Poole Borough Council, Dorset County Council, NHS and representatives from a wide range of the broader international community.

A presentation was made of a film initiative, ‘All Different, All Dorset’, that is a result of collaboration of Bournemouth University’s Equality and Diversity Adviser, Dr James Palfreman-Kay, with the Dorset area BME community.

The event, on 29 October, continued with the announcement of a new Dorset Equality & Diversity Workplace Best Practice Annual awards, initiated by Alan Mercel-Sanca (Dorset Race Equality Council’s Organisation Development & Education Officer) that will highlight organisations and businesses that are striving to support equality and diversity in the workplace.

The awards were given the support of Councillor Lawrence Williams (Bournemouth Borough Council Equality Portfolio Holder) and the first awards ceremony will take place in June 2015.

The last item of the programme featured the presentation of certificates for outstanding achievements to a number of figures from the local Black, African & Caribbean Community – ranging from a GB Team European Games athlete (Tia Leoni Rose Wootten) to the UK’s Number One Black Motivational speaker (Bernadette Raggett). The certificates were presented by Bournemouth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, and Tony Williams, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Chief Executive Officer.

There was a diverse range of high quality African & Caribbean cuisine served at the event, produced by BU’s caterers Chartwells who had worked closely over a number of weeks with Mrs Marion Mwenda, a veteran African & Caribbean cuisine chef from the local community, to deliver this special feature of the evening.

Students’ play to be performed as part of Black History Month


A play by BU Scriptwriting students will be performed at The Winchester pub in Bournemouth as part of Black History Month.

Chaos By Design has been written, directed and will be performed by Benedict Lombe, who is about to graduate from the BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and TV course, and final year student Charlotte Rogers.

The play focuses on the struggles of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – where it is estimated 433,000 women are raped a year.

“The main reason that we wanted to do this whole thing was effectively to raise awareness about something that I think a lot of the time people, especially our generation, have no idea about,” said Benedict, 21.

“It’s such a huge issue and we thought that creating a play was one way that we could make a difference.”

The play follows two women, June and Angelique, as they struggle to survive in the DRC without becoming victims of war, coming across different characters with their own views on the conflict.

Benedict and Charlotte, who have set up The Rat’s Nest Theatre Company, took the production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August this year, with the help of £1,500 from the BU Projects and Placements Grant fund.

Chaos By Design will be performed at The Winchester, in Poole Hill in The Triangle, on Wednesday October 30, as part of Black History Month.

The performance starts at 7pm and tickets can be bought on the door for £5.

Further details about the performance

A number of events have been organised by Bournemouth University as part of Black History Month. See the full programme of events.

Events underway for Black History Month

Events are starting to take place to mark Black History Month at Bournemouth University.

The events run from 14 October 2013 to 1st November 2013 and are designed to promote freedom and equality throughout the university.

Run in partnership with Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, the series of events began with an exploration of the life of Mary Seacole, a doctress-nurse during the Crimean War. The event, titled ‘Mary Seacole – Her Relevance in Today’s NHS’ was led by Professor Elizabeth Anionwu CBE, Professor of Nursing at Thames Valley University.

Other highlights include ‘We were here: African American GIs in Dorset’, an exhibition which explores the stories of the black GIs who came to Dorset to train for D-Day, and ‘My Journey – Clive Clarke’ where Clive will be talking about the challenges he has faced working in the NHS.

View the whole programme of events for more information. All events are free to attend and you can book your place through Eventbrite.

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Historian talks at BU about black community during World War II

Historian Stephen Bourne was at Bournemouth University to share the forgotten stories of black people who helped Britain’s war effort.

His talk, Mother Country – Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front 1939–45, took place in a packed lecture theatre of students and staff in Bournemouth House on Tuesday.

He said: “I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the diversity of people in the room, with such a wide mix of students from different courses.

“I think it is important that these stories are told and their contribution needs to be explained to young people.

“Time is running out as we are getting further and further away from World War II and young people need to get out there and talk to older people.”

Stephen is an author of 19 books, looking at the secret histories which are often ignored, forgotten and overlooked.

His talk covered some of stories of black people during World War II – from children who were evacuated to find that no–one in rural villages wanted to take them in, to a mother who wrote to Prime Minister Winston Churchill after they were forced out of their local air–raid shelter by police.

He also talked about some of the black people who contributed to the war effort – such nurses who came over from the West Indies and other British Colonies to help.

He said: “During the war, people did pull together – in spite of all the negative stories. “For every negative story, I found a positive story – and that is very important for me as part of a history of black Britain.

“Some historians portray black people in history as victims, but I don’t think that is healthy and I don’t think that is the bigger picture.”

The talk was one of a number of events taking place at Bournemouth University throughout October to mark Black History Month.

On Monday 29th October there will be a screening of film The Help, in Kimmeridge House, from 6pm. The screening is open to staff, students and members of the public.

On Tuesday 30th October, there will be a culture evening in the Loft, in Poole House, which will feature live music, West African food and a display of fashion. The event runs from 7pm and is open to staff, students and the public.

Dr James Palfreman–Kay, equality and diversity adviser at Bournemouth University, said: “We celebrate Black History Month as well as other cultural events at Bournemouth University because we are a multicultural university with a diverse range of students and staff.

“We hope that by marking such events it shows that we are an inclusive and diverse community.”

If you would like more information about events happening at BU as part of Black History Month, email