Black History Month
Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the individuals and events which have shaped African and Caribbean communities, as well as our collective history.
It also provides space for Black students to explore and articulate their own experiences, and a focus for the whole University community to discuss and address the on-going challenges facing Black communities in Britain and around the world.
The Students' Association's Black History Month celebrations take place during national Black History Month in October and are led by our Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Officer, who this year is Isabella Neergaard-Petersen.
Below are a list of Black History Month event highlights from the BME Campaign, the wider University and the city. If you have any questions about Black History Month or the Students' Association's BME Campaign, or would like your event to be featured in the programme, please email the Students' Association's Welfare and Equality Officer Sarah Moffat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black History Month Walking Tours of Edinburgh
October 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, 14:00; Meeting at Dundas Statue, St Andrew's Square
Join Edinburgh's Caribbean Association every Sunday for a walking tour exploring the fascinating but little-known stories of Edinburgh's deep connections with Africa, Asia and the Caribbean from Tudor times to the present day. The walk around the centre of the town will make you see Edinburgh's statues and buildings in a whole new way!
Book your place on the tour on Eventbrite.
RESPECT! a Panel on Black Women's Experiences and Significance
October 9th, 18:00-20:00; Balcony Room, Teviot Row House
Join the BME Campaign and Edinburgh's African Caribbean Society for a panel discussion exploring the diverse experiences of Black women, and the contributions they have made to the University and society more widely.
Dirty Computer Listening Party
October 10th, 18:00-20:00; Balcony Room, Teviot Row House
Join the BME Campaign and PrideSoc to experience Janelle Monae's incredible visual album Dirty Computer. We'll be viewing the full album and discussing its impact, on us as individuals and our communities.
Black British History Workshop
October 11th, 18:00-20:00; G.02, 50 George Square
Black history is chronically under-studied, and even when it is featured it tends to be US-centric. This workshop aims to combat this by focusing on how prominent Black British individuals have shaped and continue to shape the UK and world today. We'll be conducting research (bring a laptop, pens and paper!) and then producing a short zine which reflects what we've learned.
October 11th, 18:00-21:00; Cameo Cinema, 38 Home Street
Join Out at the Cameo for a screening of Moonlight to celebrate National Coming Out Day and Black History Month! Moonlight follows Chiron, an African-American man growing up in Miami, as he encounters childhood, adolescence and adulthood while coming to terms with his sexuality. The screening will be followed by a panel featuring our Women's Officer Esme Allman and student activist Fatima Seck, who will discuss what Moonlight means to them.
Student tickets are £7 and can be purchased via the Picturehouse website.
October 12th, 19:00-22:00; Underground, Teviot Row House
Join the BME Campaign and Edinburgh's African Caribbean Society for a night of black excellence! This is a chance for Edinburgh's Black students to show off their talents - from singing, to spoken word, comedy and dance - and for the wider BME community to socialise. If you're interested in performing, just drop an email to email@example.com for more info.
Black Panther Screening
October 14th, 19:30-22:00; Debating Hall, Teviot Row House
Join FilmSoc and PrideSoc for a screening of the Marvel film Black Panther. The film follows T'Challa who inherits the throne of Wakanda, a technologically advanced hidden African nation, alongside the title of ‘Black Panther’ following his father's death. The majority-Black blockbuster is incredible and well worth a watch (or even a re-watch).
The screening is free to members of PrideSoc and FilmSoc, and £3 for non-members.
Conscious Hip Hop for Conscious Minds
October 14th, 20:00-23:00; Location TBC
Join Hip Hop Soc for their Black History Month event, where they'll be listening to and discussing the most though-provoking hip hop songs from artists including Common, J Dilla, OutKast, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest and many more.
Other Fruit Book Club: Giovanni's Room
October 15th, 19:30-21:00; Lighthouse Bookshop
This October, Lighthouse Bookshop's book club will be reading James Baldwin's groundbreaking novel about gay love and the fear of love, set among the bohemian bars and nightclubs of 1950s Paris. With sharp, probing insight, Giovanni’s Room tells an impassioned, deeply moving story that lays bare the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
The Other Fruit Book Club offers a free, friendly and gentle environment in which opinions are shared and new appreciations can be discovered as they explore a broad variety of books by LGBTQ+ writers. The group is s a safe, inclusive space (see our safe spaces policy) and it centers queer voices.
October 18th, 18:00-20:00; G.02, 50 George Square
Join FilmSoc and PrideSoc for a screening of the documentary film Major! which explores the life and 40 years of activism of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color. Miss Major was at the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. Miss Major's personal story and activism for transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today.
The screening is free to members of PrideSoc and FilmSoc, and £3 for non-members.
Being Black and Political
October 18th, 19:30-21:00; Dining Room, Teviot Row House
Join Edinburgh Labour Students and Labour activist, Abdi Duale, as we discuss experiences of being black within the Labour Party, as an activist and a candidate, as well as experiences in politics in general. Come along to share your experiences and hear from others!
Hidden Figures Screening
October 19th, 18:00-20:00; G.06, 50 George Square
Join the African Caribbean Society, the BME Campaign, and PrideSoc for a screening of the film Hidden Figures which tells the incredible story of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA during the 1960s.
The screening is free to members of ACS and PrideSoc, and £3 for non-members.
Edinburgh and the Slave Trade: the True Cost of the New Town
October 25th, 18:00-19:00; Canongate Kirk
This groundbreaking lecture from human rights activist and Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Sir Geoff Palmer O.B.E. will expose Edinburgh’s long and profitable relationship with slavery.
Scotland benefited disproportionately from the slave trade. Relative to population, Scots owned more slaves, more plantations and had a higher share of the transatlantic trade in plantation goods such as tobacco and sugar than England or most other European countries. Professor Palmer will argue that the remarkable economic transformation seen in the city in the final part of the 18th century came at a heavy price. The story will be told through the experiences of the many wealthy residents of the New Town who were slave and plantation owners, as well as prominent men associated with the city, such as Henry Dundas, who campaigned against abolition. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.
Tickets are available via the Edinburgh World Heritage website.
BLACK GOLD: a Black History Month Club Night
October 27th, 22:30-03:00; Wee Red Bar, ECA
Join the BME Campaign and Edinburgh's African Caribbean Society for a club night featuring the very best of Black artists! From Aretha Franklin to Janelle Monae, and of course Queen B, our DJs will keep you dancing all night long - the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month!
If you're worried about going alone, the Feminist Society are organising pre-drinks from 9pm - find out more here.