Black History Month

Black History Month

Black History Month takes place in October and the University of Plymouth is proud to support this celebration of black achievements in the UK with a month-long season of virtual events. In the wake of Covid-19 and the senseless murder of people of colour across the world, Black History Month is more important than ever and University of Plymouth celebrations this month go hand-in-hand with our response to Black Lives Matter and our plan to tackle systemic racial inequalities in the Higher Education sector.

The origins of Black History Month go back to the United States in 1920, and nearly 100 years later this worldwide event still takes place annually and the UK marks Black History Month in October every year. This month is a time for everyone to come together to celebrate Black contributions to British society, as well as fostering a greater understanding of Black history.

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"Proud to be"

“It’s been a challenging time for many Black and Brown people, with so much in the media about racism, inequality and injustice. We wanted the theme of Black History Month 2021 to focus on celebrating being Black or Brown, and to inspire and share the pride people have in their heritage and culture – in their own way, in their own words.

“By asking people to share what they are Proud To Be we can share both individual stories and the vast richness of diversity that Black and Brown people bring to the UK.

“Black Lives Matter means people being able to live life to the fullest without having to compromise who they are. Everyone deserves the right to be Proud To Be everything they are and want to be in life.”

Catherine Ross, Editor at Black History Month UK

Black History Month at The Charles Seale-Hayne Library

Find our display on Level 1 (close to the entrance gates) which will showcase 10 specially selected books for Black History Month as well as information about the book and author. A second display can be found outside SumUp (near the lifts on Level 1) showcasing an additional selection of great books by black authors.  

Not on campus? We have compiled an online reading list with details of our selection of Black History Month books as well as our special 10 book selection.

Want to win one of our top 10 Black History Month books?

Fill out a card on Level 1 of the library or online and tell us which black author or individual do you admire, who inspires you? And why?


Pride in Faith

This special event looked at sharing the challenges, complexities and joy that faith and religion bring when identifying as LGBT+ featuring a diverse range of speakers from different faith groups sharing their stories including:

  • Jayne Ozanne, a prominent gay evangelical Christian
  • Ben M. Freeman, world-renowned educator focussing on Jewish identity
  • Osman from Hidayah UK, who provide support and welfare for LGBTQI+ Muslims
  • Pritpal Bhullar from Sarbat, a Sikh LGBT+ support group
  • Matt Mahmood-Ogsten, founder of Naz and Matt Foundation empowering and supporting LGBTQI+ individuals, their friends and family.

Tackling racism on campus: Raising awareness and creating the conditions for confident conversations

Advance HE is a member-led, sector-owned charity that works with institutions and higher education across the world to improve higher education for staff, students and society.

Advanced HE has created a set of resources for institutions to use in tackling racism on campus as part of the wider project, Tackling racism on campus: Raising awareness and creating the conditions for confident conversations, an Advance HE Project funded by SFC and led by an expert group of EDI practitioners, academics, tertiary education staff, and students.

Resources for the Tackling Racism on Campus project.


Black Lives Matter resources (FREDA)

FREDA activities are congruent with the Black Lives Matter movement. ‘#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.

The death of George Floyd in 2020 has brought BAME and White people together under the BLM banner, with protests highlighting longstanding issues over the treatment of Black people and the extent of institutional racism. FREDA has put together these resources to help focus our learning, linking to inequalities we have also seen from how Covid-19 is disproportionally affecting People of Colour.

Learning resources

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Dismantling White Fragility: Robin DiAngelo’s asks us to question what we think we know about racism, the conversations we avoid having and the roles we might be playing in upholding inequality

Racism Cont'd - What a Day: Akilah Hughes breaks down the biggest news stories of the day with precision and humour.

About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge: Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism.

Good Ancestor: Anti-racism educator Layla F. Saad features in-depth interviews with ‘change-makers and culture-shapers’. 

Films and video

13th: a documentary taking an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality

I Am Not Your Negro: directed by Raoul Peck and written by James Baldwin telling the story of race in modern America 

What happens when I try to talk race with white people: Renni Eddo-Lodge offers her brief but spectacular take on talking to white people about race and responding when people tell her they don’t see race

White People, Enough: A Look at Power and Control: in this TED talk Jaelyn Coates identifies the impact of racism on relationships 

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Additional virtual events for Black History Month 2021