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Celebrate Black History Month with Hope

Liverpool Hope University will celebrate Black History Month with a series of thought-provoking online guest lectures, webinars and debates.

Black History Month is an annual, national series of events ‘to honour the too-often unheralded accomplishments of Black Britons in every area of endeavour throughout our history.’

The movement’s mission is to provoke people to ‘Dig Deeper. Look Closer. Think Bigger’ when it comes to issues of race and equality. 

And Hope will add its own voice to the conversation through a varied mix of talks and discussions organised by the School of Humanities, the School of Social Sciences, and the Students’ Union. 

The webinars will be free to view online, and you’ll be able to access them through the Liverpool Hope University Facebook pages - so keep a close eye on Hope’s social media. 

On Thursday October 15th, you can enjoy a webinar from acclaimed Liverpool-born writer Emy Onuora - author of Pitch Black, a book which charts the experiences of British-born black footballers from the 1970s to modern day. 

For Hope’s Black History Month, Emy will explore the global events which led to the infamous Liverpool race riots of 1919. 

On Thursday 22nd October, a webinar from Liverpool playwright, singer and actor Tayo Aluko will discuss the life, works and politics of Paul Robeson - an American activist who not only confronted deep structural racism in US society, but who also supported Welsh miners in their strike for better conditions in the late 1920s. 

And on October 28th singer, writer and activist Dave Clay will give a grassroots account of the Liverpool black experience - and the battle for social justice.

Those are just a few of the myriad events taking place, with a Black History debate night and a Mental Health and Well-being seminar planned, too.

Dr Bryce Evans, Associate Professor of History at Hope, commented: “Historians study the past, but we are conscious of the connections between slavery, colonialism and contemporary racism. 

“This is particularly the case in Liverpool, a port city with strong historical links to the slave trade and empire. And yet History, as an academic discipline in the UK, tends to underrepresent people of African and Caribbean heritage, a trend highlighted by the Royal Historical Society’s 2018 report, which called for academic history departments to make strategic interventions in order to ‘reflect the full diversity of human history’. 

“These events are a contribution towards that goal."

While Professor Michael Lavelette, Head of the School of Social Sciences, added: “We’re delighted to be able to bring you these fascinating and thought provoking online webinars.

“And this year, more than ever, it’s vital the voices of Black History Month are heard. 

“We’ve seen black people being disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd in America instigating a powerful movement for change, and institutionalised racism laid bare across the world. 

“As a University, we stand with all those in the Black community. And through these events we hope to shine a light on history in a truthful, open and honest way.”

Here’s a run-down of the full schedule of planned events: 


Weds 7th Oct:

African Women and British Health Services (7pm)

Youth project worker Florence Adeoye is part of the Young Historians Project, who research untold histories about Black people in Britain. Florence has a special interest in making histories accessible for all. And here she’ll be speaking about the current project she’s working on: 'African Women and the British Health Service, 1930-2000'. 

For a sneak peek, head here.



Sat 10th Oct:

Careers event for students – promoting Black and Asian independent businesses in Liverpool (1-2pm, 5-6pm)

Event being organised by the Hope Students’ Union, with two sessions running during the day - 1-2pm and 5-6pm.

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Tues 13th Oct

Outdoor film screening - TBC


Thurs 15th Oct: 

Black History Debate Night (4-5pm, 6-7pm)

Louisa Patterson-Brown is Secretary of Hope’s Afro-Caribbean Society (ACS) and also Hope’s BAME officer. She’s passionate about celebrating the rich culture of Africa and the Caribbean as well as the great diversity among students. And here she’ll host a debate night, with two sessions: 4-5pm and 6-7pm. 

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Emy Onuora

Great War to race riots: Liverpool 1919 (7pm)

Also taking place on 15 Oct, we’ll be joined by Emy Onoura , author of Pitch Black and who has lectured extensively on issues of Race and Sport within higher education.

Here he’ll be discussing how global politics led to the race riots of 1919 which took place in seaport areas such as Liverpool, Cardiff and Salford - one of Britain’s most violent periods of racial upheaval in the 20th century.

** This event is co-hosted with Liverpool literary group Writing on the Wall


Sat 17th Oct: 

Cultural Food Lunch (12-1pm)

Join Hope’s BAME officer Louisa Patterson-Brown for an online cook-along, as she shows you how to create her favourite foods from around the world. 

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Thurs 20th Oct: 

SheRose Charity Talk (1pm-2pm)

The SheRose charity fights for the rights of young girls in Malawi, attempting to eradicate child marriages while improving access to education. Here, in a talk arranged by Hope’s Students’ Union, guests from the charity will discuss the charity’s important work and explain how students can get involved in the organisation, too.

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Weds 21st Oct:

Lecture from Professor Hakim Adi (7pm)

Professor Hakim Adi is a British historian and scholar who specializes in African affairs. In this lecture he reflects on his research and his trailblazing status as the first black history professor in the UK. Hakim Adi has written widely on Pan-Africanism and the modern political history of Africa and the African diaspora, including the 2018 book Pan-Africanism: A History. He is an advocate of curriculum change to better reflect Britain's black history. 


Prof Hakim Adi


Paul Robeson: Fighter for Liberation (7pm)

In this webinar Liverpool playwright, singer and actor Tayo Aluko will discuss the life, works and politics of Paul Robeson. Robeson’s immense talents brought him to the forefront of American life in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to becoming recognised as an American Football star in his youth, Robeson got a law degree in 1923, became a great singer, actor and film star, and as a linguist, mastered numerous languages. But as a black man Robeson was confronted by the deep structural racism of American society. He was drawn to socialism and supported anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist struggles around the world, including for example supporting Welsh miners in their strike for better conditions in the late 1920s to travelling to Spain to sing for the troops of the International Brigades in the war against Fascism. The mixture of his immense popularity and his strong politics caused him to be persecuted by the American authorities, and he suffered professionally and personally as a result. Tayo will suggest how Robeson's life can provide both lessons and inspiration for today.

** Event also hosted by socialist group Counterfire.


Mon 26th Oct:

Mental Health and Well-Being Seminar: ‘Am I Enough?’ (2pm-3pm)

Event to be led by Hope’s Students’ Union via Zoom. 

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Thurs 27th Oct: 

Roots: The Criminal System (6pm-7pm)

Ashleigh Nugent is a Liverpool-based rapper, writer, director and performer, and author of book ‘LOCKS’, a novel about a troubled mixed-race teenager who finds himself mugged, stabbed, arrested and banged up in Jamaica. He’s also the founder of Rise Up, an organisation that works with prisons, schools, the long term unemployed and those at risk of offending within the wider community. Here Ashleigh chats about the UK criminal system, from ‘stop and search’ police powers to prison reform. 

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Networking Quiz (6pm)

The Hope Students’ Union will run a Black History Month networking quiz and will be joined by a host of other local universities. 

** Webinar link to be published on the Hope SU Facebook page & instagram page @liverpoolhopesu closer to the time. 


Weds 28th Oct: 

Liverpool’s Black History: 1919-2019 (7pm)

Author Dave Clay has worked for over forty years towards the development of Liverpool's black community. Born and raised in the Granby area of Liverpool 8 with a black African father and a white mother, he has a wide range of experience in the field of race relations including at Merseyside Community Relations Council for a number of years and as the first Chairperson of the L8 Law Centre. 

Here he discusses his upcoming new book, ‘1919-2019 Liverpool Black History’, which documents 100 years of the city’s black community. 


dave clay black history month

Thurs 29th Oct: 

Black troops were welcome in Britain, but Jim Crow wasn’t: the Battle of Bamber Bridge, June 1943 (7pm)

Here Professor Alan Rice, Professor in English and American Studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), documents the so-called ‘Battle of Bamber Bridge’ - an outbreak of racial violence between Black and white American servicemen stationed in the village of Bamber Bridge, Lancs, in June 1943. Events began in the village’s Ye Old Hob Inn, where black soldier Private Eugene Nunn had been threatened with arrest by US Military Police for being inappropriately dressed. Yet local people and British servicemen sided with Nunn - with one British soldier exclaiming, ‘Why do you want to arrest them? They’re not doing anything or bothering anybody’. Yet violence ensued, leading to the death of one black soldier while several others were injured. 


** All online webinars will be available on the Zoom platform - with links to the sessions posted on Hope’s social media channels. 

Published on 05/10/2020