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Black History Month 2023 Summary

Here’s our recap of Black History Month 2023 at Strathclyde

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Written by Cree Dunn

October was jam-packed with events curated by our staff at Strath Union and the University of Strathclyde’s EDI office. There was something for everyone, every week of the month.

Uwandu Chioma Esther, Race Equity intern at Strath Union, said: “Strathclyde needs to promote and maintain students' involvement in planning activities such as Black History Month.”

“It’s one of the ways to assure students that they are important and that their voices matter. It’s important that the University values us as part of the system.”

On October 1st, the Nigerian Society Independence Day Party brought in the celebrations of black culture and history.  The party was a cultural display of Nigerian heritage with a green carpet, food tasting, music and dancing.

Attendees were dressed in green and white, colours from the Nigerian flag symbolic of the country's agricultural lands and people’s commitment to peace and togetherness.  Nigeria became independent 62 years ago, on October 1st, 1960.


A post shared by Chioma Wodu (@chiomawodu)


Other celebrations included a karaoke night hosted by our Wednesday night Union favourite, Kwaku, and an open mic/spoken word event.



Black History Month is a dedicated time to amplify black voices and raise awareness for issues which affect the black community and people of colour.  Strath Union offered a series of online workshops and training on anti-racism, apathy and allyship.

On the 18th of October, there was a screening of A Portrait of Sheku Bayoh at the Mandela Auditorium.  The short film depicts the life of Sheku Bayoh prior to his untimely death in Kirkcaldy after a confrontation with police officers.

Sheku Bayoh was born in Sierra Leone and moved to Scotland to be with his older sisters. He was killed in 2015 at age 31.  Sheku’s sister, Kadi Bayoh was invited to present the short documentary on her brother.

In her introduction, she said: “In 2015, Sheku was met by the police and shortly after lost consciousness. He died in hospital.  When the police came to break the news to me and my husband, they told us different stories, they told us lies. When I asked how did Sheku die, they said they didn’t know.  It’s heartbreaking.”

Kadi also shared a few words on the family’s Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign.  The family has been fighting for a public inquiry into Sheku’s death, which is still ongoing 8 years later. For ways to support Sheku’s family and their fight for justice, visit:

The films Pariah and Maud were also shown in October. Pariah follows the struggles, self-discovery, and sexual expression of a black teenager in Brooklyn.  Maud is a short film honouring the life and work of Scottish-Ghanian award-winning artist Maud Saulter.

On the 20th, Strathclyde students and faculty wore red to support the Show Racism the Red Card campaign.  Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s leading anti-racism charity.  In 2022, 440,000 individuals registered to take part in Wear Red Day. To show support for their various initiative, visit:


A post shared by Yu-Chu Doong (@strathunion.vpi)


As we approached the end of October the Union held various panel discussions to celebrate notable individuals of colour in Scotland.

On October 24th, two panels were held: one in the morning to celebrate Scotland's Black Women in Business, Politics, and Activism, and one in the afternoon to celebrate Black Strathclyde Students Past and Present.

There was also a panel discussion on Positioning Black Students for the Big Corporate World.

Chizuluum Ifezulike, a 4th-year Economics and Business Enterprise student featured on the Black Strathclyde Students Past and Present panel said: “It was an amazing opportunity to take part in.  I’m grateful for the platform to speak on my experiences as a Black student at Strathclyde. I was on a panel with a lot of great speakers and I’m glad we could inspire other black Strath students.”

Chizulum has won the Department of Economics prize for the Best Overall Performance student in Economics for two consecutive years, 2022 and 2023.  She has been awarded one of the UK’s top 150 Future Leaders for 2023/24. Outside of school, she has also started her own cosmetics business, Gospel Galore.

On October 25th Strath Union and Strathclyde University recognised award-winning poet Jackie Kay with the official unveiling of the Jackie Kay Plaza.

And that’s our recap of Black History Month 2023!  A big shout out to the university and union staff who have worked hard to make this month exciting and engaging.

We may have to say farewell to Black History Month, but the reasons we celebrate, raise awareness and reflect must not be forgotten.

Black History Month serves as a reminder to take action, share ideas, and get involved in order to identify solutions that will help our world become a more equitable place for all BAME people to exist and take up space.


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