Black History Month 2020, 1-31 Oct 2020

Issued: Fri, 04 Sep 2020 09:23:00 BST

Scotland's Black History Month takes place in October every year. It focuses on people whose sacrifices, contributions and achievements against a backdrop of racism, inequality and injustice are often forgotten about.  

As part of Black History month in October 2020, the Scottish Graduate Schools of Social Science (SGSSS) and we at SGSAH are joining forces to offer a series of ‘Lunchtime talks’ to our Doctoral communities celebrating the history, achievements and contributions of black and minority ethic people from across Scotland. 

The talks will take place every Tuesday in October from 1.15 – 2pm, creating a pocket of inspiration and discussion in the middle of the day. There will be a 20 – 25 minute presentation followed by 15-20 minutes Q&A/discussion. 

Click here to view the programme and to register. 

Register via Eventbrite

6 Oct Dr Gameli Tordzo Dr Gameli Tordzro an Artist in Residence of the UNESCO Chair on Refugee Integration Through Languages and The Arts (UNESCO RILA) and a Research Associate of The MiDEQ Hub, based in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Drawing on indigenous knowledge, his research is in creative arts and translating cultures, language and education with a focus on African diaspora music, video film production, story and storytelling. His academic and professional background is in teaching, theatre for development film and television directing and producing, education, traditional African symphonic orchestral music and artistic research. Changing the Trajectory of Our Shared Histories'; Artistic Interaction and Embracing Us This based on my idea of 'Treasured Opportunities' which looks at purposefully creating mutual enrichment through human interaction. And I will speak about how I do this through my work, dating as far back as when we worked together and beyond, using the arts to create real change.
  Prof Corinne Fowler Corinne Fowler is Professor of Postcolonial Literature at the University of Leicester. She directs ‘Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted’ (2018-2022) and her newest book is Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural England’s Colonial Connections (Peepal Tree Press, 6 November 2020). Colonial Countryside: Child-Led Interpretation of British Country Houses’ Connections to Empire. After Bristol’s Colston statue fell in the summer of 2020, public attention soon turned to Britain’s country houses and their connection to transatlantic slavery in particular. In this talk, Corinne discusses her experience of working with 100 children to co-curate exhibitions, give guided tours and write new guidebooks for National Trust properties. She also highlights the range of country houses’ connections to empire and discusses the importance of evidence-based approaches to incorporating this history into on-site and digital accounts of British heritage sites.   
13 Oct Prof Nasar Meer Nasar Meer is Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship at the University of Edinburgh. W.E.B. Du Bois, social science and ‘double consciousness’   Born before the invention of the electric light bulb, William Edward Burghart Du Bois (1868–1963) would go on to make an astonishing contribution to the social and political sciences. By the time of his death, at which point satellites were orbiting the earth, his scholarly and wider intellectual repertoire ought to have secured his reputation as one of the most imaginative, perceptive, and prolific social scientists of the 20th century. In this talk we will explore Du Bois’ theory of double consciousness as it is found in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and consider what this means for us today.
  Prof Brian Stanley and Agana-Nsiire Agana  BRIAN STANLEY is Professor of World Christianity in the School of Divinity. He is a historian of Christian missions, and his most recent book is Christianity in The Twentieth Century: A World History (Princeton University Press, 2018).
AGANA-NSIIRE AGANA is a Ghanaian student who recently completed his MTh and will soon commence a PhD in World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. His current research brings together his training and experience in theology and software entrepreneurship to explore the theological ramifications of emerging digital culture in rapidly modernising societies.
From Mau Mau to New College  Our presentation on 'From Mau-Mau to New College' will begin by telling the story of John G. Gatu (1925-2017), a Gikuyu from Kenya who in the 1950s was an oath administrator for the anti-colonial Mau Mau movement.  In 1958 he spent time at New College as part of his theological training for the Presbyterian ministry.  In 1971 he hit the headlines by calling publicly for a moratorium on the sending of western missionaries to Africa in order to promote the selfhood of the African churches.    Agana will then share a few words on how encountering Western academic perspectives (especially intellectual decolonisation) while at New College has combined with his already held views as an African to raise new (and for him existential) questions about what it means to think as a black person and as a human being.
20 Oct     Series of lightning talks from our PhD Community
  Charlotte James Robertson  'Charlotte is a 2nd Year History PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. Twitter: @CharJamesR. 'Lives Free of Fear of Any Kind”: The Establishment of Specialist BME Women’s Refuges in Britain, (1979-1989)  After the first women’s refuge for victims/survivors of domestic abuse was opened in Chiswick in 1971, similar refuges were established rapidly across Britain. The work of organisations like Women’s Aid could be lifesaving but how did race affect women’s experiences of seeking help? The 1980s saw the establishment of several specialist BME women’s refuges, including Shakti Women’s Aid in Edinburgh and Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid in Glasgow. These refuges aimed to provide a space where women could feel safe and understood, as well as an environment where the perspectives of BME women could lead the way. 
  Dina Ashour  Dina is a Doctoral Researcher in entrepreneurship ecosystems and Institutional voids in emerging markets at the University of Edinburgh Understanding Mental health issues in the black community,  Causes & Effect The talk will focus on mental health with a focus on the media portrayal of the black community 
  Rebecca Brew  Rebecca is a 2nd Year Professional Doctorate Student. Her studies seek to explore the barriers and stigma that Black African Women with HIV might encounter when contacting the National Health Service . She is also a Nurse Practitioner, and has worked for the NHS for 24 years.
Rebecca is a British citizen of African Descent.
The Black Professional Woman and Imposter Syndrome Rebecca's topic for the event will be on Imposter Syndrome and how it affects  the Female Black Professional.
  Tharita Intanam  Tharita is a 2nd Year English Literature PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh. Black Body as A Site of History in Post-1960s African American Literature My talk involves how contemporary African American authors revise American slavery and African American well-being through the lens of trauma. It focuses on their reactions to the dominant Western historiography centering on the textual means to access the history of slavery as well as their presentations of Black body as a site and means to access the past regarding the transgenerational trauma caused by on-going racism. Several literary texts such as Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017), David Bradley's The Chaneysville Incident (1981), and Octavia E. Butler's Kindred (1979) are highlighted as examples.
27 Oct Lisa Williams Lisa is the founder of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association and leads Black History walks of Edinburgh. She has a BA in African and Asian Studies, an MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management and is an Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.  The Caribbean presence in Edinburgh in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries  Lisa will introduce a variety of stories of African-Caribbean residents and visitors to Edinburgh during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These range from those escaping bondage or fighting for freedom in the Scottish courts to those able to amass wealth from working in city households, inheriting or marrying into Edinburgh high society. The nineteenth century saw activism among political radicals from abolitionists to anti-colonialists; some of whom studied and taught at Edinburgh University. 
  Dr Christine Whyte & Dr Richard Anderson 

Christine Whyte is a global historian focused on West Africa, slavery and its abolition and the history of children and childhoods. She is co-director of the Decolonise Glasgow Artslab,  board member of the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research and a founding member of the Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies at the University of Glasgow. 

Richard Anderson is Lecturer in the History of Slavery at the University of Aberdeen. He is a historian of Africa and the African Diaspora, with particular emphasis on British abolitionism and colonialism in West Africa. Richard is the author of the book Abolition in Sierra Leone and co-editor of Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade.  


Charles Heddle: an Afro-Scottish trader and the abolition of the slave trade in Sierra Leone  Charles Heddle was a 'merchant prince' of the 19th century. He accumulated great wealth and political influence in the British Colony of Sierra Leone, and died wealthy and comfortable in a luxurious chateau in the South of France. He was the son of two island folk: a Wolof signaré from the island of Gorée off the coast of Senegal, and an Orcadian doctor from the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland.  As a mixed-race Afro-European, Heddle successfully navigated the waters between these two distant islands. This talk will outline the significance of Black history to understanding Scotland today. 
29 Oct Dr. Batanayi I. Manyika and Dr. Modisa Mzondi 

Dr Batanayi I. Manyika is the Coordinator of Faculty Research and Publishing at the South African Theological Seminary (SATS). He holds theological degrees from the University of Wales, Stellenbosch University, and a PhD in New Testament from SATS. His doctoral thesis focused on Paul’s letter to Philemon where he investigated the gospel’s influence on master-slave relationships in the first century. He appropriated his findings in the relationships between Christian employers and Christian domestic workers in contemporary Southern Africa, advocating a gospel motivated transformation of social orders. Bat has been involved in church leadership in the UK, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. He is married to Vanesha and they live in the north of France.

Mzondi holds two doctoral degrees, in theology, from the University of Johannesburg. He is a founder and director of Back to Basics- Kago Leswa and is also one of three co-founders and pastors of ‘Let My People Go Ministries’. He also serves as lecturer and supervisor at the South African Seminary (SATS). He has a passion for children, youth, families, and leadership training. His interests are in anything to do with Ubuntu, African theology, African Indigenous Knowledge Systems, (African) womanism and Pentecostalism.

Complexities of Black Identity:
Theological Reflections from the Diaspora and the Continent
This presentation explores the complexities of black identity from two fronts—Southern Africa and the Diaspora. It argues that ‘blackness’ is a complex construct that warrants concerted theological reflection for an interconnected world to flourish. Through theological dialectical inquiry, select depictions of slavery in Paul and the pervasiveness of colonization in the African experience are treated. Finally, we observe how the church is a unique redemptive vehicle wherein complex black identities should be consulted, celebrated, and commissioned in our collective quest for gospel-centred transformation.