Black History Month
Black History Month at Brunel University London is a month-long campaign that takes place every October, the campaign aims to bring together students and staff from all backgrounds, to celebrate and learn about the history, culture and successes of people from African and Caribbean culture and heritage.
The aims of this campaign is to empower Black students by providing a sense of belonging; whilst inviting students from other backgrounds to learn more about other cultures and celebrate the successes.
The Comedy Night
The campaign started off with the popular Stand-up comedy night which took place on Tuesday 1st October 2019, 18:30-21:30 in the Venue, Hamilton Centre.
The night featured some of London’s best stand-up comedians; Axel Blake, Thanyia Moore and Aurie Styla (who studied at Brunel once upon a time) for a night of fun and laughter.
The Expressive and Creative Writing Workshop for Mental Health
The Expressive and Creative Writing Workshop for Mental Health and Wellbeing took place on the 7th October 2019, from 15:00-17:00, in Engage and Explore, in the Wilfred Brown building.
This was an opportunity for students to use creative and expressive writing to help manage signs of stress, depression and anxiety. Brunel Alumni and founder of L.U.S.H talks, Sola Janet Browne who graduated with a degree in Clinical Science facilitated the workshop for us.
At the end of the workshop attendees:
- Gained practical writing and creative skills
- Learnt self-help tools they can use any time/ anywhere for managing stress and emotions e.g. writing, reflection, meditation
- Gained an understanding of how writing can impact mental health
- Felt more positive about their mental health and well being
- Learnt about how to access mental health services on and off-campus e.g. Brunel counselling services or culturally sensitive mental health services outside of the university
- Learnt about how to access services that use the arts in the prevention and management of mental health issues
- Exercised their executive functions e.g. memory, concentration, attention etc.
- Students fedback that they wanted more sessions and regularly!
Black Panther’s Real African History Presentation
This interactive audio-visual presentation took place on the 22th of October 2019, from 17:00-20:00 in LECT A, in the Lecture Centre.
This presentation discussed many topics and facts about the Black Panther Movie, comics and the Black Panther movement party. Featuring special guest from Black History Walks, Tony Warner who broke down the movie and presented how all these topics link together and connect with real African history. Over the course of the presentation photos, artwork, and movie trailers, as well as quotes and interviews from the director, actors and writers of the Movie were used.
For each fact revealed at least one book/DVD was used to illustrate the actual black history shown in the film. Local and international museums you can find the evidence in were also mentioned.
Some of the topics that were mentioned:
- African female soldiers ancient and modern
- Black female generals and Africa's real vibranium
- Black female inventors and their inventions
- The Black Panther Party in Brixton and Notting Hill
- 5 Ancient African writing systems
- Dress, design and architecture of West, East and South Africa
- African spiritual systems pre European invasion with real African Goddesses
- The real Wakanda and the IMF/World Bank
- Actual black history disguised in 1960's comics and 21st century movies
- African leaders that started real revolutions
Private catering was provided after the presentation for socialising and networking purposes.
The aim of this presentation was to use a film which is recent and popular, this event aims to educate Brunel students about African history in different light by linking it to a Marvel Comics movie.
The Moonlight Movie Night
This Movie night took place on Thursday 24th, 2019, 19:00pm-21:00, The Junction, Hamilton Centre.
This movie displays a young African-American man who grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. This event was organised in collaboration with the Union of Brunel's LGBT+ Officer to provide a safe and inclusive space for those that identify as both BAME and LGBTQ+
Moonlight received universal critical acclaim and is commonly cited as one of the best films of the 21st century the film won several accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama and the Academy Award for Best Picture. It became the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBTQ-related film, and the second-lowest-grossing film domestically to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Joi McMillion became the first black woman to be nominated for an editing Oscar, and Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar.
The Black Royalties Showcase
This showcase of Black excellence took place on Wednesday 30th October 2019, 18:30-21:00, Antonin Artaud building.
To close our successful and amazing Black History Month campaign we held a talent showcase where students of African and Caribbean heritage performed various forms of art for an audience of over 100 students and staff. The showcase was developed through the collaboration of the Union of Brunel Students, African Caribbean Society, Brunel West Indian Society, Brunel Nigerian Society, Brunel Ghanaian Society and Brunel Somali Society. Together, a collection of talented performers showcased ‘Black Excellence’ through singing, dancing, acting and spoken word.
The issue of mental health in relation to black men, colourism within the community and the breaking down of gender stereotypes are just a few examples of topics that were covered throughout performances. Performers on the night included both current students and Alumni.
For more information on the Student Success Project please contact the Student Success Project Manager: Abigail.Elliott@brunel.ac.uk