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Black History Month

Explore Library resources, stories and perspectives on Black History Month from Lancaster University Library and beyond.

Black History Month

Black History Month logo

Black History Month takes place in the UK and Europe in October every year.

It represents an opportunity to celebrate black people, Black history and culture, and reflect on what it is and has been to be black.

The theme this year is TIME FOR CHANGE: ACTION NOT WORDS.  This focuses on Allyship and also lived experiences.

For more information on Black History Month visit:

Black History Month 2022



Reading List titles

Lancaster BHM Events

WELCOME WEEK EVENTS- Open to all undergraduate first-year students (new cohort), and also to other UG, PGT and PGR students.

Global Stories, Local Landmarks: The Glocal Lancaster History Tour

Curious to find out more about Lancaster? Fancy discovering how the city’s past connects with the histories of people from around the world? Join us for a free tour of nine places in Lancaster’s historic Castle Quarter and its surroundings. We’ll view some of the city’s most iconic sites and landmarks, and we’ll consider how Lancaster’s story links with histories that span from the Roman Empire to the British Empire. Along the way, we’ll discuss Lancaster’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and contributions to the Industrial Revolution. What’s more, we’ll consider how the look and feel of the local environment has changed over the past 1,000 years.

We are offering four tours – two on Monday 3 October AND two on Thursday 6 October. Registration required, limited places, so please sign up soon!

Monday 10 am

Monday 1 pm

Thursday 10 am

Thursday 1 pm


Dr Christopher Donaldson and Dr Sunita Abraham

Meeting point: Please arrive outside the main gate of Lancaster Castle (John of Gaunt Gatehouse) between 10 and 15 minutes before the tour begins. We shall begin promptly on the hour. 

Accessibility: The tour will involve climbing stairs and walking on uneven (and potentially slippery) surfaces. Sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate apparel is required.

Glocal Perspectives: Library Collection and Lancaster History Tour.  Monday 10th October 12 noon – 2 pm. Lancaster University Library Events & Exhibition Space 

Join us to discover how Lancaster’s past connects with the histories of people from around the world. Travel through time as we explore Lancaster’s links with histories that span from the Roman Empire to the British Empire to the modern world. 

Join us to discover how Lancaster’s past connects with the histories of people from around the world. Travel through time as we explore Lancaster’s links with histories that span from the Roman Empire to the British Empire to the modern world. You’ll also have the chance to learn about the city’s ties with global stories relating to trade, commerce, culture, society, livelihoods and change. 

Moreover, find out about the Library's Glocal (Global and Local) collection, community card membership and Black History Month events. 

We will also reflect on how knowledge of the past is helping to effect change in the present especially in relation to anti-racism and decolonising the curriculum. Free event - lunch included Book your place using the link below glocal qr code

Decolonising Higher Education.  What’s in it for us? What do we have to lose?  Lancaster University Library Events Space. Wednesday 12th October 2 - 3.30 p.m. 

Although decolonising has a very long history, it has certainly risen in public consciousness over the past few years. Depending on what you read, listen to, or watch – and who you are – it either represents a call for long overdue reckonings or a threat to modern society as we know it. This session opens up a discussion around what decolonising means, how it relates to universities, and what the implications are for staff and students. 

Dr Richard Budd, Lecturer in Higher Education, Centre for Higher Education Research & Evaluation (CHERE) 

Link  decolonising qr code

Small Axe ‘Education’ Black History Month film screening and discussion. Lancaster University Library Events & Exhibition space. Thursday 13th October 5–7 pm. 

During Black History Month join us in the Library Events space for a screening of the BBC film: Small Axe: Education, followed by a discussion facilitated by Lancaster University 'Why is my Curroiculum White?' campaign. 
Education is the coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Kingsley (Kenyah Sandy), who has a fascination for astronauts and rockets. When Kingsley is pulled to the headmaster's office for being disruptive in class, he discovers he's being sent to a school for those with "special needs." Distracted by working two jobs, his parents (Sharlene Whyte, Daniel Francis) are unaware of the unofficial segregation policy at play, preventing many Black children from receiving the education they deserve, until a group of West Indian women take matters into their own hands. 

Director: Steve McQueen.Following the film screening there will be a discussion facilitated by Lancaster University Why Is My Curriculum White campaign. education qr code

Bolton Le Sands Library Black Lives Matter: Then and now, 1680-2022. Thursday 13th October 6.30pm.  From castle escapees and runaway slaves to black actors and Abolitionist speakers, explore the history of Lancaster.


Slavery Family Trees Exhibition. Lancaster City Museum, Market Square. LA1 1HT.  15th October 2022 - 26 February 2023. Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-5pm. Free entry.

Slavery family trees

Saturday 15th October. 7 pm. After the flood:  The church, slavery and reconciliation. at Lancaster Priory Church.

Film and panel discussion in conjunction with Movement for Justice & Reconciliation and Lancaster Black History Group.

Suggested donation £3. Reservations in advance or on the door. 

After the flood

10,000 Black Interns Presentation, Thursday 20th October 1-2pm, on MS Teams

Book on CareersConnect

10,000 Black Interns is a charity that was created to improve access to a range of careers for young Black people in the United Kingdom. Each year, we provide 2000+ paid internships for Black students and graduates across various sectors in addition to training and development for every applicant.  Founded by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, Jonathan Sorrell, Michael Barrington-Hibbert and Wol Kolade in 2020, the programme is having a wide-reaching impact and tangibly improving the progression of thousands of people. The programme is open to undergraduate students, postgraduate students and recent graduates (2019-2022) who are Black or of Black heritage

Find out more at this presentation for Lancaster students.

The meaning and matter of Blackness. Lancaster University Library Events Space.Thursday 20th October 6–7 pm. 

Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere (Why Is My Curriculum White?) explores his personal reflections on the meaning and matter of blackness, opening the floor to further debate & conversation 

Black History Month encourages us to celebrate the achievements and challenge stereotypes of the African diaspora, yet race continues to be the defining factor behind the discrimination of people across the globe. So how does one make sense of the racialised world that surrounds them? What truly is ‘Blackness?’ And how can race influence sense of self? Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere explores his personal reflections on these questions, opening the floor to further debate and conversation.  meaning of blackness

Wear Red Day – Show Racism the Red Card: Change hearts. Change Minds. Change Lives. Online and in-person 
Monday 17th - Sunday 23rd October 

The Library is fundraising for Show Racism the Red Card by supporting Wear Red Day on 21st October 2022. Show Racism the red Card (SRtRC) is an anti-racism educational charity that utilise the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society. They deliver educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. Across the UK, SRtRC provides educational sessions to more than 50,000 individuals per year. In addition to the direct education of young people and adults, SRtRC produces educational resources, to challenge misconceptions, stereotypes and negative attitudes in society.  

Please help the Library to support this initiative by donating money to SRtRC and wearing red on Wear Red Day 21st October 2022. You can also take a selfie wearing re and share it on social media using the hashtag #WRD22  wear it red day qr code

Facing our past, transforming our future: reframing Lancaster’s history.  Online via MS Teams & in-person in the Library Events & Exhibition Space 27th October 6 – 7.15 p.m. 

During Black History Month join this discussion to consider what is meant by reparative history and what will be achieved by uncovering previously hidden narratives from both sides of Lancaster’s past. 

During Black History Month join this discussion considering what is meant by reparative history and what will be achieved by uncovering previously hidden narratives from both sides of Lancaster’s past. 

I think this will be a nice opportunity to showcase some of our ongoing projects and work, and it will be really great to talk with Lela about her work with us and Lancashire museums as part of this, and Jasmine's work with LGS on Lindow and the Lindow painting (Jasmine I will email Tate again today!). 

Facilitated by Doug Purvis (Library) with Professor Imogen Tyler (Professor of Sociology - Lancaster University); Lela Harris (Kendal Artist commissioned for the Facing The Past project), Jasmine Patel (Lancaster Black History Group); and Professor Alan Rice (Professor in English and American Studies, Director of UCLan Research Centre in Migration, Diaspora and Exile, UCLan), this event will showcase some of the ongoing projects and work locally. 

We welcome staff, students and members of the community to join this event, wither in person at Lancaster University Library, A Floor Events & Exhibition Space, or online. 

Book your place here   facing our past

Iranian Film Screening and Panel discussion, Cavendish LT, Faraday, Wed 2nd November, 2-4 pm – IN PERSON

In solidarity with women of Iran, join us for short presentations, a screening and Q&A byDr Maryam Ghorbankarimi, DLU and Why is my Curriculum White CampaignAn insightful look into The Women’s Rights Activists in Iran and their demands for change ahead of the controversial 2009 elections. As part of the most vibrant social movement in Iran today, the women fight gender discrimination whilst being routinely persecuted by the government.Refreshments will be provided!

Decolonising Lancaster University Reading group, Wed 23 November, 1.30 - 2.30 pm, ONLINE VIA MICROSOFT TEAMS LINK

We’ll be reading and discussing one of the items proposed by Kwamou Feukeu: Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln’s ‘Critical Methodologies and Indigenous Inquiry’, in Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies, ed. by Norman K. Denzin, Yvonna S. Lincoln and Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2008), pp. 1–20. All welcome! For any queries, please contact

What's happening in 2022

Lancaster University Library recognises the importance of Black History Month as a moment in the calendar to mark and celebrate black history and identity.

We will be celebrating Black History Month with a range of activities by:

  • Curating this Black History Month guide
  • Highlighting interesting resources relating to Black History or the Black Lives Matter movement through
    • Displaying relevant books from our collection on A Floor in the Library
    • Creating a reading list of Library materials relevant to black history, black scholarship and related topics in all academic disciplines
    • Curating your suggestions in our Black History Month - Lancaster University playlist of films, documentaries and interviews on Box of Broadcast (BoB)
  • Facilitating Black History Month reading groups
  • Glocal collection talk by Paul Newnham
  • Screening and discussion on the Small Axe Group Series 1: Education
  • Wear Red Day - Show Racism the Red Card - 21st October
  • Display on the Nelson Mandela cafe
  • Helping you to locate material in the Library and other sources relating to Black History
  • Highlighting local stories and events in Lancaster  

Big Library Read

Black History Month ‘Big Library Read’ at Lancaster University 

Location: Online via Libby app & book giveaway (Library A Floor) 

Date: Book giveaway Friday 21st October from 10 a.m. until stocks last/ Online from 21st October – 11th November 

For Black History Month 2022 the Library is launching the first Lancaster University ‘Big Library Read’ of Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021).   The book is available by downloading the Libby app where you can download the book free on your tablet or mobile. We will also have 50 copies of the print book available on Friday 21st October from 10 a.m. (Wear it Read Day – Show racism the red card) – just visit A Floor of the Library to pick up your copy (while stocks last).   

There are a number of reading groups/ book clubs at Lancaster University who will be joining the Big Read.  If you are interested in joining please see contact details below (details to follow). 

What has the Library done in the past years to celebrate Black History?

  • We have been supporting the work and research of the Lancaster Black History Group which is a community group locally researching Lancaster's links with the slave trade.
  • Glocal community collection launched in November 2021 for the general public relating to Lancaster's link with the Slave Trade.
  • In March 2021 Lancaster University Library adopted and started implementing the Lancaster University Race Equality Network Anti-Racist Learning and Teaching Toolkit and from this we have created an Anti-Racist Advocacy group.
  • The Anti-Racist Advocacy group has led cross-library discussions on the Panorama documentary "Let's talk about Race", and "Is Uni Racist"
  • Some library staff from across the service followed the Lancaster Slave Trade, Abolition and Fair-Trade trail lead by Professor Alan Rice.
  • Author events with Naji Bakhti, a Lancaster Alumni, reading from "Between Beirut and the Moon".  with free copies distributed to staff and students with reading groups. Author event for Okechukwu Nzelu reading and discussing his debut novel, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney,
  • 2020/2021 has had a dedicated budget to purchasing items to help diversify our collections. Suggestions can be made via the Diversify the collection form  and will be promoted on the Diversifying the Collection LibGuide
  • Faculty Librarians have presented at staff and student events promoting inclusion of diverse readings. They are seeking students for a pilot project on student-led evaluation of reading lists in a subject area relating to appropriateness of subject headings and classification.
  • Library staff organised and attended a mid-day seminar linked with colleagues from Leicester University Library on the subject of "Represent: Building diverse library collections in collaboration with library users".