Monday 24-10-2016 - 10:22
As we approach the final third of Black History Month, the Black Students’ Campaign will be hosting a finale event to BHM alongside NUS UK in support of the United Families and Friends Campaign with performances from some of the best Black talent around to celebrate the spirit of solidarity that still unites and strengthens the movement today.
This October, as with every year, has welcomed a wide range of events and celebrations across schools, offices, campuses and communities in recognition of the rich contributions of Black people across history.
With events ranging from the legacy of the Black Panther Party on their 50th anniversary, to Black Mental Health and the history of Black women in Britain, the final third of October marks the approaching end of Black History Month – at least in the formal sense.
Because for the NUS Black Students’ Campaign our stance is clear: a month is not enough – a month can never be enough – but it is an important start to branch out from.
Black History Month is a vital and necessary step towards asserting and affirming our presence as Black people here in the UK and worldwide, and can serve as a jump-start to many of our campaigns throughout the academic year.
And most crucial is that it always remains Black-led.
Having attended, spoken at and seen-from-a-distance many Black History Month events, what has struck me is the strength and diversity of student-led Black History programmes this year.
What this Black History Month has affirmed to us all is that Black students are firmly taking control of our narratives, and our true history.
That is a history that was fought for, not given – a history defined by resistance, not confined to degradation.
It is a history that spans the globe, yet all too often the stories of our history here in the UK are overlooked and forgotten, both the struggles and the successes.
Whilst the long persistent issues of police violence and movements like Black Lives Matter in the US regularly capture our attention, we can never forget how state violence continues to plague Black communities in the UK and the vital work of the United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) in combatting this.
Established in 1997 primarily by Black families of those killed in police custody, UFFC have grown over the years as a wide coalition of local campaign fighting against state violence and towards accountability, whilst also upholding the vital work of supporting families and loved ones as they are hauled through the long, painful process towards justice.
Since 1999 the United Families and Friends Campaign have held a procession from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street on the last weekend on October in remembrance and defiance for those who have died in state custody, which this year falls on the 29th and which the Black Students’ Campaign urge as many Black students as possible to attend.
For the second year running, the Black Students’ Campaign with be hosting a fundraiser for UFFC on Saturday evening, this year alongside NUS UK for the first time.
Join us at SOAS university on Saturday 29 October for 'UNITY: A Night of Music & Performance' where we will be holding an evening of performances and food to fundraise for UFFC, a coalition of those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody, and celebrate the best of Black talent.
United Families & Friends Campaign annual remembrance procession – 12pm, Trafalgar Square London
UNITY: A Night of Music & Performance – 5:30pm, SOAS, Bloomsbury WC1H 0XG