ACS brings Black History Month to Cornwall






Hermione Blomfield-Smith


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llustration: Lucy Thorne

Throughout this October ACS have held one of the most successful celebrations of Black History Month this campus has ever seen. Black History month has been celebrated in the UK as an annual event for 35 years and is  also celebrated in the US in February.

ACS reformed in 2014 and is aiming to expand the society. In an interview with the head of ACS, Bella Frimpong, she voiced her ideas to expand and improve the Society this year and that she wanted the society to be about ‘education, celebration and empowerment’, of not just black people, but all races, ethnicities and religions.

They started the month with a movie screening of Selma, by the black female director Ava DuVernay and followed on with many other events including a talk led by Robert Burns about the links between modern music and the slave trade, a pizza and poetry night in the Peter Lanyon building and a week-long anonymous question and answer boards in the compass. At the end of this there was a Q&A. One of the most prominent questions was:

Q: “What is it like being asked to speak on be on behalf of your whole community/race ? It screams homogeneity to me”

A: “We never claimed to speak as representatives of our community as a whole, rather we speak from independent experience. There is no “Black experience”/ “asian exerience” or “ethinic minority experience”.

“Even if these responses are not representative, they are still valid.”

“You need to perform, sometimes this can be a burden. There is also a pressure to not take up stereotypes. It almost feel like a duty . Ethnic minorities have to compete to a different set of standards. We are the only points of contact from this demographic for some people at this uni”

This year’s celebration of Black History Month on the Penryn and Falmouth campuses has been a huge success and ACS will be holding a fundraising week at a future dates.  This is a fantastic achievement and ACS wants to continue to raise awareness of the issues facing all ethnicities today and encourage historical education. As George Santayana said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’