Oxford's universities celebrate Black History Month with events highlighting the history and achievements of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

Originating from the United States, where it was launched in 1970, Black History Month was for the first time celebrated in the UK in 1987 and since then recognises BAME communities' contribution to the economic, cultural, academic and political development of Britain.

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Oxford Brookes University marks it with a programme of events and activities for staff, students and members of the community.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, professor Anne-Marie Kilday, said: "As lead for our institutional race equality strategy, I am delighted to support the creation of a vibrant and varied programme for Black History Month to engage our students, staff and the local community."

The highlight of the program is planned for Monday, October 28 from 5pm, when the BAME Staff Network will present an evening of professional development and networking titled "Be Ambitious and Model Excellence: Find Your Purpose".

It will be an opportunity to connect with Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and gain insights on the career journeys of the University’s senior leaders, including Mary Pierre-Harvey (Director of Estates and Campus Services at Oxford Brookes University), Adrian Thomas (Director of Global Recruitment), Lydiah Igweh (Enterprise Support Manager), and Professor Joe Tah (Associate Dean Strategy and Development in Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment).

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Oxford University has already opened the celebrations with an exhibition at Magdalen College's Longwall library.

Titled "Making history" it "celebrates Oxford University’s first Black African undergraduate, Christian Cole; the first African-American Rhodes scholar and midwife to the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke; and the great Irish wit and dandy, Oscar Wilde."

University's Advocate and Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality and Diversity, dr Rebecca Surender, said: "We know that when people come together with different backgrounds, approaches and insights it can lead to more creative and innovative teaching and research and higher levels of student experience – and for this reason among many, Oxford is fully committed to improving the recruitment progression and success of its BAME staff and students."

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On Saturday, October 19, Jesus College invites for an event celebrating Norman Manley, a Jamaican lawyer and statesman fighting for Universal Adult Suffrage.

On Friday, October 25 at Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Race and Racism at University College London, professor Paul Gilroy will deliver this year's Black History Month Lecture.

Oxford Mail:

Professor Gilroy was recognised this year with the Holberg Prize for "his outstanding contributions to a number of academic fields, including cultural studies, critical race studies, sociology, history, anthropology and African-American studies."

For full program and ticket information visit the universities' websites: Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University.