Black History Month Film Event

The Department of History recently hosted a film event for local A Level students to mark Black History Month, where we screened the epic biopic Malcom X.

Poster for the film Malcolm X

On Monday 16th October we welcomed A Level students from various local schools and colleges onto campus to watch the film Malcom X to mark Black History Month. The event was hosted by Dr Mirela Ivanova, and Dr Andrew Heath provided an introduction to the film to provide context.

The event was a success with 50 A Level students in attendance. After the film, students discussed questions about the themes and topics it raised. We’ve received some positive feedback from students that attended, that demonstrates the value of holding these types of events:

‘I discovered more about the extraordinary life of Malcolm X and how he and his actions impacted the civil right movement’.

‘I learnt about Malcolm X and that he was not like the portrayals I have seen of him in the past. I was interested in the roles of religion and politics in American society in regards to civil rights and I want to learn more about Malcolm X and his attitudes to equality’.

‘I was completely and pleasantly surprised. I thought this film would be one of the many that brushes over Islam and makes it all seem violent and villainous, but it had a large section where true Islam was represented and I felt much more interested and happy with the film at this point. It was long but it was really well done and I really enjoyed it’.

‘I hadn’t covered Malcom X before, so I learnt a lot about him that I’m hoping can become the foundation of what we learn in class when we get to that point in the curriculum’.

‘I learned about the struggles for power and the betrayal even within social groups. He had to suffer from not only those he was fighting against but fighting for as well’

Additionally, one of our History in the City committee members, Bo, volunteered at the event, and said the following about her experience:

'As a student volunteer I found the film very engaging - despite it not being something I would typically watch in my own time.  Also the talk from Andrew before the film surrounding the controversies with the producer were useful to think about before watching it. The conversations afterwards with the Sixth Form students were very insightful as they brought up lots of interesting perspectives, particularly about the role of women and religion in the film that I hadn’t thought of myself.’