Celebrating Black History Month 2018

Black History Month in the UK celebrates the achievements of black people and communities in the UK, and globally. Originally started in the United States by an influential black historian to publicise the accomplishments of African Americans, this annual event looks to raise awareness, educate and encourage further research into black history.

Black History Month encourages us to question the narratives around the history that we were taught and its domination by white, European men. As recent works by Reni Eddo-Lodge and David Olusoga have highlighted, the history of black people in Britain, and indeed the British Empire, is significant, enlightening, and incredibly relevant.

Black History Month 2018 at our University and Students’ Union

This year we are marking Black History Month at our University and Students’ Union by celebrating our black staff, students and alumni. There will also be a programme of events, including film screenings, speaker events and much more across Sheffield.

Wall of BAME

AfuaDuring Black History Month 2018 we are launching our University Wall of BAME. An initiative to share the stories of members of staff, students and alumni from Black Asian Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and celebrate their achievements at our University and beyond.

The project will launch during Black History Month, featuring profiles of our black staff, students and alumni released throughout the month. It will then run throughout the academic year featuring individuals from all minority ethnic backgrounds.

Explore our Wall of BAME

Find out more about our BAME Staff Network

If you would like to be part of the Wall of BAME or nominate a colleague, please send an email to

Black authors in the Sheffield Authors Showcase

We’re featuring three works from  black authors past and present at the University, which are part of the Sheffield Authors Showcase Exhibition in Western Bank Library.

The Showcase honours the achievements of our academic community, both by celebrating their contribution to academic endeavour and by recognising the effect that their scholarly works have had on their readers.

Discover the works

Events for Black History Month 2018

Pop Tarts: Spotlight on Black History Month

6 October: 11.30pm - 3.30am, Foundry, Sheffield Students' Union

Tickets online or via the SU Box Office

To help kick off black history month Pop Tarts will be delving into the wealth of incredible black artists that have dominated pop music throughout the decades. Expect to hear Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, James Brown, Donna Summer, Kanye, Prince, Whitney Houston and many more blasting through the Foundry speakers!

Bar One Quiz

7 October, 9 - 11pm, Bar One, Sheffield Students’ Union

Free Entry

The Bar One Quiz will be asking questions about Black History Month - including creative, picture & music rounds with a top prize of £50 to be won!

BAME staff network meeting

10 October, 3-4.30pm, Richard Roberts Building Room A87

Register for the event

At this meeting, attendees will be able to:

  • Meet the new Committee members
  • Learn about events and plans for the year
  • Get to know other BAME staff members across the University

SU Film Unit and Women’s Committee presents: The Watermelon Woman

10 October, 7.30 - 9.15pm, Nelson Mandela Auditorium, Sheffield Students’ Union (level 2)

£3.30 - tickets from Students’ Union Box Office

After watching a number of 1930s films featuring black actresses who were often uncredited, wannabe filmmaker Cheryl decides to make a documentary about the lives of these women, focusing on one in particular, known simply as “The Watermelon Woman”. Going deeper to discover more about her, Cheryl’s relationship with her filmmaking partner Tamara starts to fracture, putting the project at risk. The first feature film to be directed by a black lesbian, namely Cheryl Dunye, who also plays her namesake, The Watermelon Woman is a historic milestone in cinema which explores an interesting-yet-uncovered topic. It features great acting from its leads, as well as humorous dialogue which gives the movie an energy and light-heartedness not often found in films of its sort.

Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) - On Race, Identity and Belonging

In collaboration with Our Mel, Festival of Debate, the University of Sheffield BAME Staff Network and Sheffield Students' Union, part of MelaninFest – Sheffield’s Black History Month Festival

18 October, 6.30 - 7.30, Lecture Theatre 1, the Diamond, the University of Sheffield

Book your free ticket

Join Afua Hirsch for a discussion on her Sunday Times Bestseller, Brit(ish).

Brit(ish) is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history. It is about why liberal attempts to be ‘colour-blind’ have caused more problems than they have solved. It is about why we continue to avoid talking about race.

In this personal and provocative investigation, Afua Hirsch explores a very British crisis of identity. We are a nation in denial about our past and our present. We believe we are the nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems. Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.

This event will be chaired by Desiree Reynolds, journalist, author and a trustee of Racial Justice Network.

SU Film Unit present: The BlacKkKlansman

20 October, 3.30 - 6pm or 7.30 - 10pm, Nelson Mandela Auditorium, Sheffield Students’ Union (level 2)

£3.30 - tickets from Students’ Union Box Office

Giving a snapshot of race issues in 1970s America, BlacKkKlansman is an autobiographical film about an African-American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado. Set from the point of view of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the film shows him attempting to destroy the organisation by becoming head of the local chapter, with the help of Detective Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), who plays Stallworth when he meets face-to-face with the Klan. This film manages to be hugely entertaining, whilst simultaneously delivering hard-hitting social commentary that can be linked to today’s political climate. A must-see for any fans of Spike Lee’s previous work, or producer Jordan Peele’s Get Out.

Sheffield Students’ Union presents: Scratchylus as part of the Black History Month Windrush University UK Tour

21 October, 4 - 6pm, The Raynor Lounge, Sheffield Students’ Union (Level 2) (level 4)

Book your free ticket

The theme for this year's Black History Month is the 70th anniversary of the Windrush. Award winning artist Scratchylus will be visiting Universities and colleges with his educational and inspirational songs in particular his brand new releases which he has been promoting all summer in the UK called 'Windrush Generations' featuring the Legendary KiddusI from the iconic movie Rockers and Rebel' featuring Barry Ford which also covers Windrush and Grenfell. Receiving coverage from BBC Radio London, ITV News and having featured in this year’s Notting Hill Carnival and International Reggae Ska One Love Festival. Come along for an afternoon of incredible music and a Q and A on Windrush.