Students are due to give a talk about the UK’s first black studies degree as part of Sussex University’s Black History Month events.

The free event, which will take place on Monday October 22 in Jubilee 144, will be a chance to learn about what a BA (Hons) Black Studies degree is and how it has impacted the lives of those studying it. Attendees are asked to register online for the event to avoid missing out. 

It will be hosted by Decolonise Sussex. The campaign told The Badger“The Black Studies degree is the first of its kind that has been launched in the UK, at Birmingham City University. The talk will feature students from the course who will be sharing their experiences of the course and the impact it has had on their lives.

“Decolonise Sussex as a campaign aims to tackle institutional racism and coloniality at the University of Sussex both inside and outside the classroom. We are hosting the event as we want to learn about different pedagogies and the ways students respond to different learning environments.

“This degree is a unique moment in higher education and is part of a growing movement of decolonising knowledge production, which our campaign is concerned with. We hope that this event can be a part of the ongoing conversation around decolonising the university, in exploring both the theory and the practice.”

The course description provided by Birmingham City University (BCU) outlines Black Studies as “an interdisciplinary subject” that “is also committed to linking to wider communities and efforts to improve society. Throughout the degree, we will engage you in the thinking and practice of connecting your work to communities, projects and organisations outside of the University.”

Since its introduction in 2016, BA (Hons) Black Studies remains a subject only available at undergraduate level at BCU and at PhD level at Nottingham University.

The University of Sussex Students’ Union website explains that the talk will also feature members of the BLESST Centre, “an alternative education space which aims to develop the learning potential of students who have not been able to thrive within traditional education system.”

Upcoming Black History Month events include a talk by Kelechi Okafor on ‘Black Feminism – Existence as Resistance’ on October 25.

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