Skyline image of Oxford featuring the Radcliffe Camera and the University Church of St Mary The Virgin
Recognising the contributions of Black people to society throughout history, including here at Oxford. Image: University of Oxford Images / John Cairns Photography

Black History Month at Oxford

Oxford University is delivering another engaging and informative programme for Black History Month during October 2023.

Black History Month 2023 will be an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of Black people to society throughout history, including here at Oxford University. 

Our programme will once again bring together events, resources and initiatives for the general public, staff, students and alumni.

University of Oxford Annual Black History Month Lecture

Head and shoulders image of Dr Christienna FryarDr Christienna Fryar will deliver the Oxford University Annual Black History Month Lecture 2023
Tuesday 31 October (17:00-18:30)
Event type: Lecture
Hosted by the University, BME Staff Network and Mathematical Institute
Free event - open to all

Hosted by the University, BME Staff Network and Mathematical Institute. Dr Christienna Fryar, writer and independent historian of Britain and the Caribbean, will deliver ‘Ann Pratt, Mary Seacole, and Questioning British History’ – telling the stories of two mixed-race Jamaican women and questioning the fraught relationship between British history and Black British history.  

Register now and find out more here.

Other events open to all

The following events and talks are open to members of the public as well as University staff and students...

Black Women at Oxford

Throughout October (launch event on October 2)
Event type: Exhibition
Kellogg College (The Hub)
Free event

As part of Black History Month, Kellogg College alumna Urvi Khaitan’s annual Black History Month Exhibition presents a glimpse into untold histories of Black women at Oxford.

Now in its third iteration, this year’s exhibition features ten women of African, Caribbean, Black British, and African American heritage, using photographs, biographies, and writings to bring to life their unique journeys, struggles, and experiences at Oxford and beyond.

The exhibition will be free to attend, and open to all in the Hub, throughout October.

Black Women at Oxford: Exhibition Launch

Monday 2 October (17:30-18:30)

The exhibition launch will be introduced by Kellogg Racial Equality and Justice Fellow, Dr Shreya Atrey.

This event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be available. No booking required.

Find out more.

Black History Month Annual Lecture

When Will We Be Free? Scenes from a Historical Memoir on Colonialism and Freedom

Tuesday 10 October (17:30-18:45)
Event type: Lecture
Kellogg College (The Hub)
Free event

Simukai Chigudu previews a chapter from the book he is currently writing, When Will We Be Free? Living in the Shadow of Empire and the Struggle for Decolonisation. The book is a work of literary nonfiction that combines memoir, political history and cultural criticism. Chigudu interweaves his personal and family story with the history of Africa’s anti-colonial struggles from the 1950s to the present, with the hopes and frustrations of African independence, and with Britain’s public whitewashing of its colonial history, in order to provide an intimate and nuanced account of colonization not merely as a historical or political phenomenon but as something that inescapably affects a person’s heart and mind, a person’s sense of identity and home — and he investigates what it would mean to be truly free of it.

The lecture will be introduced by Kellogg Welfare Dean and Racial Equality and Justice Fellow Dr Shreya Atrey.

This lecture is free, and open to all. Registration is required.

Refreshments will be served from 17:00. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in The Hub.

Find out more.

Trailblazers: Black Oxford Untold Stories in partnership with Westgate Oxford

Black Oxford Untold Stories is partnering with Westgate Oxford to bring you Trailblazers, a very special events programme celebrating Black scholars, history and heritage from 4-22 October.

Thursday 12 October (11:00-16:00)
Event type: Drop in sessions
The Trailblazers unit is located at Westgate Oxford, Ground level, between and & Other Stories and Seasalt
Free sessions

The Bodleian Libraries will host a drop-in session to highlight their collections pertaining to history from the African and Caribbean Diaspora:

  • Collections Uncovered: Speak to the project team about its work to surface hidden stories in the Bodleian collections (11:00-12:00)
  • The Portrayal of Christian Cole: Find out how a series of caricatures were used to portray Christian Frederick Cole, the University of Oxford's first black scholar at our lunch and learn session (13:00-14:00)
  • Clark's Chart of The World: Discover how colonialism was mapped through Edward Clark's chart of the world (14:30-15:30)

The Trailblazers programme continues with...

  • Sunday 15 October: Black authors day showcase with Q&As, readings and signings
  • Thursday 19 October (18:00-17:00): Reverend Canon Dr Chigor Chike will be attending to discuss his time as a Black Oxford scholar at Mansfield College, as well as his role as Chaplain to King Charles III

We Rise (Together): Taking and Making Space for BIPOC Book Arts Creatives, Cultures, and Histories

Head and shoulders image of Tia BlassingamePrinter in Residence, Tia Blassingame
Tuesday 24 October (13:00-14:00)
Event type: Talk
Weston Library
Free event

Tia Blassingame is Printer in Residence at the Bibliographical Press, Bodleian Libraries, during October 2023.

At this talk, Tia Blassingame will introduce her work leading the Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color Collective (aka Book/Print Collective) and will share methods for supporting and empowering BIPOC book and print artists so they can thrive in the book arts field and beyond. She will also discuss her educational work that centres Black American artists working in the book form and her curatorial work challenging the exclusion and erasure of Global Majority traditions and artistry in hand papermaking. 

Founded in 2019, the Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color Collective brings Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) book artists, papermakers, curators, letterpress printers, printmakers into conversation and collaboration with scholars of BIPOC Book History and Print Culture to build community, support systems.

Employing book arts and printmaking techniques, Tia Blassingame reconstructs charged images and histories for a nuanced discussion on issues of race and racism. Blassingame is an Associate Professor of Book Arts at Scripps College, and is the Director of Scripps College Press, a student-run, experimental bookbinding and letterpress laboratory.

Find out more

The Speaker’s Lectures in Biblical Studies 2023

Image of the leaflet sharing details of the The Speaker’s Lectures in Biblical Studies 2023The Speaker’s Lectures in Biblical Studies 2023
Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Apocalyptic Imagination: Canonical and Extra-Canonical Apocalyptic Traditions in Protest and Resistance Discourse

24 Oct 2023 to 2 Nov 2023
Event type: Lectures
Faculty of Theology and Religion/Keble College
Free events

  • 24 October (12:00-1:00)
    Lecture Theatre, HB Allen Centre, Keble College
    Lecture 1: Martin Luther King, Jr as Apocalyptic Seer: Placing King in Conversation with 1 Enoch, The Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah, The Apocalypse of Abraham, and Mosaic Traditions  

  • 26 October (12:00-1:00)  
    Lecture Theatre, HB Allen Centre, Keble College
    Lecture 2: Martin Luther King, Jr and the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21

  • 31 October (12:00-13:00)  
    Lecture Theatre, HB Allen Centre, Keble College
    Lecture 3: All Things New: The Apocalyptic Project of Revolution in Revelation 21

  • 2 November (12:00-13:00)
    Pusey Room, Keble College
    Lecture 4: The Knock of Christ in Revelation 3: Divine and Human Agency in Conquering Evil

Find out more.

We need to talk about misogynoir: detecting and preventing online abuse against Black women 

Wednesday 25 October (13:00-14:00)
Event type: Talk
Oxford Internet Institute
Free event

Speaker: Dr Julia Slupska.

This talk will cover Glitch’s new research, Digital Misogynoir Report: ending the dehumanising of Black women online, which presents a large scale data study of almost one million posts across five major social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, 4chan and Gab. The report maps the prevalence of digital misogynoir online, documenting the continued use of toxic tropes to silence and harm Black women, as well as the connections between misogynoir and broader structures like white supremacy, antisemitism, and conspiracy theories like great replacement theory. We also identify calls to action for tech companies, governments, researchers, and digital citizens to dismantle digital misogynoir.

(Glitch is an award charity working to end online abuse and make the internet a safer place for everyone, particularly Black women.)

Find out more.

St Cross College Ska and Reggae Concert

Friday 27 October (19:30-20:30)
Event type: Concert
Pusey House Chapel
Free event

Renowned musicians The Rocksteady Royals will perform a one-hour concert with a programme that celebrates the history of ska and reggae music. The programme will span songs from the origins of ska through to well-known classics in reggae that came out of Jamaica in the 60s and 70s.

Find out more.

In Conversation with Jacqui Gitau

Thursday 2 November (17:30-18:30)
Event type: Talk and Q&A
St Edmund Hall
Free event

Jacqui Gitau is an activist passionate about family wellbeing, particularly the migrant family. She is a parenting strategist and a co-founder and director of AFiUK. Jacqui holds a first degree in Community Family Development and a Masters degree in Childhood Studies.

AFiUK (African Families in the UK) is an organisation set up to serve the interests of African and other ethnic minority families where the parents were born and educated overseas, while their children have been born in the UK, often creating a clash of cultural identities for all concerned. AFiUK supports a local youth club, homework and tutoring schemes, maternity support groups, and cultural mixing events such as culinary sharing and cross-cultural parenting training.

The evening will consist of a Q&A between Jacqui Gitau and St Edmund Hall’s EDI Fellow, Steve Smith, followed by questions from the audience. All are welcome to attend. Booking not required.

Find out more.

Events for University members

The following events are internal, and open to members of the University...

Supporting the Black Community to thrive

Thursday 12 October (17:00-19:00)
Event type: talks
Green Templeton College 
Free event

The Green Templeton Black Students’ Society will be marking Black History Month with short talks from Professor Caesar Atuire, University of Oxford (Health Ethics); Professor Shirley Thompson, University of Westminster (Musician and Composer), and Isatou Bokum (President, Oxford Africa Society), followed by pizza and drinks.

Find out more.

Race and Psychiatry Journal Club

Wednesday, 18 October (13:00 in the Common Room, lunch available from 12:45)
Event type: Meeting
Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital

Students and staff are invited to attend the first monthly Race and Psychiatry Journal Club. We will be discussing the premise and goals for the journal club, as well as presenting a conceptual paper on mental health and racism. We will additionally be soliciting feedback for future journal club meetings, so your attendance and input is appreciated!

In Conversation with Peter Brathwaite

Rediscovering Black Portraiture: History, Art and the Archives

Image from Rediscovering Black Portraiture by Peter BrathwaiteIn Rediscovering Black Portraiture, Peter Brathwaite takes his readers on an extraordinary journey through representations of black subjects in Western art

Monday 23 October (17:30-18:30)
Event type: Talk
The Queen's College
Free event

Join opera singer, broadcaster, visual artist, and writer Peter Brathwaite and Meleisa Ono-George, historian of modern and Black British history, for an intriguing discussion on the recently published book, Rediscovering Black Portraiture, and the interplay between art, archives, and the history of Black people in Europe.

In Rediscovering Black Portraiture, Peter Brathwaite takes his readers on an extraordinary journey through representations of black subjects in Western art, from mediaeval Europe through to the present day.

Find out more.

MPLS Programme

The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division has put together a programme (including some other University activity) for Black History Month 2023 for members of the University.

You can keep up to date with the full programme here: Black History Month — Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division (

Events include:

  • ‘Challenging Stereotypes’, with Dr. Juliet Chinasa Ojiako
    Thursday 5 October (noon-1pm)
    Black History Month Talk organised by the Department of Statistics
  • BIPOC STEM Network and Allies Social
    Thursday 12 October (5.30pm-8pm)
    This social will be a nice informal gathering ahead of the activities going on throughout Black History Month. We want to encourage members and allies to come along and also welcome newcomers who are interested in finding out about the network. The convenors of the network will be there and it will be a great opportunity to chat to us about the network and find out how to get involved.
  • BIPOC STEM Network Allies Book Club
    Tuesday 17 October (noon-1pm)
    We aim to platform BIPOC voices and encourage members to develop their own allyship without putting the onus on those from marginalised communities. This session will be an excellent entry point for new book club members and anyone who hasn’t discussed topics around race and racism before. The book club is a safe space: no one is expected to be an expert and the focus of the group is on continued self-learning and development.
  • Intersectional Allyship Training
    Thursday 19 October (10am-12.30pm)
    We will look at what intersectionality is and how it plays out in our everyday lives. We will consider how many of us intersect and what that means for building an inclusive society. We will look at how power and privilege play their part and identify ways in which we can use both to support one another.
  • Private screening and discussion of ‘Re:Tension’
    Monday 23 October (5.30pm-7pm)
    Directed by Ricardo Barker, Re:Tension is a short 20 minute film that follows the character Thapelo, a bright and capable university student, on a day where he is unwittingly forced to question the judgements of his tutors and peers, and delve deeper into his own actions, choices and beliefs. Re:Tension addresses the topic of institutional racism and the gap in student retention amongst BAME (Black, Asian and Minority, Ethnic) students within British universities. The film was inspired by analysing statistical data that highlighted the unexplained dropout rate of BAME students. The film attempts to provide an real insight into unconscious racial harassment within the Higher Education system and the micro-aggressions that often go unnoticed.

Keep checking back to this webpage, as more events will be added as we are made aware of them.

If you are organising a University or College event you would like included here, please email the details to