Black History Month in the UK – Views from Home and Diaspora

Tuesday 24 October

Black History Month will be marked this year by this Library and University Collections event.


We have invited six outstanding UoE academics and commentators who will share thoughts on the theme,

Black History Month in the UK-Views from Home and the Diaspora

These individuals having lived in the UK and abroad share a wealth of perspective from teaching, research and educational management as well as their lived experience. As “insiders” and “outsiders” to the debate surrounding Black British history and actively engaged in research across various sectors their informed conversation will broaden our understanding of an aspect of British history that we all share.


Nicola Frith

Dr Nicola Frith is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests focus on grassroots activism linked to the legacies of Afrikan enslavement within the French Republic, the politics of memory and commemoration, and the work of activists within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations more broadly. She has published many articles, chapters and co-edited collections linked the history and memory of Afrikan enslavement and reparation, and has a single-authored book forthcoming with Liverpool UP, entitled Legacies of Slavery in the French Republic: Politics, Activism, Reparation. She is the co-founder of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) and is co-chair of the Research and Engagement Working Group (REWG) that is looking into the University of Edinburgh’s history and legacies of slavery and colonialism.

Gwenetta Curry

Dr. Gwenetta D. Curry is a Reader in Race, Ethnicity, and Health at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Her research interests are Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Maternal Health, and Black Family Studies. Her present research analyzes racial disparities in the treatment and infection rates of Covid-19. She was a member of The Royal Society’s DELVE Initiative and a senior research associate in the Global Health Governance Programme at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. She is a member of the UK Medical School Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Alliance, and the Office of National Statistics Inclusive Data Taskforce. She also serves as the Inequality Expert for the Royal College of Physicians’ Committee for Ethical Issues in Medicine.

Omolabake Fakunle

Following a 19 year professional career in accounting, auditing, banking and entrepreneurship, Dr Omolabake Fakunle moved to the UK in 2011 to complete a BA (Hons) Business Admin (1st Class), MSc Educational Research and PhD in Education. Her research explores the intersection of internationalisation, inclusivity, employability and education policy. She is broadly interested in researching conceptualisations of the internationalisation of higher education at individual, institutional and national levels, with particular focus on the international student experience/lifecycle. She is part of the MHSES Institute for Education Community & Society. In 2018, she was winner of the Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) Estelle Brisard Memorial Prize awarded to an early career educational researcher for excellence and promise in their work. She also won the SERA’s 3-Minute Capsule Competition in 2017.

Simon Buck

Dr Simon Buck is an historian with interests in histories of education, medicine, and music, and the legacies of slavery in Britain, the Caribbean, and the US South from the eighteenth to twentieth century. Dr Buck is currently an Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Research Fellow investigating the University of Edinburgh’s historical links to slavery, and previously was a researcher with Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA) on a project with NHS Lothian and NHS Lothian Charity on the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh’s historical connections to slavery.

Sharon Boateng

Sharon is the current Program Manager in the University of Edinburgh’s Mastercard Scholars Program team. She comes with six years of experience directing a diverse array of UK and international vocational and experiential opportunities in the higher education sector, in addition to 4 years of project coordination experience within global companies, including the BBC.

Rachel Hosker

Rachel Hosker (University Archivist and Research Collections Manager) will talk about some of the work and reflection exploring the University’s own colonial past, through its collections and how students and researchers are exploring narratives and silences within this.

Elizabeth Williams

Dr Elizabeth Williams is a Librarian and cultural historian researching Black Britain and Britain’s relationship with Africa and its Diaspora. Williams co-edits the forthcoming Journal Black Histories: Dialogues with Dr Christopher Zembe which foregrounds related research by established and emergent scholars in the field. Her first book The Politics of Race in Britain and South Africa (pbk 2017) was well received, she is currently working on Black Britain’s relationship with the Mandela legacy.