Sensation of Blackness – a discussion

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Discussion about blackness with Tawona Sitholé, Ropafadzo Zinyuke, Bella Matambanadzo, Jamal Lee and Shanon Bobinger for Black History Month


Following the tradition of previous years, the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow has organised a programme of events for Black History Month.

Black history month seeks to acknowledge or celebrate blackness. What does it say about society that, almost a century after its inception, black history month is still important, or necessary. Sometimes a nuanced sense, sometimes sensationalised, how is blackness  experienced by those described as black? Poet Tawona Sitholé hosts a discussion of these questions with 4 guests from different parts of the world.

Biographies of the speakers:

Tawona Sitholé

Tawona is a poet, playwright, mbira musician, educator and facilitator. His ancestral family name, Ganyamatope, is a reminder of his heritage, which inspires him to make connections with other people through creativity, and the natural outlook to learn. As co-founder of Seeds of Thought arts group, Tawona’s work involves supporting and facilitating access to the creative arts. Tawona is Poet in Residence for GRAMNet and works in a variety of settings and institutions. He is Research Associate with the Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ) research project. As he continues to write, teach and perform, mostly he appreciates his work for the many inspiring people it allows him to meet.

Bella Matambanadzo

Bella Matambanadzo is a black African feminist activist and writer from Zimbabwe who has been published in #New Daughters of Africa (Ed Margaret Busby) Writing Mystery and Mayhem (Ed Irene Staunton) the southern African feminist review SAFERE (Ed Patrica McFadden) and African Sexualities (Ed Sylvia Tamale) and elsewhere.

Ropafadzo Zinyuke

Ropafadzo Zinyuke is a Zimbabwean studying Environmental Studies in Canada. She is an upcoming writer, whose first publication in 2016 was very well received. It received second prize in a national competition in Zimbabwe. She has since published a number of short stories and poems online, which she intends to compile into a book.

Jamal Lee

Biography to follow soon.

Shanon Bobinger

Biography to follow soon.

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