Celebrating Black History Month 2022: What’s on at SOAS


This year marks the 35th anniversary of Black History Month (BHM) in Britain. To celebrate, SOAS University of London has an exciting programme of events throughout October and beyond. Find out what’s happening on campus.

Book Launch
Between Starshine and Clay: Conversations from the African Diaspora by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Monday 3 October | 17:00 – 19:00 | Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)

In Between Starshine and Clay, award-winning author Sarah Ladipo Manyika takes the reader on a journey to meet activists, artists and intellectuals across the African Diaspora, including Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka and Michelle Obama. Professor Fareda Banda will chair the discussion with Sarah Ladipo Manyika.


In Conversation
Unfinished Business: Voices of the LGBTQIA+ Revolution – A conversation with Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile

Tuesday 4 October | 17:00 – 19:00 | Room: RB01 and online

Unfinished Business: Voices of the LGBTQIA+ Revolution is an event series exploring practical tools to dismantle colonial homophobic laws. In this launch event, Dan Glass talks to Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile, a Botswana-born, trans-identifying international award-winning cultural architect, communications specialist, development practitioner and human rights advocate.


Exhibition Launch and Panel Discussion
Heinemann African Writers Series

Wednesday 5 October | 18:00 – 20:00 | SOAS

Library The Heinemann African Writers Series (HAWS) is a collection of books written by African novelists, poets and politicians. HAWS was pioneering in an environment that made it difficult for African writers to publish their books with an international publisher. This exhibition showcases original manuscripts and books by leading writers during the 1970s and 1980s.


In Conversation
Africa Fashion Exhibition Curator, Dr Christine Checinska and V&A East Director Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

Wednesday 12 October | 18:00 – 19:30 | Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

Africa Fashion is a new V&A exhibition exploring mid-20th century to contemporary creatives. SOAS alumnus and Director of V&A East Dr Gus Casely-Hayford comes back to campus for a conversation with Dr Christine Checinska, V&A’s inaugural Senior Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion and Lead Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition.


Book Launch
African and Caribbean People in Britain: A History by Professor Hakim Adi

Friday 14 October | 18:00 – 20:00 | Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT) and online

SOAS alumnus Professor Hakim Adi returns to campus to launch his new book African and Caribbean People in Britain: A History. The book charts the long and complex history of African and Caribbean people in Britain, dispelling the myth that it all began in 1948 during the Windrush and showing how African and Caribbean people led the radical struggle for freedom.


In Conversation
35 Years of Black History Month with founder Akyaaba Addai-Sebo

Friday 21 October | 18:00 – 20:00 | Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

Akyaaba Addai-Sebo was a key player in the idea of Black History Month, a month-long celebration of Black culture and history.  Akyaaba comes to SOAS to reflect on the beginnings of Black History Month in Britain, their memories of it, and their contributions to Black history.


BARAZA: Swahili studies conference 2022

Saturday 29 October | 09:00 – 18:00

BARAZA is an annual one-day conference addressing the language, literature, translation, culture, philosophy or diaspora of the Swahili-speaking peoples of the world. Swahili scholars and students meet to discuss new research and foster academic interaction. The keynote speaker is Nobel Prize for Literature winner Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah.

Register to attend in-person or online

The SOAS Students’ Union is also running a range of events for BHM, including talks on colourism, workshops and discussions about indigenous cultures and knowledge and their Pan-Afrikan Congress. Check out their website for all upcoming events.

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