Hello from your VP Education

Hello, I am Mary Ojo your VP education. Black History Month is a time for us to highlight the histories, culture and struggles of Black Britons and all people of African and Caribbean descent. Black History Month at Queen Mary student’s union is a celebration and review of all the above. All of our events will showcase the contributions that this group has made to our society. Desmond Tutu stated that ‘“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together’. This quote encapsulates the importance of months such as these. In order for us to be ‘human together,’ we must first understand one another; a great to do this is through learning! Black History Month at QMSU will be a celebration and learning experience.

Black History month allows us to place close attention to a history that should be celebrated all year round. I hope that our events will be the catalyst for student activism, and the discussions that we begin will continue to be part of student discourse here at Queen Mary. Check out our events, there is something for everyone. Get involved, and I hope to see you at our events.

Email: su-vpeducation@qmul.ac.uk
Twitter: @EducationQMSU

This week: The Colour Purple

The Color Purple is an epistolary novel written by Alice Walker. Published in 1982, the story focuses on the life of African-American women in rural Georgia. Set in the 1930s, Walker explores themes such as sexuality, race, religion and sexual violence through the life of Celie; the novel’s protagonist. The story is narrated by Celie, through letters that she writes to God.

The Color Purple explores the complexities of race in the 20th century. The molestation of Celie by the black males around her illustrates the double oppression black women encountered after emancipation. Walker is explicit in her exploration of their struggle. Despite its popular reception, it has also been the subject of controversy. This is directly related to the sexual explicitness, language and violence in the book. It also received great scrutiny prior to the release of the film adaptation in 1985; this surrounded the depiction of black men. Some critics argued that it aided negative stereotypes, affirming that black men are inherently violent. Nevertheless to many, Walker humanised each character; she reassessed stereotypes not perpetuate existing ones. Every reader will connect with different parts of Celie’s story. For me, the true beauty of this beloved book is the imagery that is created through the colour, purple. Purple represents the goodness that God creates. At the start of the book, Celie had no relation to the colour purple. Her life was filled with pain and emotionally, she was frozen. By the end of the novel, she finds happiness, joy and peace. This book connects the past to the present and reiterates that adversity does not have to define your journey through life.

Note: The Color Purple has been adapted into a film and musical. You can watch a preview of the Broadway production here.

Whats On

Mon 2nd Oct

African Caribbean Society Icebreaker

6pm-8.30pm, Blomeley Room 1, Students’ Union Hub

Wed 4th Oct

Meet the Henna Society

1.30-3.30pm, Blomeley Room 1, Students’ Union Hub

Thurs 5th Oct

E1: Black History Month Launch Party

9pm-2am, Drapers Bar & Kitchen, Godward Square

Mon 9th Oct

Decolonise QMUL Meet ’n’ Greet

7.30pm-9.30pm, Blomeley Room 1, Students’ Union Hub

Wed 11th Oct

QM Pan-African Society Meet and Greet

6.15pm-8pm, Blomeley Room 1, Students’ Union Hub

Thurs 12th Oct

BHM Movie Night: Hidden Figures

6pm-9pm, Alfred Hitchcock Theatre Arts one

Mon 16th-25th Oct

Lets talk about race

1pm-2.00pm, Various locations

Tues 17th Oct

Food stall: Leah’s Kitchen

From 12pm, Library Square, Mile End Campus

Tues 17th Oct

BL- ACS: Get Out

6:00pm-10:00pm, David Sizer Lecture Theatre

Tues 17th Oct

No feedback performance

7.30pm - 9.00pm, Mulberry & Bigland Green centre

17th & 18th Oct

Meet your Students’ Union

From 12pm, Library Square, Mile End Campus

18th & 19th Oct

Film Screening: Hidden Figures

11.30am & 6pm, Hitchcock Cinema, ArtsOne

Thurs 19th Oct

Black History Month Debate

Postponed

Wed 25th Oct

BHM Dance Party!

6pm-7.30pm, BLSA Dance Studio, Whitechapel Campus

Wed 1st Nov

Film Screening: The Upright Man

4.30pm-5.45pm, Hitchcock Theatre, ArtsOne