Black History Month

Welcome to Black History Month 2023

We’re thrilled to welcome you to this year’s campaign, where you’ll have the opportunity to engage with Black culture and heritage, learn about Black History from a variety of perspectives, and celebrate Black Joy across our events, articles, and spotlights!

This year we’re championing some of the wider thematic underpinnings of Black History Month in the United Kingdom, focusing Saluting our Sisters, Celebrating Black women and femmes from different backgrounds, and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements while highlighting themes of resilience, self-care, and well-being.

Black History Month here at QMSU and the BLSA is brought to you by our Organising Committee, societies, and student groups who have volunteered their time and energy to bring you a great range of events and activities. We’re committed to shining a light on the diversity of our Black students, so make sure to check out the full programme as well as our Culture List where you can discover a great selection of books, films, TV series, music and more.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Matthew Beach, Vice President Communities

Upcoming events

There are currently no upcoming events
see all events

Black Societies Spotlight

Black History Month is the perfect time to engage with some of our Black student groups and their events. There are a range to choose from and they’d love to welcome you to their activities!

We have an African and Caribbean Society (ACS and BL ACS) on each of our Mile End and Whitechapel campuses where you can engage with black culture and make new friends. If you're interested in learning more about particular cultures, why not check out Somali Society or North African Society? If you're a black girl and you love to read, then get in touch with Women of Colour Book Club!

QM ACS - @qmulacs
BL ACS - @bartsacs
Decolonise - @decoloniseqmul
Somali Society - @qmsomsoc
North African Society - @qmnasoc
Women of Colour Book Club - @QMULWOCBC
Diaspora Speaks - @diasporaspeaks

Culture Spotlight
Poor by Caleb Femi

In Poor, Queen Mary alumnus Caleb Femi combines poetry and original photography to explore the trials, tribulations, dreams and joys of young Black boys in twenty-first century Peckham.

He contemplates the ways in which they are informed by the built environment of concrete walls and gentrifying neighbourhoods that form their stage, writes a coded, near-mythical history of the personalities and sagas of his South London youth, and pays tribute to the rappers and artists who spoke to their lives.

BHM 2023 Culture List

Click the drop-downs below to see our Culture List, a selection of books, film, TV, podcasts and more recommended by our Black History Month Organising Committee.

  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
  • James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half
  • Candice Carty-Williams, Queenie
  • Alice Walker, The Color Purple
  • Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other
  • Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
  • Yaa Gyasi, Home Going
  • Caleb Azumah Nelson, Open Water
  • Ayobami Adebayo, Stay with Me
  • Kiley Reid, Such a Fun Age

  • Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
  • David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History
  • Akala, Natives
  • Malcolm X (Alex Haley), The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • Afua Hirsch, Brit(ish)
  • Trevor Noah, Born a Crime
  • Candice Brathwaite, I Am Not Your Baby Mother
  • Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
  • Angela Davis, Race and Class
  • C.L.R James, The Black Jacobins
  • Chidera Eggerue, What a Time to be Alone
  • Gal-dem “I will not be Erased”
  • Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism

  • Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
  • Kamau Brathwaite, Born to Slow Horses
  • Sophie Thakur, Somebody Give this Heart a Pen
  • Rachel Long, My Darling from The Lions
  • Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise
  • Alexandra Elle, Neon Soul

  • Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
  • Inua Ellams, Barber Shop Chronicles
  • Zadie Smtih, The Wife of Willesden
  • Queen Sugar (Amazon Prime)
  • Black-ish (Amazon Prime)
  • I May Destroy You (BBC)
  • Noughts and Crosses (BBC)
  • Atlanta (BBC)
  • Pose (BBC/Netflix)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • Dear White People (Netflix)
  • They Gotta Have Us (Netflix)
  • Blood and Water (Netflix)
  • She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix)
  • 13th (Netflix)
  • Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J Walker (Netflix)
  • Greenleaf (Netflix)
  • American Son (Netflix)
  • Insecure (Sky)
  • Becoming (Netflix)
  • Lizzo Watch out for the Big Grrrls (Amazon Prime)
  • Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
  • One Night in Miami (2021)
  • Black is King (2020)
  • Da 5 Bloods (2020)
  • All Day and a Night (2020)
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
  • Selah and the Spades (2019)
  • Just Mercy (2019)
  • Queen and Slim (2019)
  • Sorry to Bother You (2018)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
  • Farming (2018)
  • BlacKkKlansman (2018)
  • Sorry to Bother You (2018)
  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • The Wedding Party (2016)
  • Moonlight (2016)
  • Fences (2016)
  • Girlhood (2014)
  • Belle (2013)
  • Fruitvale Station (2013)
  • Freedom Writers (2007)
  • Bullet Boy (2004)
  • City of God (2002)
  • Love and Basketball (2000)
  • Burning and Illusion (1981)
  • Do The Right Thing (1989)
  • The History Hotline
  • Say Your Mind
  • Receipts Podcast
  • Black Gals Livin’
  • Under the Arch
  • The Black Curriculum
  • The Michelle Obama Podcast
  • Growing Up with gal-dem
  • Patricia Bright
  • Jackie Aina
  • Nathan Zed
  • LA Beautyologist
  • Tabitha Brown
  • Chunkz
  • Golloria (tiktok)
  • Blackmenaces (tiktok)
  • Femi Sorry (twitter, tiktok, youtube)
  • Jaxajueny (tiktok)
  • Claudia Jones, ‘the mother of the carnival’
  • Bell hooks, American Author and social activist
  • Kimberle Crenshaw, coined the term intersectionality
  • Lewis Hamiliton, British Formula one driver winning 7 world championships
  • Malorie Blackman, First black Children’s Laureate
  • Justin Fashanum, the first openly gay footballer, and the first black footballer to command a £1 million transfer fee
  • Dianne Abbott, the first black woman to be elected to Parliament, and currently the longest-serving black MP in the House of Commons

Black History Month - Meet Aliya and Henriana

Aliya and Henriana both sat on this year’s Black History Month Organising Committee. Hear what they have to say about their involvement in the committee, what Black History Month means to them and more!


Mapping Black History in London

Black history is deeply entrenched in our culture but often, Black history and Black figures are unfairly kept to the margins of history. Despite this, there have been countless Black individuals who have shaped London and the wider United Kingdom, to make it what it is today.



Contact your VP Communities


Get Involved

If you've got a creative event idea or you're just itching to be part of the organising committee, we're all ears. Just fill in the sign-up form below and we'll be in touch!

Sign up here
I've got an event idea