How Black Lives Matter Is Changing British Universities


Something is changing for students of color in British universities. They are talking about race in the classroom, using Black Lives Matter as an example, and a political strategy, for engaging a renewed young anti-racist British consciousness. This awakening has not been sudden, nor has it been incisive, but it is beginning to be felt, sensed, and articulated in ways that seemed impossible only a few years ago.

Photo: The All-Nite Images via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, UK universities have witnessed a small but growing number of student-led campaigns spreading across campuses and departments. Campaigns such as “Why is My Curriculum White?” and “Rhodes Must Fall” formed in 2015 soon after South African students initiated a de-colonizing movement at the University of Cape Town. The UK campaigns were launched as a mark of solidarity with South Africa, and they continue today as a decisive rejection of a British education largely shaped by colonialism. This recent wave of self-organizing feels more resistant compared to previous efforts to self-organize.

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