How Black Lives Matter Is Changing British Universities

THE NATION – SADHVI DAR

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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