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College flying the Pan-African flag for Black History Month

1st October 2020 in Churchill, Empire and Race

To celebrate Black History Month in the UK, the College will be flying the Pan-African Flag during the month of October.

Designed by Marcus Garvey nearly a century ago, the flag was designed to represent unity among the African Diaspora across the globe. According to the UNIA, the three Pan-African colours on the flag represent:

Red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation;

Black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; and

Green: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.

The Pan-African flag went on to become the template for flags all over Africa as the colonies gained independence, and today it continues to serve as a symbol of unity for people and communities of African heritage across the world, particularly in times of crisis. Most recently it has been carried at Black Lives Matter protests in Britain and beyond. And in 2020, it is more important than ever that as a community we continue to unite and to nurture an environment where racism has no home.

Helping to drive the decision to fly the flag, student Osarenkhoe Ogbeide (G18) said “Along with unity, the Pan-African Flag also represents African pride. In line with the college’s commitment to tackling racism, flying the flag during Black History Month will act as a prominent reminder of this pledge, as well as a reaffirmation and celebration of the contributions of African people not only to the college but also to the wider world.”

Fellow Professor Priya Gopal said “Black History Month is a time for educational institutions to honour the manifold contributions of people of African heritage to culture, society and education. It is also important to stand in solidarity with communities facing the brunt of racism, and flying this historically important flag is one symbolic way to do so, even as we acknowledge the work that lies ahead of us.”

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