UK university to launch Europe’s first black studies degree

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FROM NEXT year, students will be able to study histories, social movements and contributions of people of African descent in Europe’s first ever degree in black studies.

Birmingham City University is set to become the first university in the continent to offer a degree course in black studies.

The undergraduate BA honours degree will launch in September 2017.

“Birmingham is the perfect place to launch black studies, being one of Europe’s most diverse cities, with a strong history of community activism and engagement”, said Dr Kehinde Andrews, associate professor in sociology at Birmingham City University.

Despite a long tradition of black studies available in the United States, Dr Andrews argues that the opportunity to study such courses in the UK is long overdue.

“For too long UK Universities have overlooked the experiences and perspectives of those in the African diaspora. The contributions of black scholars, activists and communities have not been recognised, creating a limited curriculum.

“Student movements have recently demonstrated this across the country, complaining of a ‘narrow knowledge’ in universities, including the ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ campaign.”

One supporter told The Voice: “This is great news. I’d actually considering going back to university to study this course.”

While a more sceptical commentator, said: “Black studies? Really? When are we having white studies on Europe? Or yellow studies on East Asia? [I’m] very happy the study of African history and culture is being promoted, but why do we still divide things by colour?”

Academics at Birmingham City University have an international reputation for research in the area of Black Studies, with recent projects focusing on the exploration of black men’s desistance from crime and the influence of pop culture on young black British women.

“The new degree offers students a critical understanding of British and global society, international study abroad opportunities and experiences working to improve conditions in communities,” added Dr Andrews.


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