Skip to content

Black Futures: Innovation & Generation at Trinity


In our quest to understand our place in the world and how to best use our talents, we have found ourselves repeatedly and radically inspired by the potential the African Diaspora has in shaping our world’s advancement. Black people have a long and robust history of using creativity and experimentation as a means of resistance, which inspires progress in science and technology, music, philosophy, community building, and many other areas. Our theme, ‘Black Futures: Innovation & Generation at Trinity’, strives to celebrate the presence and potential of Black members of Trinity College and of Black people generally at the University and beyond. Generation has the dual meaning of creation and of descendancy or legacy.

We draw from the concepts of ‘sankofa’ and ‘ubuntu’ to ground our understanding of the histories of Blackness and Black communities in Trinity College, the University of Cambridge, and the broader world. We invoke the concepts of ‘Afrofuturism’, ‘Africanfuturism,’ and ‘Caribbean Futurism’ – particularly influenced by Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Fela Kuti – to push forward the importance of innovation, creativity, and resistance. Our theme, therefore, prompts us to ask: ‘What is the hope for the future of Black students at Trinity?’ and ‘How can we ensure their success in order to maximise their brilliance and potential to shape the future?’ We are excited to open this dialogue in our community.


The Co-Chairs
Myesha Jemison
Adaiah Hudgins-Lopez

Keziah Justine Reanne Prescod

BA Modern and Medieval Languages (French and Italian ab-initio)
Matriculated 2022
Birmingham, United Kingdom

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

At the centre of ‘Black Futures’ is the open celebration of ongoing achievement within the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.
It is about explicitly drawing attention to the development that has happened, is happening and will happen.

What do you hope ‘Black Futures’ can look like at Trinity?

In a place like Trinity, I hope that in showcasing ‘Black Futures’, we can recognise the beauty that comes with intersectionality. Although my journey has just begun, I know that within my own ‘Black Future’, I want to make a lasting impact here. My hope is that students and staff of Black heritage can represent themselves during their time here, rather than existing as an admissions statistic.

Amy Migunda

BA Natural Sciences
Matriculated 2020
Nairobi, Kenya

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

The iconic show ‘Insecure’, written by Issa Rae, exhibits my emotions incredibly. The future of Black experiences is human. Issa has an ability to paint beautiful, complex yet lovable characters who happen to be Black. The expression of Black people will be authentic, unapologetic and received openly.

What do you hope ‘Black Futures’ can look like at Trinity?

As an aspiring storyteller myself, I want to be in a space where there is no limit to what people hear of my experience: that myself and my characters can show up completely in their power. That all achievements and tribulations experienced by Black people (past and present) are seen as important and worthy of being heard.

Mire Diallo

BA Human, Social, and Political Sciences
Matriculated 2022
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

Black futures, to me, means reconciliation with Black pasts. It means overcoming the generational trauma of our ancestors
to uplift Black members of the present and those who will succeed us to take up space and to take it up boldly.

What do you hope ‘Black Futures’ can look like at Trinity?

As an African, specifically an East African, I hope that ‘Black Futures’ at Trinity manifests itself in ‘pilau’ at formal dinner, ‘Bongo Flava’ playing in the College bar, and a rainbow of ‘Kitenges’ adorning matriculation photos. I hope ‘Black Futures’ at Trinity means more African representation in its community.

India Thornhill

BA English
Matriculated 2022
London, United Kingdom

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

‘Black Futures’ to me means championing the ordinary Black experience as well as the extraordinary Black experience. I want to see Black students at Cambridge made to feel comfortable however they show up in the world.

What do you hope ‘Black Futures’ can look like at Trinity?

Black Futures’ at Trinity should involve changes to the teaching staff and faculty reflecting the changes happening in the student body. As the numbers of Black students at Cambridge increases, the number of staff members in the College that we can identify with and relate to should also be increasing. Even though there is not one homogenous Black experience, an outlet for the experiences that we can’t always explain is vital.

What would you like Trinity College and the University of Cambridge to think about as they consider ‘Black Futures’?

I would like Trinity College and the University of Cambridge to explore Blackness within the curriculum beyond only texts and media that are centred around the Black experience, and begin to include media produced by Black people, regardless of its subject matter or meaning. That is not to say that we should disregard media surrounding Slave Trade or the Empire for example, but it is essential  that we also explore the varied and nuanced contemporary Black experience.

Michelle Acheampong

BA Land Economy
Matriculated 2020
Brighton, United Kingdom

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

To me, it is a concept where Black people can determine their own destinies, freed from any constraints in realising their full potential, whether this be institutional or societal hindrances. This in itself can manifest in multiple ways, depending on the individual’s goals and aspirations.

What do you hope ‘Black Futures’ can look like at Trinity?

I hope Trinity continues to be a place where people from all different backgrounds can feel at home, developing a sense of community with their peers. During my time at the College I have watched it slowly become more diverse and inclusive; I hope to see this trend continuing.

Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah

PhD Sociology
Matriculated 2018
Osogbo, Nigeria

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

When I look at my daughter, I want her to know the incredible heritage she stands on and march confidently to make the world a better place.

What do you hope ‘Black Futures’ can look like at Trinity?

I hope that Trinity will become a place where Black people never question whether they belong in this community.

Aaron Beyene Abai

MPhil History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
Matriculated 2022
Denver, Colorado, United States of America

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

I imagine ‘Black Futures’ as a world where one’s Blackness or racial identity is not a reductive marker of identity, but rather an invitation to a more expansive worldview where we can more fully see one another in all of our beautiful complexities.

What would you like Trinity College and the University of Cambridge to think about as they consider ‘Black Futures’?

As we celebrate Black innovation in the present, we must continue to meditate on Black anguish, triumph, and wisdom from the past. As members of an elite academic institution, we have a unique ability to advocate for enhanced Black Studies, which will always be an essential part of ‘Black Futures’. Meanwhile, as we imagine a better world externally, we must also reflect internally, mediating on both our individual biases and the unique ways they can contribute.

Sinmi Tokede

BA Medicine
Matriculated 2020
London, United Kingdom

What does ‘Black Futures’ mean to you?

Black Futures means having increasingly more Black people in positions of power to inform decisions that influence society locally and internationally. The more Black people in power, the more role models for young Black students.

What would you like Trinity College and the University of Cambridge to think about as they consider ‘Black Futures’?

I would like to see the proportion of Black students admitted to Cambridge being reflective of the UK population, with more talented students from Africa gaining admission to such a prestigious institution. I additionally hope that Cambridge can run more workshops or long-term mentoring schemes with intelligent Black students in underrepresented areas, aiding their application process, thereby putting these Black students with equal cognitive capabilities on a level playing field.

Special thanks to the Black History Month Committee for their contributions.

This includes:
Myesha Jemison – PhD History and Philosophy of Science
Adaiah Hudgins-Lopez – PhD Social Anthropology
Isuri Ratnayake – PhD Engineering
Cameron Zhang – BA Law
Aprajit Mahajan – BA Natural Sciences, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

© Henry Kamara

© John McGill

This article was published on :

More on…

Back To Top
College Crest

Contact us

        Intranet | Student Hub

Access and Outreach Hub