‘Black Futures: Innovation and Generation at Trinity’ is the theme of this year’s Black History Month at the College.
Organizers Adaiah Hudgins-Lopez and Myesha Jemison said:
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 & technology, music, philosophy, community building, and many other areas.
Our theme strives to celebrate the presence and potential of Black members of Trinity College and of Black people generally at the University and beyond.
Alongside Ms Hudgins-Lopez and Ms Jemison, Black History Month Committee members Isuri Ratnayake (PhD Engineering), Cameron Zhang (BA Law), and Aprajit Mahajan (BA Natural Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences) have organized an events series. This year’s events include a panel discussion, roundtables, social events and an exhibition of portraits of Black Trinity students. Events are open to members of Trinity and members of the University of Cambridge.
Photographer Henry Kamara will take photographs of new students for the exhibition, which will open on 24 October until 14 November in the Cloisters of Nevile’s Court. Mr Kamara has documented Black students at Trinity since 2020, creating a body of work that is added to and exhibited each year at the College and online.
To celebrate the launch of the exhibition, the Poet Laureate of Croydon, Shaniqua Benjamin, will share some of her work at as special formal hall on 24 October.
Trinity students and alumni and members of the University can book tickets for events during Trinity College Black History Month (trinitybhm.carrd.co)
Ms Jemison and Ms Hudgins-Lopez described their conception of the theme, ‘Black Futures: Innovation and Generation at Trinity,’ in which ‘generation’ has dual meanings of creation and descendancy/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 you all will help us open this dialogue in our community.