'Action not words': Black History Month
14 October 2022
“It is not enough to just have words. Little has been done, and we need more; we need action!”
This is the powerful plea from a speaker at the University of Reading’s Black History Month Lecture taking place on Thursday 20 October at the Whiteknights campus.
The theme of the event is the Windrush Generation and Cyrilene Small-Tollafield is one of the speakers who is set to share her story of one of the UK’s biggest immigration scandals.
Cyrilene was 11 years old when she came to the UK from Barbados in 1965. She later witnessed the impacts of the Windrush Scandal, which saw thousands of African-Caribbean people who had spent decades working in the UK wrongly denied legal rights or threatened with deportation.
She will reflect on how her family members were impacted by the scandal alongside other Reading speakers. Cyrilene has urged those who attend this or other events during the month to remember why such events are needed to begin with.
Cyrilene said: “We need to think about the fact Black History Month shouldn’t just be a celebration. There is a lot in Black history that we should not be happy about.
“As well as celebrating Black culture, we must also remember the people who were transported across the Atlantic in slave ships. To not remember people longer ago does a disservice to them, like we have forgotten them.”
Event details: Black History Month Lecture: The Windrush Generation
Date/ Time: Thursday 20 October, 6-7.30pm
Where: Van Emden Lecture Theatre, Edith Morley, Whiteknight Campus
The free event is open to University staff, students and the local community.
Other Black History Month activity
‘Time for Change: Action Not words’ is the theme for Black History Month 2022, and is reflected in the range of events being held at the University and in Reading throughout October.
Film screenings, workshops inviting staff and students to be part of change at the University, and a ‘Wear Red Day’ to allow staff to unite in support of action on racial equality are among a varied programme being presented by the University, Reading Students' Union and Reading community groups.
The University published the results of its Race Equality Review in May 2021, which detailed 20 recommendations to ensure fairer and more equal treatment for all staff and students. The University is currently progressing these recommendations.