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Students lobby University for Black Studies module

A campaign was launched this week calling on the University of Galway to introduce a ‘Black Studies’ module – to be taught by a Black academic – to the pool of available options at the College.

The call was made by the African and Caribbean Society and Cumann Staire (the History Society) at UG.

The auditor of the African and Caribbean Society, Eric Ehigie, said there was a ‘gaping absence of any substantive dedication to the bountiful academic, intellectual, and philosophical contributions of Black people from across the world in the academic corpus of the University’.

He said that students of African and Caribbean descent currently had to ‘settle for reading texts in which their cultural story is told by people who don’t share in their cultural background’.

“This is not good enough for a modern, diverse academic institution and a Black Studies module would be a major step in the right direction, in correcting this anomaly – and in allowing for students, no matter their race, to have a better cultural understanding of their peers from diverse backgrounds,” said the final year law student at the University of Galway.

He pointed to the fact that UG was ranked in the top two per cent of universities across the world, alongside renowned institutions such as Harvard University, and University of Oxford – and both of them share the fact that they have a Black Studies module. Closer to him, both Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin also offer a Black Studies module.

“We believe it is imperative for UG, in light of its calibre and its self-proclaimed ‘international’ character, to offer a Black Studies module to its diverse range of students,” he said.

“This will go a long way in enlightening students about the long line of academic contributions from great Black figures, Black history, and the cultures of various Black communities; minimise the potential of ignorance-inspired prejudice arising; and reflect the values that the University has committed to in its Race Equality Framework and Action Plan.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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