The month of October, Black History Month, is internationally celebrated and recognised for valuing inspirational individuals, and events from within black communities across the world. This year De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) wanted to emphasise that Black History Month is more than just a month while continuing the celebration.
On Tuesday 30 October DSU celebrated Black History Month with Through The Times, a showcase of Black History in the UK from the 1900s to the present day.
Through The Times was a huge success and a complete sell-out event.
Derrick Mensah, Vice President of Activities at DSU and organiser of Through The Times said: ‘Essentially the whole show was about taking people on a journey and help people to understand and take a personal message from Black History.”
“As it stands a lot of communities aren’t even considering whether Black History Month is a thing to celebrate, so the idea was that we take the message of Black History and put a theme behind it everyone could sort of associate with, regardless of race, gender, colour, wherever they’re from.”
Through The Times concentrated on Black History in the UK from the 1900s and was split into four different themes for each era which all had their own personal message.
Derrick and Joshiah hosted the Through The Times showcase.
Derrick explained: “The message was just of hope, of unity, of love and of impact, which we tied Black History stories to, to make people take those messages on so that they can inspire hope, unity, love and have an impact in their society or their life…”
“…we just added the music, the spoken word and the speeches to it to emphasise the message.”
Involved in the event was a range of DMU societies including the African and Caribbean Society, the Ghanaian Society, The Caribbean Society, The DMU Steppers, Demon Media and the DMU Hip Hop society. Societies performed, provided a range of cultural food and helped tell the story of Black History.
Piet Mpambie, President of the African and Caribbean Society, said: “Through The Times was the epitome of Black Excellence! The speeches, talks and performances reminded us of how far we have come along and how important it is to take the time out to celebrate Black History & Culture. It was an amazing experience being part of the team that brought the event together and hopefully we will do the same again next year.”
Students were also invited to attend in their cultural clothing or fancy dress.
To follow the performances, speeches and music, attendees were invited to continue the celebrations at an after party. Derrick said: “It was very well attended and then after we gave people different cultural food to taste, to eat, relax, loads of cultural drinks and we went back upstairs (Campus Centre Function Rooms) for a little shindig after party.”
“It was a really good night of people coming together.”