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Past Editions of the Black history month

At the EUI

Since 2021, researchers of African descent have been organizing Black History Month at the EUI in February. Find out more about the events and activities from previous editions,


In 2021, for the sixth edition of Black History Month Florence (BHMF) that took place in February under the theme "Ostinato", the EUI collaborated for the first time with BHMF cross institutional network. On this occasion, two online events addressing the question of race in Italy through discussions on colonial past and memory, cultural heritage as well as the decolonisation of higher education were organized.



  • Roundtable: “Race in Italian Culture and Heritage” - Online

22 February 2021 - 5:00-6:30 pm
With Shelleen Greene (UCLA), Lucia Piccioni (EUI - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow), Angelica Pesarini (NYU-Florence).

Organizers: Lucy Riall and Daphné Budasz (EUI)

The event examines representations of race in Italian culture from the colonial era to today. It addresses the changing paradigms of racist heritage in Italy and its political meanings. Speakers start the discussion by presenting their research questioning the way non-White bodies have been portrayed in Italian culture notably in cinema but also in anthropological work.

  • Lecture “Decolonising The Metropolitan University” by professor Priyamvada Gopal (University of Cambridge)

1 March 2021, 14.30 CET – Online Via Zoom
Discussant: Gabriele Proglio (University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo)
Organizers: Lucy Riall and Daphné Budasz (EUI)

Since 2015 when South African students demanded the removal of the statue of colonist Cecile Rhodes standing in Cape Town University campus, the movement for the decolonisation of universities has spread internationally. Denouncing institutional racism and long-lasting inequalities within higher education, the debate recently started to shake universities all over Europe. Priyamvada Gopal, professor of literature at the University of Cambridge and key player of the debate in the United Kingdom, is invited to discuss the notion of decolonisation of the university and its implications for institutional change.



  • For A Decolonial Feminism, Rethinking Whiteness, Eurocentrism and Gender

    Watch Youtube Video

    04 February 2022 - 4:30-6:30 pm (Online)
    With: Professor Françoise Vergès (Goldsmiths College)

    Organizers: Lucy Riall and Daphné Budasz (EUI), Fartun Mohamed

    A black woman’s experience of misogyny is different from the one experienced by a white woman. Similarly, her experience of racism is not the same as the one experienced by a black man. African-American female thinkers (Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, bell hooks to name a few) were the first to insist on the necessity to consider the complex relations that existed between different types of social categorizations and the specific expressions of discrimination that derived from them. 

  • Exploring the (in)visibilities of Blackness in Europe: an interdisciplinary and transnational discussion 

    Watch Youtube Video

    22 February 2022 - 5.00 - 7.00 p, (Online)
    With: Bolaji Balogun (University of Sheffield), Michael McEachrane (Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights, Sweden), Marie Moise (Stanford University, Florence) and SA Smythe (UCLA)

    Many European countries are thought of as homogeneously white. This applies even more to countries that did not actively participate in European colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth century (such as Eastern European and Scandinavian countries). This is also the case of countries which continue to consider their colonial past as minor and inconsequential, such as Italy. In reality, even former great imperial powers like France and Britain, despite their undeniable colonial legacy, frequently struggle to acknowledge and treat equally the large numbers of non-white people that are part of their population. In many cases, Black minorities in Europe not only suffer prejudices and a lack of representation (the issue of diversity within European academia being a flagrant example), they are quite often regarded as foreigners , despite have been born on the continent or having been granted European citizenship.


Black History Month at the EUI Library

Blogpost series on Black History - List of articles


BHM on Radio Cavolo

  • Radio Cavolo is celebrating Black History Month! Throughout the month of February, we are featuring music by Black artists from around the world. From country blues to Cape Verde’s coladeira, from Nigerian Funk to Ethiopian jazz, from Malian folk to French Caribbean’s Zouk, from US Jazz standards to the classics of Hip Hop music, from the Reggae anthems to the anti-racist protest songs, Radio Cavolo put together a provocative mix of genre!

Every weekdays mornings and evenings throughout February, tune in for Radio Cavolo’s special BHM playlist!

  • BHM interview #1 with Khalil West (EUI) and Nduta Njenga (EUI)

What is it like to be Black today in Florence, in Europe and in the US? Does colour matter in academia? Why should we celebrate Black History Month? In this first set of interviews, Khalil West, researcher at the Department of History and Civilisation, and Nduta Njenga, Policy Leader Fellow at the School of Transnational Governance, talk about these and other issues with Federica Signoriello (EUI Library).
Listen to the interview

  • BHM interview #2 with Justin Randolph Thompson (BHMF) and Ruth Gbikpi (EUI)

The second set of interviews recorded during Black History Month sees Justin Randolph Thompson, new media artist, cultural facilitator, educator co-founder of BHMF (Black History Month Florence) and Ruth Gbipki, Librarian at the EUI, in a dialogue with Federica Signoriello (EUI Library) to explore their experience of being black in Florence in the 1990s and early 2000s. They also discuss the significance and impact of BHMF and what’s happening at the EUI.
Listen to the interview

Page last updated on 08/06/2022

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