Black History Month at the EUI is a researcher-led initiative grounded in the need to make Black European history visible and to address questions of racial justice and equality in contemporary society.
This year, a group of researchers, with the support of the EUI Library, have prepared a series of activities to raise awareness about Black History Month. Scholars, paupers, artists, fighters: Black lives in Europe since 1500 is an exhibition that aims to challenge White historical imagination by presenting a selection of 20 Black individuals who belong to European history. In the month of February, the exhibition will rotate in three locations of the EUI campus: Badia, Salviati, and Buontalenti.
Different academic events have also been organised at the EUI, including "'Perpetuare la nostra razza.' The use of women's bodies for the reproduction of the nation", a lecture by Angelica Pesarini (University of Toronto). The online roundtable, "Material Migrations: Objects, Museums, and Matters of Restitution. Perspectives from West Africa", will discuss West Africa's connections with the wider world together with international scholars including, Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo (University of Ghana), Daniel Kumah (University of Ghana), Rabiu Yusuf (Ahmadu Bello University), Abubakar A. Muhammad (Ahmadu Bello University), and Cécile Fromont (Yale University). Finally, the keynote, "Decoloniality, Epistemic Blackness and academic rigour: the stakes of BHM beyond identity politics", hosted by the EUI's Robert Schuman Centre, will be delivered by Olivia Rutazibwa (London School of Economics).
Moreover, four film screenings will take place across the EUI campus. The films, Atlantics (2019) and Baldwin's night (1969), together with Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris (1970), will take place in collaboration with the EUI's CINECLUB. There will also be a screening of the film Il moro (2021) followed by a discussion with the film director, Daphne Di Cinto, and a screening of the documentary film Regard noir (2021), followed by a debate moderated by Ruth Gbikpi from the EUI Library and Tyala Ifwanga, Master student at the EUI School of Transnational Governance.
The EUIdeas blog will publish two new posts by PhD researchers, adding to the thought-provoking essays compiled last year. The first post is on the diversity of Black life trajectories in Europe, and the second on decentering Whiteness in histories of Renaissance Florence.
These activities are organised in the context of broader initiatives as part of Black History Month Florence (BHMF).