The Black History Year steering group at the University of Westminster welcomed historian and researcher, Dr Miranda Kaufmann, to discuss her book Black Tudors: The Untold Story at an online event that launched the Westminster’s year-long recognition of Black history. 

Screenshot of zoom meeting

The discussion was hosted by steering group members Kate Theophilus, Research Development Partner, Manvir Grewal from Westminster Law School, College Events Co-ordinator Dominika Opyrchal and Deborah Husbands, Senior Lecturer in Psychology. The event, on 11 November, attracted over 300 registrants from around the globe. 

Dr Kaufmann read from the introductory chapter of her book and went on to review the contribution of several Black Africans during the 15th and 16th centuries (the Tudor period) where it is known that they held occupations such as a needle-maker, silk-weaver and, for the most well-known Black Tudor of them all - John Blanke - as a trumpeter who performed during ceremonious events for King Henry VIII at Westminster. Parallels were drawn between the productive lives of Black Africans in Tudor times and contributions by Black people in today’s society. 

Dr Kaufmann commented: "I am delighted to be involved with the University of Westminster's Black History Year! It was great to share my work on the Black Tudors with such an engaged and well-informed audience, and the following discussion was stimulating and thought provoking, especially when we think about why this history is important today." 

Manvir Grewal added: “This was a thought-provoking event with some excellent questions raised by the panel and fantastic audience.  An excellent way to kick start our Black History Year at Westminster!” 

More information about the Black Tudors can be found on Miranda Kaufmann’s website

The Black History Year steering group will be launching a blog site to capture events, news, and stories that feature the lived and living experiences and contributions of Black people at the University of Westminster and beyond. To include your news or stories, email the steering group.  

Black History Year University of Westminster poster with yellow writing and a black background and colourful triangular pattern on the right

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