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Coolest Black Kids On The UoB Campus pt1

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Here at the University of Bristol, we have a lot of amazingly talented black students that are going out of their way to shape their environments. We will be compiling a regular feature highlighting these individuals and getting them to talk to us about their blackness and how their rich identities are key in creating an inclusive campus!

In a predominantly white space it is easy for the feats of black students to fall by the wayside but here at Bristol is the New Black we seek to creatively tell and shape the black student narrative in an interesting and diverse way.

Meet the icons:

Sheila Bamugemereire

Year: 2

Course: Law

What do you love most about your blackness?

I love my blackness because it is complex and nuanced. There is no single way to be black and there is no single narrative to which we, as black people, can neatly ascribe.

I love my blackness because it connects me to a global diaspora of beautiful and resilient people. Blackness is an identity which foments the creation of support networks and communities. It is thanks to these communities that I have learnt, fully and wholly and unequivocally, that in my blackness there is love. There is grace. There is beauty. There is tenderness. There is strength.

Tell us about yourself

I am fascinated by the act of translating abstract emotions into a common language and turning lived experiences into art. When I am not reading or attending literary events, I enjoy writing short stories, essays and the occasional (bad) poem. My writing habit is enabled by my co-management of the Shajara Collective of African writers. I am the Vice President of the Intersectional Feminist Society and I co-create radio shows for BCFM and Ujima.

In the future, I hope to combine the skills accrued from my degree and extra-curriculars to aid in the implementation of intersectional and rights-based policy in Uganda. Ultimately I would like to create, and enable other people to create, spaces in which individuals from marginalised communities can feel seen, safe and loved.

 

Ayo Anibaba

Year: 2

Course: Economics

What do you love most about your blackness?

What I love most about my blackness is coming to embrace it in its entirety. Once I came to a position where I was comfortable with who I am, I relished in the nuances and diversity of thought and character within myself. For me, being black means always pushing and changing perceptions, assumptions and stereotypes by simply being ourselves.

Tell us about yourself

My ultimate life goal is to own and run Africa’s leading think-tank/policy institute after work in the financial sector. My dream area of employment is in policy implementation. I strongly believe that publishing academic readings and theory that can shape government policy will change lives and help the underprivileged of this world. In tandem with this, I strongly believe that Africa needs eccentric, out of the box thinking and discourse to prosper and become a world force.

Outside of my future career, I really enjoy all kinds of writing. From blog posts to video essays, I believe that I am a conversationalist. I love using literature as a medium to ask pressing questions and address important issues.

 

 

Kelly Emelle

Year: 3

Course: Law

What do you love most about your blackness?

I love that we are finally embracing ourselves, not just as black, but as black women! This unique intersection has made being a black girl like being part of an exclusive and magical club. #blackgirlsrock
Tell us about yourself

When I’m not reading a law textbook (which is too often), I’m probably reading the latest work by my favourite black/African writers, learning the teachings of the revolutionaries such as Assata Shakur, or binge watching Netflix. That is if I’m not busy organising great opportunities for BITNB members through our partnership with Ujima Radio.

I am also a marketing intern for the black-owned natural hair company Root2Tip (buy black y’all), and I share my passion for natural hair through my personal blog ‘My Afro Is Political’.

In the future, I hope to be a media lawyer, whilst I work on becoming the UK Shonda Rhimes!

 

 

Lucia Fortune-Ely

Year: 2

Course: Geography

What do you love most about your blackness?

What I love most about my blackness is that it is what first helped me assert and anchor my identity, and all its complexities. My blackness is family and heritage, and simultaneously my now and my presence in the moment. I don’t have all the answers to my blackness, and I love how it challenges and nurtures me.

Tell us about yourself

I am a keen dancer outside of my studies, as alumni of the National Youth Dance Company and currently a member of the University’s Dance Team and FUZE.

This year I am a board member on the Spike Island visitors’ panel, a gallery here in Bristol. Working collaboratively through the year with the gallery to make sure it is representative of the diverse Bristol community, and challenging the perceptions of exclusion and elitism in the arts sector, as it is a field I wish to enter in the future.

I also occasionally volunteer with Unseen UK, a human trafficking and modern-day slavery charity. It brings to light discourses on these practices and supports vulnerable people in their communities.

 

 

Anthony Miruri

Year: 3

Course: Law

What do you love most about your blackness?

I love that (my) “blackness” is a subversion of social racial constructivism (“whiteness”).

Tell us about yourself

When I’m not procrastinating in the Library, I can be found in the bowels of the SU belting out Etta James, or twined around a dance pole somewhere in Clifton.

I’m a learning intersectional feminist, aspiring solicitor and author, musician, and an advocate of equal rights and opportunity for marginalised communities in Kenya and the diaspora.

In conjunction with several other students, I also manage an intimate writer’s collective – The Shajara Collective – for “African stories by African writers”

 

Simmone Ahiaku

Year: 3

Course: Geography

What do you love most about your blackness?

I love that my blackness is so personal to me by informing how I navigate the world, how I talk, dance, practice my culture. Yet I love how my blackness is also communal, how our shared experiences unite us as a people. My blackness reassures me that I have come from a royal lineage of fighters who continue to celebrate, laugh and love in a world that so desperately wants us to hate ourselves. I love being black.

Tell us about yourself
I’m a part of the international team for the UK Youth Climate Change Coalition. We lobby politicians to pass progressive legislation on climate change and climate justice (treating climate change as an intersectional issue that is political, social, economic and environmental). This November I am going to the COP 23 talks in Germany to talk to politicians about what policies are in place for climate change. In the future, I would love to work in environmental policy particularly in the climate justice sector. It tackles race and why working class people of colour around the world are more likely to be affected by climate change.


I am also part of FoodCycle Bristol. I help out every Saturday and we cook meals for the community in Lawrence Hill/Barton Settlement. As of this year, I am part of the Y-Stop policy writing team that aims to tackle the disproportionate amounts of stop and searches of young black men.

 

 

Kamara Eni Amogu

Year: 2

Course: Cellular and Molecular Medicine

What do you love most about your blackness?

My blackness doesn’t have to try to be anything, it is what it is and owns it. It doesn’t give unwarranted apologies, doesn’t belittle itself and or let anyone else try to do so.

Tell us about yourself

I’m interested in the human body and how we can produce total body recomposition by manipulating what we put into it and how we train ourselves. I secretary for the uni’s ACS, ambassador for the international office, and do a bit of dance and free-lance writing on the side. Right now, I’m mainly focused on science communication, but in the future, I hope to play a part in tackling world hunger by working in the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations or the NGO’s that run alongside it.

In my free time, I enjoy music & poetry, dismantling patriarchy, shaming misogyny, eating and lifting heavy things. Ultimately, I’m going to end up in Mauritius, speaking french and drinking Sauvignon Blanc with my pet labrador!

 

 

Rosel Jackson Stern

Year:

Course: Politics and International Relations

What do you love most about your blackness?

I love my blackness because it’s dynamic and allows me to move through spaces with power. It’s part of my body and my body is a good place to be.

Tell us about yourself
In the future, I want to work in journalism to help elevate marginalised voices. It’s important to me to tell the stories of our communities on our own terms in order for them to be rendered honestly. Issues of violence against women and members of the LGBTQ+ community lie particularly close to my heart. In my spare time, I kickbox, practice yoga and write poetry as part of my self-care routine. Oh, and probably watch some Jane the Virgin, I freaking love that show!

 

Sebastian Dixon-Sandhir

Year: 3

Course: Chemical Physics

What do you love most about your blackness?
My ability to engage with it on different levels, in different environments – a testament to the diversity within the black community which is often overlooked. It is nothing less than a pleasure to be born out of such a passionate, resilient and vibrant community of people.

Tell us about yourself

Outside of university, whilst not complaining about university, I enjoy cooking and keeping fit. Living a happy, healthy life is an ongoing goal of mine – however, I haven’t yet defined the requirements for such an aim to be fulfilled. I also want to improve my contribution to the lives of my family and friends, fellow Indian/Jamaican people and queer people of colour!


Upon graduating, I want to give back to a charitable organisation that helped me enormously when I was younger – the 100 Black Men of London. They provide a platform for young black children to engage with and learn from positive role models, making such an excellent contribution to the black community.

 

 

Ndubisi Offonry

Year: 2

Course: Economics

What do you love most about your blackness?

I am part of lively, powerful and diverse communities who, despite being constantly overlooked and underestimated by society, continue to excel in each area of life be it politics, careers and academics – you name it!

Tell us about yourself

After a career in Management Consulting, I plan to set up a microfinance scheme in Nigeria. I am a strong believer in young people following their ambition and creativity and have begun trying to support and promote growing young entrepreneurs.

Do you know some amazing black students at Bristol that you should feature on this list hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and let us know!

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