Black History Month with an English Twist

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Father of Black History Month Carter G. Woodson would probably be jumping for joy in his grave if he knew what Pamela Roberts was doing in a small buzzing metropolis north of London in England.

On the campus of Oxford University, a premier institution in the English-speaking world, Roberts leads a tour group regularly of people interested in uncovering Black scholarship.

Launched at the beginning of October in commemoration of Black History Month (BHM) in the United Kingdom, “Black Oxford-Untold Stories” is garnering attention at a rapid pace, much to the surprise of Roberts’ detractors.

“I got the idea after I overheard someone say that Black people did not contribute to any scholarship at Oxford,” Roberts told The Informer.

So, equipped with Oxford archival records, photos, and her own fortitude, Roberts convinced Oxford Town Hall to allow her to administer the tours. An 18-month long project in the making, “Black Oxford” highlights the accomplishments of students who went on to become prime ministers, renowned lawyers, artists and academics. Among the list of notables is Alain Locke, the first African American Rhodes Scholar in 1910 who later served as Howard University’s Philosophy Department Chair. Locke was also a pioneer of the Harlem Renaissance.

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