The SU

Black History Month

Black History Month

Reflecting on Inspirational Black people from history.

Black History Month

We're using this time to continue the conversation around race and to celebrate the diversity we have on campus. Our SU Officers also wanted to take the time to reflect on some inspirational black people in history. 

Mae Jemison (she/her)


Mae Jemison is a doctor, engineer and NASA astronaut who became the first African American woman in space in 1992. Throughout her time at school Mae experienced racial discrimination. She then became president of the Black Student Union. Having worked across the globe in different settings such as medical schools and refugee camps, Mae is fluent in Russian, Japanese and Swahili. In 1987 Mae was one of 15 people out of 2000 chosen to be part of NASA Astronaut group 12, heading up to space in 1992 and completing 127 orbits around the Earth. 

Aaron Rose Philip (she/her)


(Photo By Faeriebabygirl - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0) 

In 2018 Aaron became the first black, transgender and disabled model to be represented by a major modeling agency. More recently Aaron can be seen in Moschino's spring/summer 2022 fashion show. Aaron is paving the way in the fashion world celebrating individuality whilst wanting to make the fashion industry a more diverse, inclusive and accessible space through increasing the need for representation and visibility in fashion. 

Olivette Otele (she/her)

Olivette was the first Black woman to be made a Professor of History in the UK. She was awarded the professorship from Bath Spa University in 2018. She's done some incredibly important research on colonial history, and she is now the first professor of history of slavery at the University of Bristol.

Maya Angelou (she/her)

(Photo By Clinton Library - William J. Clinton Presidential Library, Public Domain)

Maya was an amazing civil rights activist best known for publishing a number of influential autobiographies and poetry books. She received 50 honorary degrees and was the first Hollywood director who was Black woman. 

Katherine Johnson (she/her)

(Photo By NASA -, Public Domain)

Katherine was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent US crewed spaceflights. 

Josephine Baker (she/her)

(Photo By Studio Harcourt - RMN, Public Domain)

Josephine was a World renowned performer, World War II spy and activist. She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture in 1927. She was an American-born French entertainer. She was awarded after the war the Resistance Medal, the Croix de guerre and was named "Chevalier de la legion d'honneur" for her efforts during the World War II which included helping the Free French effort led by Charle de Gaulle. 





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