Black History Month programme

The St Catharine's community is involved in a wide range of activities during Black History Month 2023. A provisional programme is below, which will be updated as plans are finalised:

  • Sunday 1 October & Tuesday 31 October: The College will again fly the flag of the Bahamas to commemorate our first Black student A.F. Adderley (1912, Law). Find out more.
  • Wednesday 4 October: Introduction to inclusivity workshops in the McGrath Centre for undergraduate Freshers (5–6pm) and postgraduate Freshers (7–8pm).
  • Thursday 5 October (4pm): Student-organised care packages for Black undergraduates and postgraduates will be available from the Bar.
  • Sunday 15 October (11.30am): Alumna Chine McDonald (2002, Theology & Religious Studies) is delivering the sermon at Great St Mary's in Cambridge. The St Catharine's College Girls' Choir will also sing. All are welcome, with refreshments and Q&A afterwards.
  • Monday 16 October: A blood donation drive (time to be confirmed) – many sickle cell patients have the Ro blood subtype and there is a gap between the amount of Ro blood collected and the demand for Ro blood from hospitals (the Ro subtype is 10 times more common in people of African and Caribbean descent, who account for the vast majority of sickle cell cases).
  • Thursday 26 October (9.30pm): Night Songs in the Chapel with a repertoire celebrating Black composers, including Adolphus Hailstork. All welcome.
  • Saturday 28 October (late): Afrobeats Bop in the Bar for undergraduates and postgraduates, when raffle winners will also be announced.
  • Throughout October: Fundraising for the Sickle Cell Society with a raffle (including gifts donated by local businesses) and a charity mocktail/cocktail in the Bar.
  • Throughout October: Undergraduates and postgraduates can nominate another student to receive a special Black History Month 'Welfairy' (a small treat delivered by student welfare representatives to lift the spirits).
  • Throughout October: Liberation Library launched
  • October and beyond: A plantation bell that was on display at St Catharine’s until 2019 will help to reveal global stories and histories of exploitation, resilience and liberation as part of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s major exhibition, Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance. Find out more. 

Any members of the St Catharine's community who are involved in activities during Black History Month are welcome to contact to have the details added to this programme.

About the Liberation Library

The Liberation Library is an ongoing student-led project to showcase literature for relevant to each Heritage Month and History Month during the year. The idea was inspired by Elizabeth Hawke who set up the Sidney Sussex Liberation Library ( The first installation is for Black History Month, with the theme of "Celebrating our Sisters / Saluting our Sisters/ Matriarchs of Movements #WEMATTER". The installation can be viewed throughout October and the books can be borrowed afterwards. Activities will continue for LGBTQ History Month, South Asian Heritage Month, East and South East Asian Heritage Month, among other themes.

Contact details

Matilda Watson

01223 338343