Oxford Uni slammed over Prof Stuart Hall snub

Professor Stuart Hall, who inspired a generation of Britain’s black intellectuals, has been snubbed by Oxford University says the Equality and Diversity Advisor at the prestigious university.

 

Shakina Chinedu talked to Eva Nyandoro from Voice4Change England about the difficulties in trying to get the late Stuart Hall recognised by Oxford University.

Shakina has spent many years working for Equality and Diversity movement as a, equality and diversity advisor and owner of Nubian Legal Consultants (offering advice on employment law and tribunals).

The University in conjunction with students recently held a race summit to look at the issues facing students while studying at Oxford.

She recently hosted a workshop with young African and Caribbean people in Waltham Forest to encourage them to pursue higher education after 18, and  currently works at Oxford University as an Equality and Diversity advisor.

She told Voice4Change: “We have a daily newsletter that goes out to all the staff in Oxford. I asked the team to mention Stuart Hall’s passing as he was an alumni of the University and they refused.  

"They said his academic career wasn’t spent long enough at Oxford University, even though he studied English at Oxford University and gained an MA and began his PHD at the university. I am quite upset at their response.

"We don’t have many black scholars from Oxford and they should have recognised Stuart Hall. He was an international figure who played a significant cultural role in putting race onto the mainstream media. By not recognising Professor Hall makes Oxford appear as as white, male, middle class institution.

“I have been trying to get more images of black scholars on Oxford University walls. Recently, an author Pamela Roberts wrote a compilation of stories about Oxford black scholars past and present from 1856 until the present today called ‘the untold stories of the Oxford black scholars’, yet only one of these images is up in any of  the colleges.

"If we are saying to black students to ‘come to Oxford, it is very diverse’ shouldn’t the university take the opportunity to recognise a great figure."

Shakina described the influence Stuart Hall had on her life and future generations. “I think as a lawyer  he was one of the type people that I looked up to as a black student when I was younger. It helps when you see another black person doing well particularly in education.

"Stuart Hall was a trail blazer encouraging black people to get into academia. I did however disagree is his fight for multiculturalism. I don’t think we should be fighting for it.  I think we have to find our place in this land but hold on to our own culture.

“His legacy we should continue to encourage our young children to go into academia and continue those legacies left before them.”

Shakina is currently chairing a steering group that will be launching the Network of Network a national BME staff network. It will lobby on behalf of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) on issues pertinent within HEI’s on recruitment, retention, progression of BME staff and academics on 26 June at the University of Leeds. 

Shakina will be participating in a panel discussion in honour of the late Professor Hall’s life and works on 5 June (starting at 4.30pm) at the Bernie Grant Centre after the screening of John Akomfrah's award-winning documentary on Stuart Hall’s life. Tickets are £7.50 standard and £5 concession.

Tickets are on sale at Eventbrite : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-stuart-hall-project-screening-discussion-tickets-11254641937