Black resistance – Making Spaces in Academia

About the event

In commemoration of Black History Month, Model African Union Bayreuth e.V. organized a thought-provoking round panel discussion on April 12, 2023. Titled “Black Resistance – Making Spaces in Academia,” the panel attracted around 30 students, doctoral candidates, and a professor from the University of Bayreuth and sparked lively exchanges while being livestreamed on Instagram to reach a wider audience.

The discussion delved into various facets of Black experiences in academic settings, shedding light on both systemic challenges and individual narratives. Participants shared poignant insights, revealing the complex interplay of race, gender, and colonial legacies within educational institutions. One key theme that emerged was the notion of resistance encompassing memory, silence, and trauma. Attendees highlighted the historical underpinnings that continue to shape contemporary realities, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and challenging dehumanizing narratives within white academic spaces.

Black female students, in particular, discussed facing discrimination on multiple fronts, navigating both racial and gender biases. They described the pressure to justify their presence in academic spaces and the additional hurdles they encounter in male-dominated fields. Language emerged as a significant site of resistance, with speakers advocating for the preservation and promotion of African languages in academic discourse. They underscored the power dynamics inherent in linguistic choices and called for a more inclusive approach to communication. Critiques of the Eurocentric bias in academia were also prominent, with participants challenging the notion of objectivity and advocating for epistemic freedom. They urged for a reimagining of scholarship that transcends colonial frameworks and embraces diverse perspectives.

The discussion extended to the curriculum, with calls for its decolonization to better reflect the realities and knowledge systems of marginalized communities. Participants highlighted the disconnect between academic teachings and the lived experiences of Black students, emphasizing the need for a more inclusive and reflective educational approach. Mentorship and support for Black students were also discussed, with speakers highlighting the importance of creating inclusive spaces and acknowledging the labor of individuals who pave the way for others. Furthermore, the panel addressed the broader societal context, touching upon issues such as Black students facing housing discrimination in Bayreuth and the disconnect between academic research and policymaking.

In conclusion, the panel discussion provided a platform for critical dialogue and networking, fostering opportunities for further engagement and exchange. By amplifying Black voices and challenging entrenched structures, events like these contribute to creating more inclusive and equitable academic spaces. The lively exchange of ideas and experiences underscored the importance of ongoing conversations and collaborative efforts in advancing Black resistance and promoting social justice within academia and beyond.

Model African Union Bayreuth e.V. would like to thank Demokratie leben! for sponsoring this event.

Joining the association

MAU Bayreuth is open to everyone without any distinction and especially those who are interested in Africa or would like to attain a deeper picture of the continent and its challenges. In this regard, the questions are:


How can I become a part of MAU Bayreuth?

Interested persons can take part in the activities of the Association. In particular, the Association welcomes warmly people who are interested in Africa and want to get in touch with people from different backgrounds, studies, and countries. There joining MAU does not necessarily require pre-knowledge of Africa or Africa-related topics. Because through participation in the associations’ events, one acquires knowledge of Africa with a huge possibility to exchange with African members of the Association.


How often do you meet? And how one can join?

Meet us during our weekly meeting taking place Tuesdays starting from 7 pm via MS Teams! Please contact us to get the link. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Model African Union Bayreuth e.V.

Please contact us!