Carol Leeming FRSA Chair Symposium: Re-Imagining Fredrick Coles Bodleian Library Oxford University


Carol Leeming FRSA at Bodleian Library Oxford University

Carol Leeming FRSA, during Black History Month 2018 , was appointed by Black Oxford  Untold Stories led by Pamela Roberts FRSA,  to be the Chair for a fascinating Symposium at Bodleian  Library on the Fredrick Cole of  Sierra Leone , the first ever Black Oxford Scholar in the 1900’s.

Pamela Roberts of Black Oxford Untold Stories,  firstly, outlined the paucity and inappropriateness of  images available,eg caricature of Fredrick Cole, ie. of such an important and significant Scholar, to have graduated at Oxford University.  A plaque of Fredrick Cole was unveiled in the previous year, opposite the Law Faculty at Oxford University, attended by Pamela Roberts and Oxford University dignitaries.  The Symposium panel consisted various academics, creative practitioners,  who referred to the negative images of Africa past and present, eg. the racist caricature of Cole, Oxford University archive of publications of caricatures of the period, Fredrick Cole’s life at Oxford, Portraiture of Black Success, and making and erecting Statues. The event included a brief dramatic performance by two actors, who brought Fredrick Cole and a University rival to life, in a recorded argument they both had. There was also a lively discussion with attendees and many useful suggestions offered from the audience, as to the ways of moving forward, to best honour the legacy of Fredrick Cole in Oxford and beyond.



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