Don't go there SIANAARRGH!

It takes a lot of confidence to be this ridiculous.

Rewriting History: The Black Cantabs Society of Cambridge University

I wrote a piece for MiGREAT Africa on the Black Cantabs Society of Cambridge University and the importance of The Black Cantabs Project we are pioneering.

the black cantabs_header

“Walking through the 31 colleges, you would struggle to find many, if any, portraits, sculptures, or other markers celebrating Black alumni. In fact, you wouldn’t have thought that the first black student to matriculate, study, and graduate from Cambridge University (Alexander Crummell) did so in 1848 (at least).

“Although Crummell was perhaps not the first black student Cambridge had seen – a Jamaican man, Francis Williams, is thought to have studied there in the1700s and a mixed-race violinist, George Augustus Bridgetower, had been awarded a music degree for a composition in 1812 – he is the first officially recorded in the university records as having matriculated, studied, and graduated from the university.

Alexander Crummell

Alexander Crummell

“What is a ‘Black Cantab’, I hear you ask? ‘Cantab’ is a diminuative for the Latin word referring to Cambridge itself. Cantabrigian is an adjective that is used in two meanings: (1) to refer to what is of or pertaining to Cambridge Universityor (2) to refer to what is of or pertaining to the cities of Cambridge, England andCambridge, Massachusetts. The term is derived from Cantabrigia, a medieval Latin name for Cambridge invented on the basis of the Anglo-Saxon name Cantebrigge.

“A Black Cantab is a Black Cambridge student.”

zadie smith

Zadie Smith: A Famous Black Cantab

Read here to find out more about the project and our launch in Cambridge and ‘like’ us on Facebook here.


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This entry was posted on October 13, 2015 by in Education, History and tagged , , , .
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