‘We are witnessing living, breathing history.’: Lincoln’s ACS society on the future in Lincoln

“The world is gaining a conscience and it is powerful.”


Since the killing of George Floyd in America, people across the globe have expressed their outrage on the injustice against black people and protests have been taking place in all states across America and cities across the UK.

In Lincoln, a protest has taken place in solidarity with the Black Lives Movement and has since confirmed another protest to take place on the 20th of June. The University of Lincoln’s ACS has expressed its support for the Black Lives Matter Lincoln Movement on social media.

In an Instagram post, the African Caribbean society announced they were working closely with Lincoln’s Black Lives Matter Movement “to bring real change and representation in your lives, university, and city”

They continued to say, “Silence is not an option. We have debated too long the role a uni society should play in these times and how to best represent you. But the answer for us was simple. We are not like any other society. The very soul of our community is entwined in the love, tears, and very struggle of Black lives around the world. If we do not celebrate the culture and identity that birthed us, who are we? If we do not stand up for our rights to exist, to fight the racist colonial system around the world in every form it takes- what do we stand for?? If your society doesn’t speak out for its people, it doesn’t deserve to exist. We ARE Black Lives. And we are with you.

“From today we will work united and spread awareness of Lincolns BLM movement: activities, protest dates, social distancing info, donation links- everything. we will promote the love of our community, help and share your art and poetry, businesses and successes. We WILL provide education, access to academic texts, advice and healing in this difficult time and enable you to support yourselves and the movement in the best way you can.

“Spread the word to your friends and other societies, these are historic times and we must unite and be heard. Change is coming like a storm.”

View this post on Instagram

✊🏾IMPORTANT✊🏾 In these historic times ACS are proud to announce we are working fully and closely with @blacklivesmatterlincoln to bring real change and representation in your lives, university, and city. Silence is not an option. We have debated too long the role a uni society should play in these times and how to best represent you. But the answer for us was simple. We are not like any other society. The very soul of our community is entwined in the love, tears, and very struggle of Black lives around the world. If we do not celebrate the culture and identity that birthed us, who are we? If we do not stand up for our rights to exist, to fight the racist colonial system around the world in every form it takes- what do we stand for?? If your society doesn’t speak out for its people, it doesn’t deserve to exist. We ARE Black Lives. And we are with you. From today we will work united and spread awareness of Lincolns BLM movement: activities, protest dates, social distancing info, donation links- everything. we will promote the love of our community, help and share your art and poetry, businesses and successes. We WILL provide education, access to academic texts, advice and healing in this difficult time and enable you to support yourselves and the movement in the best way you can. Spread the word to your friends and other societies, these are historic times and we must unite and be heard. Change is coming like a storm. Love to you all, stay powerful BLACK LIVES MATTER✊🏾

A post shared by Lincoln ACS (@lincolnacs) on

The Tab Lincoln spoke with Hector Yapp, the Education Officer of the committee on their plans to work with the SU and university in bringing about real change.

He told us, “We have big plans to create long-lasting positive change for students. I’ve just now come out of a talk with the SU who have greenlit a referendum we as a society created alongside our members, students, and members of the BLM and the community! If it passes it will allow a great deal of improvements.

“For instance, we will overhaul October’s Black History Month to not only allow new students and societies to better engage with the uni and SU, but encourage and provide proactive education on black history, current black affairs and British colonial history that will continue all year, more BAME scholarships and inter uni opportunities, and tackling discrimination in lectures and SU club nights through streamlines anonymous reporting availability of CCTV evidence. We also help to aid those not familiar with BLM/critics by providing a greater platform for alternative ideas so that we can all educate each other.”

From top left to right: CJ Sampson, Charles Buckman, Hector Yapp, Emmanuel Hagan, Amen Idele and Princess Lauryn Tamou

Hector also shared the work they plan to do with Lincoln’s Black Lives Matter movement,

“Alongside this, we’re working with Lincoln’s fantastic BLM movement and community to engage with everything from businesses to schools to help educate about racial issues and support each other. BLM causes include LGBT+ issues and education, employability skills and workers’ rights, intersectionality, support for local businesses, and celebration of culture to name a few. ACS sees it as imperative we support and hold to these ideals in order to create real lasting improvements both at uni and in the local and global community.

“We’re also using our social platform to provide petition links, donation pages, and information everything from on how to peacefully protest and social distance to important educational literature, to promoting local BAME businesses.”

There has been a wave of protests up and down the country in solidarity with the BLM movement. Hector sees the protests as “something beautiful. The black community has been joined by the world in a show of pure burning love and support and in strong solidarity against the deep-rooted colonial system that enforces systematic racism – as well as misogyny, wage inequality, homophobia and more evils everywhere. The protests have changed how we see the current system and allowed us to search for better alternatives. We are witnessing living, breathing history.”

Most notably, over the weekend a statue of slave-trader Colston was torn down and thrown into Bristol harbour and since then there have been calls for other statues to be taken down in and around the UK.

“As for the statues, and notably critics complaining about history or the legality of the acts – slavery was once legal, as was segregation. Legality is not inherently connected to morality. The historical value of these statues is suspect. Tearing down the statue in Bristol did more to educate the public about Colston than it ever did. Hitler is remembered for his evils, yet we do not celebrate his autobahns with a statue. These times will make people uncomfortable, but his means they are listening and can grow. People are getting educated, checking their friends and family, and ultimately improving as people. The world is gaining a conscience and it is powerful.”

Related stories recommended stories by this writer:

If you wanna talk about racist statues, maybe consider King George III in Lincoln

‘End of the Rhodes’: Protestors fill the streets of Oxford calling for removal of statue

To recognise BLM, you have to recognise how you appropriate black culture every day