Kent University Union apologises for using images of Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan to promote Black History Month

Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik

The University of Kent's student union has apologised for including Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan in posts about Black History Month.

The selection of the singer and Mayor of London, who are both of British-Pakistani heritage, was deemed “culturally insensitive”.

The union was branded a "national embarrassment" by one student, while organisers of Black History Month said they were “deeply disappointed” by the “misdirected” move and asked whether a similar approach would be taken with Asian Heritage Month.

In a post ahead of announcing their chosen personalities, Kent Union said they had worked with students earlier in the year to develop a programme of events “in the hope that the month will serve as a catalyst for all to explore Black and Minority Ethnic history”, adding that "those chosen to represent the diversity of Black and Minority Ethnic Culture will naturally spark debate”.

But the posts were removed by the union on Tuesday evening amid a mounting backlash from its members and replaced with an apology.

”We would like to unreservedly apologise for any offence or upset that was caused by this post," organisers said in a statement.

“In the planning stages of Black History Month, we worked with students to develop a campaign that celebrated a range of ethnic cultures.

“However we can see that many of our students disagree with the direction the campaign took. We made a mistake. The officers will be meeting with the African-Caribbean Scotty this morning to apologise and discuss where we go from here.

“We really value the input of all of our students in our liberation campaigns and welcome the opportunity to talk to any of you further.”

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