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Black History Month Lecture: Warm words are not enough – repaying the debt to our Black heroes by Marcus Ryder

Marcus Ryder, Head of External Consultancies, Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, Birmingham University and Chair of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)

Date/Time: Thursday 21 October 2021, 5.30pm

Venue: This is an online event

Black History Month Lecture

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Hosted by Dr Martin Farr, with introduction from Reverend Professor Keith Magee

It is a cliché that ‘we stand on the shoulders of giants’, but this talk argues that we stand more in the battlefield of fallen Black heroes who have sacrificed everything to enable us to achieve everything we have achieved. Many of these heroes are still alive and still suffering the scars of the battles they fought on our behalf. The question must be what do we owe them and how do we repay our debt?


Marcus Ryder is the Head of External Consultancies at the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity which he set up to increase diversity across the industry. He is also the Chair of RADA, Britain's leading dramatic arts academy. He is the author of Access All Areas - the Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond with Lenny Henry and recently edited Black British Lives Matter, a collection of essays on the importance of Black people in the UK.

Black British Lives Matter is available to pre-order from our university bookseller Blackwell's:

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.