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Kent Union criticised after promoting Black History Month with Zayn Malik photo

By | Published on Wednesday 26 October 2016

Zayn Malik

The Kent Union has been criticised after using Zayn Malik as one of the faces of its Black History Month celebrations. The Kent University students’ union included Malik and also London mayor Sadiq Khan in a series of posts to mark the annual celebration of black culture.

In a statement, the Union said that it had devised a campaign around Black History Month to celebrate “a range of ethnic cultures”, which is how Malik, whose father is British-Pakistani, came to be used.

Criticising the post and the campaign in general, the university’s African-Caribbean Society said that it was not involved in this “diluted version” of the event and that it is “deeply offended by the posts and find them disrespectful and poorly thought through”.

In a statement this morning, Kent Union said: “As you are aware, last night we removed the posts about Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan. We would like to unreservedly apologise for any offence or upset that was caused by this post. 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”.

It went on: “The officers will be meeting with the African-Caribbean Society 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”.