Events Food for thought

Did You Know? 8 Black History Facts

October marks an annual, month-long celebration of black history, its culture and its impact on our nation. Black History Month in the UK was established in 1987 – on the 150th anniversary of Caribbean emancipation – and raises awareness of important names and events in the history of people of African and Caribbean descent.

Honouring the countless accomplishments of black Britons, this month, our catering units at Newcastle University are celebrating what it stands for through the universal language of food and dedicating a week of our Street Kitchen to serving an African and Caribbean-inspired menu.

To mark this occasion, we’re sharing 8 interesting facts about black history in Britain, below:

  1. A group of African soldiers called the Aurelian Moors defended Hadrian’s Wall during Roman times.
  2. Tudor king Henry VIII employed a black trumpeter called John Blanke.
  3. Black people in Britain, including Olaudah Equiano, were some of the leading campaigners for the abolition of the slave trade.
  4. In 1833 the government paid £20 million to 46,000 British slave owners to “compensate” the owners for their “loss of property”, but not a penny was given to the former slaves.
  5. In response to the Notting Hill riots of 1958, Claudia Jones launched an indoor Caribbean carnival in St Pancras in 1959 to bring people. It was finally taken to the streets of Notting Hill in 1965. Five decades later, Notting Hill Carnival is second only in size to Brazil’s Rio carnival.
  6. When 18-year-old Guy Bailey was turned away from a job interview at the state-owned Bristol Omnibus Company because he was black, members of the community led a boycott of the buses in protest in 1963. After four months, the bus company relented – marking a significant step towards the UK’s first laws against racial discrimination.
  7. It was only in 1976 that the Race Relations Act, which banned discrimination in public places based on a person’s colour, became law.
  8. The ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’ was a middle-class woman of black African ancestry and is recognised as one of the wealthiest inhabitants of fourth century Roman York – challenging the assumption that Africans in Britain at the time were not wealthy and were likely to have been slaves.. Discovered in 1901, her grave goods included; jewellery made of African elephant ivory, a glass mirror and a blue glass jug.
Events Recipes

Black History Month Recipe: BBQ Lentils over Cheesy Grits

In celebration of Black History Month at the Newcastle University, we’re sharing some of the recipes available as part of our fantastic African and Caribbean inspired menu available at Street Kitchen from the 25th to 29th of October 2021.

You can learn more about what we’re doing to celebrate October’s Black History Month by reading our blog post and joining us at our Street Kitchen to taste some of the fantastic dishes, next week.

  • 200g raw lentils
  • 600ml vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100g diced carrots
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1.5 lt barbecue sauce
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika
  • 350g cooked grits
  • 250ml milk
  • 2tbs butter
  • 100g cheddar
  • 50g vegan parmesan
  1. In a large pot, bring lentils, vegetable broth and bay leaf to a boil. Let simmer uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 10ml oil over medium heat. Sauté your onion and carrots with salt, pepper, smoked paprika until carrots are soft and onions are translucent.
  3. Add barbecue sauce and give it a good stir. Drain lentils and reserve the cooking water.
  4. Pour sauce over your lentils and mix well. If you find that your sauce is too thick, just add a little bit of your cooking water to thin it out.
  5. To make your grits, mix all Grits ingredients until cheese and butter has completed melted.
  6. Serve your lentils over grits.
Events Recipes

Black History Month Recipe: Trinidadian Beef & Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

To celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing some of the recipes available from our African and Caribbean inspired menu available at the Street Kitchen.

To find out more about what we’re doing to celebrate Black History Month through food this year, you can read our blog post and join us at our Street Kitchen in the forum from the 25th to the 29th of October.


Green seasoning

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 TBSP fresh thyme
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 3/4 cup green seasoning
  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 2 cups carrots cut into 1/2 inch long pieces
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt (plus more for seasoning)

Dumplings (optional)

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Add cilantro, garlic, onion, chives, thyme, lime juice and water to a food processor and pulse until combined into a relatively smooth paste.
  2. Place beef in a large glass bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Add 3/4 cup green seasoning to bowl and combine with meat. Allow to marinade overnight or for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Once meat is ready, heat a large cast iron or stock pot with coconut oil on medium-high heat.
  4. Add coconut sugar and use a spoon with a long handle to stir and incorporate with coconut oil. Allow sugar to heat until it begins to melt, bubble and brown. It’s a good idea to keep your stove fan on because things will get smoky. Keep your seasoned meat handy.
  5. Once the sugar has turned medium-dark brown, it’s time to add in your seasoned beef. Add the beef, reserving most of the juices/seasoning in the bowl to add to the dish later on. Stir beef continuously into the caramelised sugar so that it’s fully coated (for about 1 minute).
  6. Reduce heat to medium and cover pot to allow meat to release water (3-5 minutes).
  7. Add chopped carrots, remaining reserved seasoning from meat, salt, coconut milk and water to pot. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low and cover pot. Allow to cook 40 minutes until beef is tender.
  8. Meanwhile, make dumplings by combining flour, butter and salt and mix until combined and then add the water. Roll into small balls.
  9. After 35-40 minutes, add dumplings to pot and gently stir to submerge in liquid. Cook 5-10 minutes more or until beef is sufficiently tender.
  10. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary. Serve warm.