[Black Voices] Cambridge University Student, Lola Olufemi Demands Inclusion Of More Writers Of Color To School Curriculum, Stirs National Unprovoked Controversy

Lola Olufemi has been on the receiving end of abuse after a national newspaper in the UK accused her of "forcing" Cambridge University to add black and ethnic minority writers to the English Literature Curriculum...

Lola Olufemi has been on the receiving end of abuse after a national newspaper in the UK accused her of “forcing” Cambridge University to add black and ethnic minority writers to the English Literature Curriculum.

Last summer, graduating students at Cambridge who had taken an optional “postcolonial” paper had a discussion with lecturer Dr Priyamvada Gopal about broadening the English curriculum to be more inclusive of literature from the global south. One of the students, Lola Olufemi, women’s officer for the Cambridge University student union, summarised the ideas in an open letter, which was signed by 100 students and sent to the head of the English faculty in June.

But that’s not what Telegraph readers have been told says Jason Okundaye in an opinion piece for TheGuardian. Instead, with a photo of Lola on the front page, the headline claims: “Student forces Cambridge to drop white authors”.

On the front page of the paper, CUSU’s women’s officer Olufemi was pictured below the headline. However, Olufemi has told BuzzFeed News that the Telegraph article was “factually inaccurate as no concrete changes have yet been made”.

A spokesperson for Cambridge university told BuzzFeed News that they are “certainly not being forced” into making changes. “Cambridge works on academic discussion,” the spokesperson said. “This proposal from students is at a very early stage in those discussions,” they added.

Lola Olufemi speaks nothing but the truth, at Women Shaping Africa, we hope that this conversation she started peaks at a successful adoption of books authored by people of color into the Cambridge University curriculum. We will be following this story.

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