Black women members of the University of Cambridge have gathered for a photo-shoot to mark 70 years since the first black woman graduated from the University and 70 years since women were admitted as full members.

The students, both undergraduate and graduate, posed in front of the Senate House, the administrative centre of the University. The photo was the idea of the University's African Caribbean Society. It came just over a year after a photo of some of the black male students of Cambridge went viral. 

The women were marking the achievements of Gloria Claire Carpenter, a Jamaican, who studied law at Girton College from 1945 to 1948. She later became a prominent social reformer. Timi Sotire, who is studying politics and sociology also at Girton, is vice-president of the Cambridge University African Caribbean Society (Cambridge ACS). She said: 

"71 years ago, none of us would be here getting degrees and now we have a really strong black female cohort which we want to celebrate and to just let girls who want to apply to Cambridge, and black girls especially, know that there is a place for them here. 

She went on: "Cambridge is fun, really fun, and I've met some amazing black women here and I'm so glad we now have photos celebrating that."

Toni Fola-Alade, President of the Society, said: "Despite black women noticeably outnumbering black men at the University of Cambridge, they have historically, by comparison, lacked the visibility and public recognition for the contribution they make to the wider community.

He added: "The idea of the photo-shoot was to highlight just how many black women are here, and thriving. The fact we were also able to honour a trailblazer, in Gloria Claire Carpenter, makes me immensely proud."


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