Olivette Otele, first black woman professor of history in UK

A historian of transnational colonial history at the College of Liberal Arts, Bath Spa University, Olivette Otele, has become the first black woman professor of history in the United Kingdom

Professor Otele, a specialist in colonial and postcolonial history, announced the news by herself on Twitter. The historian has just been appointed professor by the British Bath Spa University who has entrusted her with the presidency of a history channel.

History Today twitted their congratulation message to the newly appointed professor on their twitter handle: “Congratulations to @OlivetteOtele on becoming the first black woman to be made a professor of history in Britain. Here she is ‘On the Spot’ earlier this year.”


She is proud that her appointment “will open the door for many hard-working women, especially black women in academia”.

“Originally from Cameroon, she is the first professor of black history in the UK,” said History Today magazine.

In a portrait published by History Today magazine, Professor Otele quotes Congolese historian Elikia M’Bokolo as her greatest influence. Olivette Otele told the newspaper that she speaks, among other things, French, English, some German and three Cameroonian languages Ewondo, Eton and Bulu.

Olivette Otele, first black woman professor of history in UK

On her twitter handle, she wrote: “BIG NEWS: my people, @BathSpaUni has awarded me a professorship and a Chair in History.

“May this open the door 2many hard-working women, especially WoC, even + specifically Black women, in academia in general & in History in particular.”

“In strength, peace and love my ppl.

The historical figure she would have liked to know is Anna Julia Cooper, a teacher, and African-American activist.

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