Zayn Malik is of British-Pakistani heritage, yet he and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were among six faces selected by the university to promote Black History Month celebrations.
Students at the university were quick to point out that Zayn is neither black nor a prominent figure in black history, unlike the other faces that were chosen, including Trevor McDonald and Dame Kelly Holmes.
The decision sparked a flood of criticism on social media with the Students’ Union receiving many 1-star ratings on Facebook and a large outcry on Twitter.
Deeply disappointed at @KentUnion‘s ill thought and misdirected Black History Month celebrations.
— Black History Month (@BhmUK) October 25, 2016
Imagine your university doing a Diwali festival or A Chinese New Year festival and then asking Boy Better Know to do a presentation.
— Yung Wisdom (@MinaLioness) October 25, 2016
The Student Union has since deleted the post from social media and issued an apology on Facebook saying that “In the planning stages of Black History Month, we worked with a number of 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 too. We made a mistake.”
Yes, Kent… You did make a mistake.