Home News Distinguished historian Marika Sherwood given honorary award from University

Distinguished historian Marika Sherwood given honorary award from University

  • Marika Sherwood made Doctor of History by University for dedicating her life to challenging racial discrimination
  • Inspirational activist who survived Nazi occupation given honorary award following a 50-year career educating young people
  • Hungarian-born author established Black and Asian Studies Association with Chichester academic Hakim Adi, the first historian of African heritage to become a professor in UK


A celebrated historian who survived Nazi occupation and genocide has been recognised by the University of Chichester for her contribution to educating young people.

Internationally-recognised scholar Marika Sherwood, who has dedicated her life to challenging racial discrimination, was given an honorary doctorate of history which she collected alongside hundreds of graduating students.

The Hungarian-born historian, who became a refugee in the 1940s, has published 13 critically-acclaimed books about slavery, colonialism and the history of African and Caribbean people Britain in a long and distinguished career as a teacher, writer, and social campaigner. She has since been at the forefront of attempts to diversify the curriculum across schools and higher education.

Dr Sherwood was nominated for the award by University of Chichester academic Hakim Adi – Britain’s first black professor of history (below left) – with whom she founded what is now known as the Black and Asian Studies Association (BASA) in 1991.

She said: “I am honoured to accept this award and am extremely grateful to Professor Adi. I hope that I can inspire more students to research areas that universities have not been not looking at – the working classes, colonialisation, and the history of black people in the UK, which largely remains unexplored.”

Nearly 500 postgraduate students received their degree certificates alongside Dr Sherwood at the University’s graduation ceremony, which was held in Chichester Cathedral.

Prof Hakim Adi, who gave Dr Sherwood’s citation for the honorary award, leads the University of Chichester’s popular MRes degree in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora. The programme, which is hosted solely online to accommodate students worldwide, is the first of its kind to investigate the historical relationships between Africa and its diaspora.

Prof Adi, whose latest book African and Caribbean People in Britain is out now, said: “I am delighted to present Marika with an honorary doctorate for her contributions to history. We first met in 1987 when I was a PhD student and she came to a seminar at which I was speaking. We have been friends and colleagues since, working and writing together as well as jointly launching BASA. This award is greatly deserved and long overdue.”

Read more about historian Dr Marika Sherwood and her celebrated achievements or acclaimed books at wikipedia.org/wiki/Marika_Sherwood. Or find out about the University of Chichester’s MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora at www.chi.ac.uk/history.

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