Skip to Main Content

Decolonisation and Anti-Racism

Welcome to the Decolonisation Guide

This Library guide has been created to support you in decolonising curricula and academic practice, and provides resources for anti-racist learning, teaching and research. In the menu tabs on the left hand side you will find guidance and resources tailored to students, educators and researchers. This homepage introduces decolonisation in a higher education and library context. 

Please do share your feedback on this guide so we can improve it and develop decolonial dialogue amongst the Sussex community. There is a feedback form on the bottom left hand side menu tab.

Artwork depicting two African figures facing each other in thoughtful dialogue with dynamic stylised ancestral figures between them.
Image: "Ancestral Elders: Decolonizing the Mind" by Climbing Kilimanjaro. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Decolonisation and the University of Sussex Library

The Library's activities are rooted in systems of inequality built upon the racist legacies of imperialism. Libraries are not neutral. By recognising white privilege and the existence of inequality we will ensure that our collections and our work are not controlled by a single point of view and are informed by evidence-based practice.

Decolonisation in the Library seeks to redress the inherent imbalances and power-structures present in our work and collections. We recognise that these unequal power structures are embedded within wider institutional systems of whiteness and are committed to collaborating in a process of lasting change around this in line with the University of Sussex Race Equality Charter Mission.

The Library's areas of activity in decolonising practices, collections and services are outlined on the Decolonisation statement. We will promote decolonisation work throughout the Library, ensuring that all staff have opportunity to learn and engage. However, dialogue on decolonisation will continue beyond this statement; our work is - and will be - an urgent and ongoing process.

If you have suggestions for resources or improvements to this guide, please fill in our feedback form via the link on the left hand side. 

What is Decolonisation in Practice?


"Decolonisation in practice is about bringing to light and taking apart colonialist power in all its forms. For this, we also need to understand that society as we know it is built upon this power. This includes all the things that perpetuate and reproduce the legacy of colonialism in areas like education, housing, finance, policing, healthcare and many more [...] this is not a new issue. For example, if we look at education, it is about paying attention to how our education system, our schools, colleges and universities, and ways of learning are built on colonial histories. They all put whiteness at the centre and as a neutral perspective to learn about our world.  

Decolonising means providing students, staff and their local communities with the tools and language to critically identify the ways our schools, colleges and universities are built using the same colonial hierarchies. It also means empowering them to confront, challenge and reject the status quo. They would then be able to reimagine how things can be done differently and create alternatives that would benefit us all." 

National Union of Students

Changing the stories we have inherited from colonialism | Priyamvada Gopal

Decolonising the University

“There is no discipline that is immune from this call of decolonisation” Dr Lwazi Lushaba

Search our reading lists and library collections

You can check out our reading lists on Anti-RacismDecolonisation, and Black History; as well as search our Library collections on Black History Month, the BLDS Legacy Collection and Diverse Databases as useful starting points. Use the menu on the top left hand side of this page to navigate to resources for students, educators and researchers.