Kent University’s student union used Sadiq Khan and One Direction singer Zayn Malik as poster-boys for Black History Month.
Black History Month (BHM) is meant for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
Khan was born in Tooting, south London after his parents migrated from Pakistan to Britain. Malik was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 1993 to Pakistani/English parents.
“Deeply disappointed at @KentUnion‘s ill thought and misdirected Black History Month celebrations,” BHM responded on Twitter.
With Asian Heritage Month being observed by a growing number of countries in May, will Black icons be celebrated by Kent University then?
Kent Union president Rory Murray apologised to students who were “upset, uncomfortable or offended”.
He said: “I want to apologise on behalf of Kent Union to any individuals who were upset, uncomfortable or offended by the image shared.
“There was no intent for this to happen and I am very sorry to anybody who felt this way. “I also feel it is important to explain the context behind how this happened.
“As a students’ union we are led by our members; over 2,000 volunteers who give up their time to run campaigns and events.
“This is through a wide range of activity be it sports clubs, societies, campaign groups, elected. “This is through a wide range of activity be it sports clubs, societies, campaign groups, elected officers and so forth.
“The Black History Month calendar of events was led and run by these students and supported by the organisation. The activity for the month was decided by open meetings attended by black and minority ethnic students.
“I hope that the passion ignited in many people in the last 12 hours will continue and that students will become further involved in leading our black and minority ethnic work.”