She also talks about finding such role models herself. Imagining ideal dinner party guests—a classic interview question—Otele chose three women who had inspired her: writer and teacher Suzanne Césaire, Anna Julia Cooper, one of the first African-Americans to receive a doctoral degree, and Anna Nzinga, a 17th-century Angolan queen. “Their determination, diplomatic skills, resilience and commitment to their causes taught me that friendship, support, and collective effort are at the heart of many success stories. Their trajectories also taught me that when one rises, one should always support those who helped so that they too can achieve their dreams.”

Bath Spa University confirmed that Otele was the first woman of Afro-Carribbean heritage to hold the title of history professor in the UK.

When it comes to violence and its opposite, Otele seems to agree with psychologist Stephen Pinker, who has argued that we are living in the most peaceful time our species has known. When asked which period in history she would most like to have lived, she chose today. “Now is a good place for me as a scholar and a black woman,” she said to History Today in January. This week it got a little bit better.

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