Students foster discussion during Black History Month
Organizers of this year’s Black History Month want to generate awareness about the contributions black people have made to Queen’s and Canadian society.
“We hope to increase awareness about a history that has been forgotten and encourage the Queen’s community to understand and appreciate the value of diversity,” says Sharon Obuobi (Com’13), president of the Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS), and a member of the Queen’s Black History Month committee.
Black History Month began February 1 with the first-ever official opening ceremony that brought together Queen’s and Kingston community groups. Principal Daniel Woolf and other dignitaries shared their thoughts on the significance and meaning of Black History Month. The event was designed to recognize the contributions of Queen’s black alumni such as Robert Sutherland and acknowledge the need to include more coverage of black history in educational material.
Members of QBAS and the African Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA) have scheduled activities throughout February that balance cultural celebrations with academic and professional events to cover topics in the black Canadian context. Canadian author and Queen’s alumnus George Elliott Clarke (PhD’93) will share his insight on these topics at a presentation on February 12 co-hosted by QBAS, the Queen’s Student Alumni Association, and the Alma Mater Society.
A photo exhibit celebrating the achievements of black youth will occur later this month inside Stauffer Library.
“We really worked hard to make Black History Month something students and young people can relate to this year,” says Ms Obuobi. “Displaying photos in a highly visible space on campus will hopefully encourage young people and others to stop and consider what young black people experience in today’s Canadian society.”
Visit the Black History Month Facebook page for a complete list of events.