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The spirit of Black History Month 2018 lives on

The themes of Black History Month 2018 included perseverance, and looking to the future. Both were on display throughout February as part of events organized by the Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS) and the African Caribbean Students' Association (ACSA).

  • Amanda Parris, CBC television and radio personality, provided the opening keynote for Kingston Black History Month 2018. (Supplied Photo)
    Amanda Parris, CBC television and radio personality, provided the opening keynote for Kingston Black History Month 2018. (Supplied Photo)
  • Dozens gathered in the Renaissance Event Venue for the February 4 opening event. The night included performances, guest speakers, and the announcement of all planned events. The events were open to the community and attracted a wide array of participants. (Supplied Photo)
    Dozens gathered in the Renaissance Event Venue for the February 4 opening event. The night included performances, guest speakers, and the announcement of all planned events. The events were open to the community and attracted a wide array of participants. (Supplied Photo)
  • Edward Thomas (Sc’06, MASc’12) presents to a crowd of students, faculty, staff, and community members about the fate of black medical students who were expelled in 1918. (Supplied Photo)
    Edward Thomas (Sc’06, MASc’12) presents to a crowd of students, faculty, staff, and community members about the fate of black medical students who were expelled in 1918. (Supplied Photo)
  • Mr. Thomas, who is also a Queen's employee and former journalist, spent hours sifting through public documents and the Queen’s Archives to uncover the fate of 10 of the students. According to Mr. Thomas' research, some of them became medical heroes, statesmen, patrons, tycoons, clerics, builders, activists, and advocates. (Supplied Photo)
    Mr. Thomas, who is also a Queen's employee and former journalist, spent hours sifting through public documents and the Queen’s Archives to uncover the fate of 10 of the students. According to Mr. Thomas' research, some of them became medical heroes, statesmen, patrons, tycoons, clerics, builders, activists, and advocates. (Supplied Photo)

From delving into the past, to looking into the future.

From food and dance, to reminders of the struggles faced, and overcome, by Black Canadians.

From reflections on diversity and mental wellness, to community building.

Black History Month 2018 explored it all through a series of social and academic events. It kicked off Sunday, Feb. 4 with an opening ceremony, and carried on with discussion panels, food and dancing lessons, and a campaign across campus centred on the legacy of alumnus Robert Sutherland. The Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS) and the African Caribbean Students' Association (ACSA) partnered to organize this year’s festivities.

“It's such a meaningful experience each year to work on putting together Black History Month with people from different backgrounds and walks of life," says Asha Gordon (Artsci'18), President of the Queen's Black Academic Society. "This year's opening ceremony and events surrounding resilience showed me the multitude of ways in which people of the Black diaspora, unify, celebrate, and overcome. There is such a fortitude of mutual support and resourcefulness in our communities and I can't wait to see where we go with celebrations for February 2019!"

In support of QBAS and ACSA’s plans, the Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) and the Alma Mater Society each provided grants to support Black History Month festivities.

For those who missed Edward Thomas’ presentation in Robert Sutherland Hall on the fate of the black medical students who were expelled in 1918, please visit the Principal’s blog for a guest column.

To carry the momentum forward from Black History Month, the Queen’s Black Academic Society is planning an inaugural conference on the future of black scholarship. The conference, which will take place Saturday, March 10 at the Tett Centre, will look at the subject of, “Learning in White Spaces”. To learn more about this conference, visit their registration page.