Brock is celebrating Black History Month from February until the end of March. This is being done with the intention of developing an ongoing celebration for African heritage.
Events have already taken place at the beginning of the month. On Feb. 1, the opening reception comprised of speakers, entertainment and an introduction to Brock clubs. Supporting Black Survivors touched on questions such as “what do racialized survivors really want?” and a luncheon on Feb. 6 that included food and entertainment.
Events still to be expected within the Niagara Region range from exhibits, panel discussions, storytelling and more, to commemorate African heritage.
Ongoing until Mar. 1 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the James A. Gibson Library will be facilitating an African heritage exhibit entitled Masks, Myths and Masquerades. The exhibit is free of charge and open for visit without an RSVP.
On Feb. 22, there will be a film showing, Middle of Nowhere. This film follows the life of a black woman on the path to self-discovery. The film will show at the Niagara Falls History Museum in the evening and is an opportunity to learn more about Black History.
On Feb. 28 from 2:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m., the Niagara on the Lake Public Library will play another movie, C’est Moi, on Feb. 28.
On Mar. 2, there will also be a film screening of Wilma: The Story of a Black Canadian at St. Catharines Public Library from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
On Feb. 28 in Rodman Hall Art Centre at 7:00 p.m. members of the Niagara African diaspora community will join together to share in manifestos their thoughts and experiences in the Niagara region as visible minorities, in an event entitled “African Voices/Voix Africaines/Sauti Za Afrika.”
On Mar. 21 in Sankey Chamber at 5:00 p.m., there will be a panel discussion entitled Black and Proud. Black and Proud will include panelists from various backgrounds discussing, and attempting to convey, the notion of blackness.
By stretching the celebration across Feb. and Mar., Brock has alluded to the discussion of celebrating African heritage and black history throughout the year. There are three main clubs on campus that allow for this: the Brock East African Students Association (BEASA), the Brock University Ghana Association (BUGA) and the Roots African Caribbean Society (RACS).
BEASA attempts to introduce and create space for the culture of East Africa to the Brock and St. Catharines region. BUGA uses music, language, fashion and dance to educate others about Ghana and its rich culture and history, and invite Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians alike to come together. RACS has worked towards creating solidarity among the African and Caribbean cultures at Brock.
The clubs at Brock help to embrace African Heritage Month year round, by offering many events that educate, inspire and diversify the Brock community. As African people have made a great impact on the Niagara community, there are hopes that these events will continue beyond the end of March.
Brock has embraced African Heritage Month by providing ample opportunity for students to celebrate. In conjunction with BUGA, Roots and BEASA, students should be able to converse with these clubs and learn about the process of getting involved in their communities.