By Brandy Bond, Staff Writer
On February 16th, LU Education student Matilda Ankrah, the History Department, and the African Caribbean Student Association (AFCASA) organized a Black History Month information event. The future educator’s belief in the importance of bringing “awareness to Black history and [teaching]people about that rich history” was the driving force behind her coordination of this event. In an interview with The Argus, Ankrah states that this event and what it promotes is something that this campus needs, noting that she feels that “more needs to be done pertaining to Black history.”
In the past, there has been very few events for students regarding Black history on campus. However, Ankrah hopes that this pattern will ceases, believing that there are “so many benefits from having something like this on campus”. When asked if she would like this event to continue annually she affirmed that, “it would really bring joy to my heart to see this event be carried on.”
Ankrah came up with the event when deciding on an idea for a 40-hour internship that was required for a class. She explained that this internship could be done anywhere and that she had to “bring something to that internship like an idea.” She continued to explain how she chose to do her internship with the history department where she “pitched the idea about having an event on campus about Black history and they were all for it.”
The event featured lectures given by Lakehead professors, a movie, and two performance pieces provided by students. The first lecturer was Dr. Asiru Abu-Bakare who shared his road to success of becoming a doctor. In this lecture, Abu-Bakare relayed his personal experience to the audience in an engaging and inspiring way. The following lecturers included Professors Walid Chahal and Tiana Chahal, as well as Lakehead’s Human Rights Advocate, Dreeni Geer. Each of the following lectures provided the audience with an abundance of useful information about Black history. Additionally, in Walid and Tiana’s lectures there was significant information provided in relation to events and historical moments that often go untold in our history books.
Though the lectures were the main features of the eveny, the performance pieces along with the film screen for the movie “Hard Time” was also extremely impactful. The more artistic performances of the night included a dance routine as well as a beautiful music performance by Elsa Beleke and Mateo Garcia. As for the movie, it was a perfect choice for this event as it presented to many Lakehead students the event’s mission to share a rich history. Through the performances and information the work, Ankrah, the History Department, and AFCASA, was a definite success in their endeavor to sharing Black history. Considering the large turnout and the success of this event, Ankrah’s hope of having this event annually should be realized in the coming years.