By Matt Rabey
Black History month is traditionally held every February and is recognised by Canada, The United States and Great Britain.
This year, cultural affairs commissioner Precious Gambrah is one of the main organizers behind the events planned for Black History month. Gambrah said, in regards to the timing: “The reason why black history isn’t in February, but in March, is because of the work schedule. (SGA President) Charlie’s and mine weren’t equivalent, which made it hard for us to plan things during that month. Also, many students had exams and reading week. I am not saying that Black History month at Laurentian will always be in the month of March, but this year was started late due to some unforeseen circumstances.”
Some of the events planned this year will include a coffee house night with African art on display and singing. Also to be featured during March will be a movie night where historically-important films pertaining to black history will be screened.
Also contributing to the organization of this year’s events is Vice-President of Services Iain Park. The VP brought the three-time Stylus Award winning dance hall dj, Dj Spex, to a capacity crowd at the Pub Down Under on Feb. 28.
He had this to say: “Black History month is a celebration of culture that helps diversify campus. This year could have been better,
but every event that you throw is a learning experience and we did grow from last year and we will continue to grow in the future.”
Park will also be bringing Canadian band The Weekend to the Caruso Club on March 20.
Working together with Gambrah on some of this year’s black history events is SGA president Charlie Andrews.
“The SGA in the past hasn’t been committed to celebrating Black History month, so it is excellent that we have Precious,” Andrews said. “We’ve been working together to create diverse events to bring the community together to celebrate black history by taking part in art, talks and activities including an African drums workshop with Isaac Akrong from York University.”
The drum circle has limited space and will be held at the cafeteria on March 5.
The Canadian government, since December 1995, has officially recognized Black History month. The history that it honours is very important to all Canadians as Gambrah says: “Many people are able to learn about the history that contributed to where Canada is today. Everyone needs to be aware of how the past has shaped the present and how it will shape the future. Learning the history is important and the events hosted at Laurentian University provide students with a way to be active through their contribution.”