February is Black History Month!

There are many reasons to look forward to the month of February. For many people, it is the chance to tell their loved one how they feel on Valentines Day and even celebrate the community of family on Family Day.

But, for many black people around the world including myself, there’s a more significant celebration we take pride in which is Black History Month. It is an opportunity to celebrate and create awareness of the struggles black people all around the world have faced and persevered through since before the 19th century and even today. It’s the month when we also invite other races and groups to celebrate people such as Martin Luther King and Portia White, who have fought for the civil rights of black people and made a historical impact that will never be forgotten.

On this week’s episode, we explore Black History, not just in the American context, but also in the context of UBC and Canada.

We speak with Nana, a black fourth year student from Ghana, who gives her perspective on if she feels represented on campus. Our discussion with Nana brought up important points about what UBC can do to make black students feel that their culture and history is represented in academia and in the general UBC community. This includes promoting the African Studies program more to the wider UBC community and even organizing and promoting Black History Month events on campus, showing that UBC is committed to creating dialogues around the history of black people in Canada and UBC.

We also speak with Professor Henry,  the David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education in the Faculty of Education, who does a lot of work in the areas of race, class, language, gender and culture in socio-cultural contexts of teaching and learning in the lives of Black students. Professor Henry was able to shed some light ways that the wider Canadian population can acknowledge and promote the legacy of black people in Canada.

Very often when we think of past generations of black people in the diaspora, we think of America and maybe the UK but we sometimes forget that Canada has a rich history of black people contributing to the society for hundreds of years. As an educator, Professor Henry believes that one of the most important ways to acknowledge black history in Canada is through the curricula. This includes not just having history classes on Canadian history but also weaving the works of black people in areas like business or even medicine. It is also important that there is enough black representation in education to close the gap in racial representation and to have more people that are passionate about bringing black history to light.

In the end, it’s also important that black history is acknowledged and celebrated not just in February but all year round.

To learn more about black history, check out Nana’s on campus Black History Month Events:

https://www.facebook.com/events/153657101960002/

For events around Vancouver, visit

https://blackhistorymontheventsvancouver.wordpress.com/

If you are interested in this topic check out the new episode on our podcast, [in]Tuition.

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