This past Friday, the library rotunda on the Abbotsford campus was decorated with flags from several African nations, traditional West African snacks, and a section set up by local business Kuomboka Crafts, which sold handmade goods and clothes.
Students were also given the option of sticking post-it notes onto a board that asked them the question, “What do you know about Africa?” It was extremely heartening to see a great many post-its stuck there. The convivial mood was also encouraged by the sight of so many different students from different cultures and backgrounds mingling and learning more about Africa. Speaking as an immigrant from a southern African nation, I enjoy seeing people learning about other cultures. However, the event was a small one, and while it was well put together, it wasn’t as intensive or as formal as a similar event hosted the very next day at the Reach Museum and Gallery.
The Reach’s Black History Month celebration ran throughout that Saturday afternoon and featured snacks, live music, dancing, guest speakers, and a fashion show, as well as several activities for children. It was impressive to see so many young children learning about the social, cultural, and even political contributions made to Canadian history by black Canadians from an incredibly diverse set of backgrounds, but what was even more impressive was how the activities throughout the day were structured to be both entertaining and educational.