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More could be done to showcase Black History Month, students say

The Alumni Hall at Loyalist College was screening TED Talks yesterday afternoon to educate students on Black History Month. Photograph taken by Courtney Bell

Not one person showed up for the screening of TED Talks on Black History Month in Alumni Hall during Universal Break Wednesday afternoon. Photograph by Courtney Bell, QNetNews 

By Courtney Bell  [1]

BELLEVILLE – The month of February is dedicated to celebrating black history, but two black students at Loyalist College say they feel more could be done at the college to educate students on the topic.

There was a screening of a collection of TED Talks [2] films on black history during the Universal Break [3]Wednesday afternoon, but no one showed up.

Marketing and Advertising student Amanda Boston said she was unaware that the college celebrated Black History Month [4].

“To be honest, I didn’t even know that Loyalist did anything. I think they should do something more exciting rather than just watching somebody else talk,” she said.

“It would be really cool if they could have a group of  people come together and create some type of performance or put on some type of show,” she said.

Boston added that she would love to see the student population involved in planning such an event.

“I’m pretty sure if they were asked to come together and put something together, I feel like they definitely could,” she said.

Worlali Atta-Mensah, Boston’s classmate in Marketing and Advertising and an international student from Ghana [5], agreed.

It is important to educate other students about black history, he said.

“A lot of people don’t know a lot of things about black people,” Atta-Mensah said. “Black history is the history of a minority that is actually still here and is growing. There is going to come a time when there is going to be lots of black people around, and it wouldn’t hurt to know a little bit about their history and where they came from. Because in the long run it’s our history as human beings.

“Personally I feel knowledge is power. The better you know or the more you know the better you are as a person.”

QNet News contacted college’s student government, which organizes Universal Break activities, to ask if more black history events are planned for the month. In an emailed response, student-government president Jillian Robinson wrote: “It’s unfortunate that no one was at Universal Break event in the Alumni Hall. The Career Fair also took place during this time.”

Robinson indicated that there may be more events later in the month, but gave no specifics.

The college’s events calendar does not show any more events celebrating Black History Month.

Wednesday’s Ted Talks screening was organized by Loyalist recruitment officer Gretta Barnwell, whose department helps program Universal Break.

“TED Talks put together a really great playlist of amazing speakers who have really different ways of looking at Black History Month,” she said. “The stories that they tell relate to everybody regardless of your race, religion, your preferences and whoever you are. ”

Barnwell added she wasn’t aware of any other black history events happening in the school.

“At this time I’m not sure what’s going on. I know there are a number of different people having conversations about it – I’m just not sure what’s going on,” she said.

She suggested that students could take it upon themselves to watch for events through social media.

“I would encourage anybody who is interested in seeing what else Loyalist is doing, especially this month, being Black History Month, that they look to the Facebook and Twitter pages as a means to find out more.”