Black History Month goes unrecognized at Langara College

Submitted photo by Langara College of previous Black History Month display
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Reported by Chelsea Liu

Langara College did not recognize Black History Month with any displays or acknowledgment on campus.

Jeremy Rillo, a second-year nursing student, said it should be up to the school to showcase all the different ethnic groups represented at Langara and individual minority groups shouldn’t have to take on that responsibility.

“It’s Black History Month. It’s important and should be taken more seriously.”

No clear answers as to why

The Voice reached out to the Langara Students’ Union about recognizing Black History Month, but did not receive a comment before print.

There was no display in the library as there has been in previous years for Black History Month.

Langara’s library display where Black History Month tributes were in the past. Photo by Chelsea Liu

Second year film arts student at Langara Leon Ababio, who is Black, said February is a busy time for the school, so a lack of events planned is nothing out of the ordinary.

“It’s understandable, but not justifiable,” Ababio said.

Ababio noticed events celebrating Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day around campus in February, but has seen nothing in relation to Black History Month.

“If the school is going to celebrate other holidays I think it needs to include all [cultural events] as well,” Ababio said.

Ababio said because there aren’t a lot of Black students at Langara, and Black History Month tends to be overlooked.

“I think it’s a lot of history that everyone should know, but I feel like the demand for that history isn’t very big in Vancouver,” he said.

Not the only school

Justin Kandola, a previous Langara student, currently attends SFU and said there is a similar issue of representation on campus.

“It sucks to say, but Langara and SFU are pretty similar when it comes to this,” Kandola said. “I heard UBC is really good at this kind of stuff though.”

Gavin Gordon, co-president of UBC’s Black Student Union said one of his reasons for starting the BSU was when he noticed a visible increase in Black students in their freshman year compared to previous freshman years.

“There isn’t a large population of Black students in Vancouver,” Gordon said. “We’re definitely here.”

Reporter Chelsea Liu interviewing Gavin Gordon about representation:

Gordon said Black History Month won’t cross someone’s mind unless that individual is Black, but the ethnic majorities of a school are not a true reflection of the problem.

He hopes schools make more of an effort to acknowledge and celebrate events important to all students.

“It’s important that these schools recognize and understand that they should try and be accommodating,” Gordon said.

 

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