Opinion: Langara should recognize Black History Month with cultural events

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By Tierney Grattan

Throughout the year, Langara has many cultural festivities, celebrating events from different parts of the world, including Diwali and Lunar New Year, but why doesn’t the school celebrate Black History Month?

Perhaps it is because of the school’s overall population, which has more students of Indian and Chinese descent than of African descent. Langara also has many international students from these countries and hosting the events may make them feel less homesick and help in creating friends.

On the Government of Canada’s official website, it says “During Black History Month, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians,” and yet there is no recognition of Black History Month at Langara.

Black culture worthy of representation

Having an event for a specific culture can also be a teaching strategy. Vancouver is very multicultural and people from all over the world live here. Some international students may be unfamiliar with certain cultures residing in Vancouver. Through events like Black History Month students can learn about other cultures and understand them better. It may alleviate prejudice towards people from different backgrounds, and allows people to share the unique wonders and characteristics of their culture.

Langara should do more to honour and celebrate Black History Month because of the long history of oppression and systemic racism towards black people and black culture in North America.

Even though people of African descent make up only 1.7 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s population, Black History Month is just as important as any other cultural tribute in the city, and is just as worthy of being represented at a school event.

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