Photo | Sonali Rosa Kumar

VUSAC Equity hosts events to honour black community members 

February marks Black History Month, in which time is taken to honour the contributions made by Black members of the community, and beyond. At Victoria College and the broader University of Toronto community, a range of events are being held in order to promote discourse on this matter. On their Facebook page, the VUSAC Equity Commission described Black History Month as being “dedicated to the celebration and reflection of the many accomplishments made by black people throughout history to modern times.”

The VUSAC Equity Commission’s Black History Month campaign is themed as <i>Canadian Black Excellence<i>. Events will be hosted throughout the month of February. The first, taking place on February 9th, is a screening of “Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975,” and the facilitation of a discussion on being black in Canada. Amina Mohamed will be a guest facilitator for this event.

On February 14th, a screening of “Hidden Figures” will be held from 5:30-8:30 in the Cat’s Eye, along with a discussion, specific to the intersection between blackness and womanhood, and challenged-specific black women.

Intersectional identities will also be discussed on February 15th, where the Cat’s Eye will again host a facilitated discussion on the intersection between Race and Faith. This even will be hosted in collaboration with the ARDO.

On February 16th, there will be a QUEER TEXT poetry reading, cohosted with VicPride! and featuring the work and performance of black folks, and POC more broadly—again held at the Cat’s Eye.

Finally, on February 27th, critically acclaimed 2016 film “Moonlight” will be screened in the Cat’s Eye, followed by a discussion on hyper-masculinity in black men by broader society.

Notable in these events is a focus on intersectionality, and the use of popular media to create conversation. Both of these are clear ways to make the content broadly appealing and accessible for students.

On the significance of Black History Month, second year student, Yasmine Shelton, remarked that “seeing underrepresented voices highlighted, is important when it’s clearly not a lack of merit that prevents exposure, now and especially in a historical context.”

With hundreds of students invited to the month’s festivities, and significant buzz around campus surrounding Black History Month, it is clear that students are eager to engage in conversations on race, intersectionality, and identity. As is said on the VUSAC Equity Commission page, “Unity and solidarity are power,” and it is encouraging to see our community so engaged in having these important conversations.