The best of Brantford’s Black excellence  

Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor
From left, students Naomi Abolor and Mercy Autur at the BSC gala.

University students naturally need a place to share culture, community and tradition. The Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford Black Student Collective did a great job at bringing that message to fruition during the Cultural Royalty Gala. They provided a beautiful set up at the banquet hall and it was accompanied by amazing authentic African food. They had blends of jollof rice, fufu and stews and a variety of meat like chicken and goat. There was a diversification of performances ranging from slam poetry, African talking drums, dancing and many guest speakers. It was truly the drums that brought people on the dance floor, as it is known in African culture that everybody must dance when the drums are being played.  

It was gorgeous to experience the way community is expressed through dancing and how people engaged with each other through rhythm. I cannot help but mention the vibes induced by DJ Astro, who had a blend of Caribbean and African music ranging from Amapiano, dancehall, Afrobeats and obviously much more.  

I personally performed a poem named “Do your hands fail you?”, which was discussing a common experience held by people of colour. It was about being able to openly enjoy cultural food in western spaces, specifically relating to the importance of eating with your hands within African traditions. There were many other topics held by other speakers such as assimilation, honoring Black excellence, the experience of being a Black student on campus and being comfortable within your body. It was fulfilling to see so many different voices come together on broad topics to celebrate Black culture.  

The Black Student Collective had an amazing hand at creating a safe space for difficult topics and authenticity to come together. As it is uncommon for most people to wear cultural clothing in social settings, it was honestly lovely to see so many different people wearing their heritage. This included variations of kente, dashiki, aso oke and countless more. It was especially refreshing to see the beauty of cultural garb on the Brantford campus and the vast ways culture can be presented.  

Over the years, the Black Student Collective has succeeded in bringing the acceptance of culture and the experience of communal traditions to Laurier Brantford. Whether it is within their meetings or public events, they never fail to bring awareness to history and build connections for Black flourishing. They are regularly celebrating heritage and providing spaces to educate others on Black excellence. The Brantford campus is lucky to have a community that promotes education and authenticity. 

This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 8 on Thursday, April 4.

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