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UNB honoured and celebrated the Black community and their many contributions during Black History Month

Author: Hilary Creamer Robinson

Posted on Mar 4, 2024

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

Throughout February, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) honoured Black History Month through immersive events and initiatives acknowledging and celebrating the Black experience and the Black community’s contributions to the university, New Brunswick and across Canada.

“These events promoted inclusivity and diversity, allowing us to see Blackness and Black history through a different lens,” said Nadia Richards, Associate Vice President of Human Rights & Equity at UNB.

UNB partnered with community organizations and presented a series of dynamic and interactive initiatives, including film series, art exhibits, sporting events and the Fredericton campus’ department of history’s eighth annual Black History Month lecture. This year’s lecture was given by historian and equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism consultant, Dr. Christopher Stuart Taylor.

In Saint John, UNB partnered with the New Brunswick Black History Society, Battle of the Arts NB and UNB’s Human Rights & Equity office to present Black History Through the Senses, an interactive event that featured poetic narrative storytelling that reflected on the hardships and hard-won triumphs faced by Black New Brunswickers. The event featured djembe drums played by cultural advocate and educator, Saa Andrews and food prepared by chef Chioma Chikwendu.

The month ended with the Abraham B. Walker Way street naming ceremony on the Saint John campus. Walker was a civil rights pioneer, the first Canadian-born Black lawyer and the first Black law student at UNB.

“Black New Brunswickers have been here for a very long time,” Richards said. “By being able to look at that history, we can identify that they have been here contributing to New Brunswick as a province and to Canada for centuries.”

Richards said that continuing to showcase these narratives allows both the university community and its partners to see the importance of the Black community and their contributions.

“That is the best way for us to really create inclusive and equitable spaces,” she said.