Nendelmwa Gofwan is a Politics and Sociology major in third year and is a member of the Black Student Association at Acadia.
Various countries, worldwide, have dedicated the month of February to celebrating blackness. Though such countries refer to such celebrations as different things, I prefer to use the term Black History Month.
In Canada, February is known as African Heritage Month and although every black individual’s ancestry could be traced to a specific country(s) in Africa, not every black individual identifies with their African roots. The African diaspora has lead black people living in different places to create their own cultures. They were forcefully taken away from their homeland, to a foreign land, and although people tried to retain the culture of their homeland, the diversity of the cultures present, lead to the creation of new cultures instead.
The African diaspora, the reason why a month has been dedicated to celebrating blackness, is a result of slavery. Calling it African Heritage Month, in my opinion, ignores the reason behind its inception. Black History Month is a chance to celebrate the diversity of black culture. Most individuals believe that being black is a personality trait or characteristic. Black History month is a time to remind individuals that although blackness is a part of identity, it is not the only thing that defines an individual.