IADS-UNILAG Commemorates Black History Month with Focus on Boy Child Empowerment

IADS-UNILAG Commemorates Black History Month with Focus on Boy Child Empowerment

The Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) at the University of Lagos marked the Black History Month for the sixth consecutive year, paying tribute to the struggles and achievements of African Americans in the United States. The event, held at the J.P. Clark building of the Institute on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, centered on the theme "Celebration of the Arts with Focus on Empowering the Boy Child."

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In his opening address, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, FNAL, the Director of IADS, underscored the significance of the Black History Month in recognizing the importance of Africans worldwide. He emphasized the need to celebrate Black achievements and foster a sense of pride among individuals of African descent.

Explaining the rationale behind the theme, Prof. Falaiye highlighted the Institute's commitment to using the arts as a tool for empowering the boy child. He stressed the importance of not neglecting the boy child while promoting the girl child's empowerment, stating that both genders need preparation for the future and must be equipped to face life's challenges beyond formal education.

The event featured a guest lecture by Somto Ajuluchukwu, an Animation expert and CEO of Vortex Comics. Ajuluchukwu utilized cartoon stories and presentations of his work to illustrate the boy-child's transition to adulthood and readiness for life. He emphasized the importance of storytelling in portraying positive male role models and fostering father-son relationships in Nigerian media narratives.

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The second segment of the event was a Talent Hunt, allowing representatives from participating schools to showcase their talents in singing, painting, dancing, and spoken word poetry. Performances were evaluated by a panel of judges, culminating in Federal Government College, Ijanikin, securing the first position, followed by Grace High School in second place and Queens College, Yaba, in third place. The winning schools received cash prizes in recognition of their talents.

The Black History Month celebration has become an annual tradition at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies, University of Lagos. It serves as a platform for advancing Black discourses globally and promoting cultural awareness and empowerment among African communities.

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