The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford celebrates February’s Black History Month with several upcoming events.
Organizers say the Black Canadian community in Abbotsford is incredibly diverse, including residents with ties to the U.S., South Sudan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Haiti, Ghana, and Jamaica.
The Reach is collaborating with the Mainland Human Rights Committee of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Black Connections to launch a handful of online and in-person initiatives celebrating Black history and culture.
Black History Month Quizzes and Virtual Celebration – Feb. 28
How well do you know Black history? The Mainland Human Rights Committee has created a series of fun and educational quizzes to test your knowledge of Black history in Canada. Quizzes will be post once a week at psacbc.com/our-organization/human-rights-committees or can be picked up at The Reach (32388 Veterans Way) all month long. Then, on Feb. 28, participate in a virtual Black History Month Celebration featuring informative discussions, cultural performances, and virtual doors prizes. For more information on how to attend, email Celine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TURN IT UP: AfroMusic in the Fraser Valley
Celebrate the artistry of AfroMusic in the Fraser Valley with three playlists curated by local music aficionados. New playlists will be released March 1 and April 1 and can be accessed on The Reach’s Spotify account. Carefully crafted musical selections are provided by Providence I. Ndizeye, DJ Rossco, and Diyoka Tshimpaka. Featured artists include Fidelis, Turunesh, Bxundless, Rkayy and Will TOA, among others.
Listening opportunities take place every Saturday in the galleries from noon to 3 p.m. Some of the playlist content contains themes and language not suitable for all audiences.
Black History Month Instagram Takeovers – Feb. 13, 20 and 27
Check out The Reach’s Instagram account (@thereachgallery) each Saturday in February when influencer Milca Tshimpaka takes over. Tshimpaka will leverage this accessible platform to deepen the collective awareness of the history and current reality of Black Canadians.
“The history of the enslaved Black Canadians should never be forgotten, pushed aside, or downplayed,” Tshimpaka says. “However, it’s not all there is to know about Black Canadian history.”
BC Family Day Video: “Black Hair: A (Long) Hair Story” – Feb. 13
On the BC Family Day weekend, tune into this family-friendly video highlighting Black hair culture. Join emerging filmmaker Jerusalem Amosha as she explores both historical and contemporary Black hair practices with stylists from the Fraser Valley.
Amosha explains her inspiration for the film, and why celebrating Black hair expression in the Fraser Valley is so important: “There’s a lot of pride in Black hair culture because of what it can indicate, like social status, tribe, identity, so this isn’t just ‘hair.’ The pressure to fit in with mainstream white society to camouflage ourselves is slavery’s impact on Black hair. It can tell you who I am if you pay attention.”
Mental Health and Anti-Black Racism Panel Discussion – March 5
The past year has been a challenging one, with recent events amplifying the stark reality of systemic racism experienced by minority groups around the world and in the Fraser Valley. This virtual panel discussion will bring together Black mental health professionals from across the region to discuss the challenges of today’s mental health landscape and strategies to help people in their mental health journey. Visit thereach.ca closer to the date for details about registration and participating panelists.