A full day of special conversations will commemorate and celebrate Black Consciousness Day – and the pride, power and practice of people of African descent all over the world on November 20.
Black Consciousness Day is an annual celebration in Brazil since 2003 and began being observed by the Brazilian Studies Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at The UWI, St Augustine, a few years ago. The section organised events for its students and out of that grew the inaugural Black Consciousness Festival, which began November 1 and will run through the month, said a media release.
The online festival is themed 20 Conversations for 2020. Each conversation is broadcast live via Zoom webinar and the festival’s social media and website,
Five conversations to be hosted on November 20 will cover the areas of African spirituality; education; young Brazilians connecting with their African ancestry; and revolution and righting in the Caribbean.
The conversations, anchored by knowledgable facilitators, have covered a gamut of timely topics, the release said.
Miss Universe 1977 Janelle Penny Commissiong facilitated a talk on Being Black in the Beauty Industry with Sheryland Neal and Helder Dias of the HDA Agency in Brazil on November 8. Neal spoke about her experiences with racism in the USA and her feeling of “going home” as an African-American woman that led her to compete in 2018 to be the Carnival queen of the legendary Afro-Bloco Ilê Aiyê in Brazil.
Commissiong said she experienced racist challenges as a Miss Universe contestant 40 years before; had nothing changed?
During The Social State of Africa discussion, facilitator Mike Okwoche, a prominent Nigerian broadcast journalist, talked with fellow Nigerian journalist Bukola Samuel-Wemimo, and Dr Kenneth Ombongi, a Kenyan historian. They looked at Africa’s history of underdevelopment and the way toward responsible government.
The festival also includes 20 Culturaltivities, a series of cultural activities from cooking demos to DJ dance parties.
The organising team is led by festival director Erica Ashton, and includes youth activist Nadella Oya (creative strategy and programming director), Heather Mac Intosh-Simon (partnership and sponsorship director), and Sean Samad (content and communications director).
The festival is streamed across all major platforms online and all the event videos are posted to its YouTube channel and website. Registration is free and open to all.
For more info:
www.theblackconsciousnessfestival.com / firstname.lastname@example.org