Black History Month events go virtual 


Raquel Hamner

KanKouran performers teach participants how to play traditional African drums on campus during a Black History Month in 2018. This year’s celebrations will be virtual.

Jazsmine Hill, Diversity Editor

AACC chose “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” as its theme for Black History Month in February.  

Among the college’s Black History Month events are a Feb. 19 talk by an artist who advocates for social justice and a cooking demonstration on Feb. 26. 

Annapolis street artist Comacell Brown will join representatives from Black Lives Matter of Maryland for a virtual conversation called “Real Talk: Lunch with The Black Family” on Friday.  

The organizers are sending a list of black-owned restaurants to participants who register so they can order lunch before the discussion of the current social and political climate.   

“You know how black people get together for lunch or dinner and just talk,” Dr. Nicole Williams, coordinator of AACC’s Black History Month, said.  

The following week, Annapolis chef Zanett Belt will demonstrate how to make her great-great grandmother’s crab cake recipe. Participants will receive a shopping list when they register for the virtual event so they can cook along with the chef.  

Earlier this month, the student E-Club hosted the 22-year-old black co-founder of Beagle Drones, who spoke about starting a drone business. Dwight Neptune said he aims to create a diverse, tolerant culture at his company. 

Williams said the pandemic has changed the way the campus celebrates Black History Month. 

“Everything is virtual now and that alone is a lot of work,” Williams said. “Now you have to register for the events and receive the links. Sometimes instructors would take their class to the events.” 

She added: “The energy is different on campus than it is sitting in front of a computer. I don’t think there will be much participation from students now that we are virtual.” 

Students said learning about black history is important.  

“Celebrating Black History Month is important because lives were lost during slavery,” first-year transfer studies student Jay Meade said. “It’s important to celebrate the lives that influence how we live today.” 

First-year biology student Supriya Jones agreed.  

“We celebrate the African Americans … coming to this country and being who you are, even embracing who you are,” Jones said. “I think it’s important for every culture. It’s important for students to know what happened. We should all enrich ourselves in history and acknowledge it,” she said.