With Black History Month in full swing, many organizations on APSU’s campus are participating in and creating events to celebrate their heritage.
One such organization is the African-Caribbean Association, or the ACA, which was founded in February of 2019, just last spring.
“The purpose of the ACA is to bring a spirit of solidarity on campus between all black, African-American organizations, and to just spread African and Caribbean culture on campus,” said Josephine Amankwah, the current president and founder of the African-Caribbean Association.
Amankwah and her organization are hard at work bringing an assortment of different events to APSU, in conjunction with the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center, or WNDAACC and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or the NAACP.
“We have a lot of events during Black History Month with NAACP and with WNDAACC,” Amankwah said. “We have the black girls rock ceremony with all the other black organizations on campus and the female black sororities.”
Every year, Black Entertainment Television, or BET holds an event called Black Girls Rock! during which they celebrate black women in Hollywood. APSU plans to hold its own this year.
“We thought to do one [a Black Girls Rock! event] at APSU, to celebrate the black women we have on campus, that put in work and are in leadership positions,” Amankwah said.
There are several categories that one could fall into during this event, such as “She’s Got the Power,” which is aimed for a prominent female figure on campus and several others.
“She’s Got the Drip,’ for someone who is always looking nice when you see them,” Amankwah said. “And we have a faculty award that we are giving out, and we have a ‘He’s Got the Love, Too’ and that’s a black, male faculty member.”
Amankwah went on to explain that the awards are not limited to members of faculty, but rather any black woman on campus.
“We wish we could give them all something, but someone has to win,” Amankwah said.
The Black Girls Rock ceremony is not the only thing the ACA has planned.
They are also planning an event that Amankwah calls ‘The Taste of Africa and the Caribbean,” on Feb. 20.
“Our members cook traditional foods from their countries,” Amankwah said. “We’re partnering with the NAACP for that, and we’ll have a forum on the difference between African American culture and African culture, and cultural appropriation between the two.”
The other event Amankwah expressed excitement over is called ‘Move to the Afro Beat,’ which takes place on tFeb. 24.“We’re partnering with the dance department to teach a dance that has traditional African dance moves incorporated,” Amankwah said. “and after that, we’re having a black beauty forum with POP [Purpose on Purpose] which is a black empowerment group on campus. about black beauty and culture and in pop culture and in the workforce.”
At the end of the semester, the ACA and other organizations will be holding an event celebrating all Caribbean culture in what Amankwah called the Caribbean Festival.
“I think that for me personally, as president, my whole goal has been to have a lot of unity between black organizations on campus and between black people on campus in general,” Amankwah said, “I don’t think there should be a lot of division, whether you’re African, Caribbean or African American. We’re all one and we’re together. We’re about coming together as black people and supporting each other.”
The ACA is participating and hosting many events over the course of the month of February, and they are very excited about all of them.