UM-Flint Celebrates African Culture with Africa Week

Patrick Hall, Writer

The month of February is often known for the celebration of  love, heart health, Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month. At UM-Flint, one week in February is specifically utilized to celebrate African culture, history, and its beautiful traditions through various events.

The fourth annual Africa Week, held by UM-Flint’s Department of Africana Studies, Black Student Union, African Student Association, and the College of Arts and Sciences, will be held this week, starting on Sunday, Feb. 4 through Saturday, Feb. 10.

The week will feature artists, experts on Africa, and works stretching from the local area to those on a global scale, giving students the opportunity to gain more knowledge on African history and a different cultural experience.

Guluma Gemeda, associate professor and co-chair of Africa Week’s planning committee, believes that the events scheduled are significant for students.

“I believe the scheduled events are very important because they provide opportunities for our students and community members to learn something new about Africa outside the classroom,” said Gemeda.

Today, from 1o a.m. until 1 p.m. at St. Paul Episcopal Church, there was a service and dance performance by Angels in Motion.

Tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 5, at the University Center (UCEN) in the Happenings Room from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., the week’s annual lunch and lecture will be held, featuring guest speaker Dorceta E. Taylor, Ph.D., the director of diversity, equality, and inclusion at the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Registration is required to attend.

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, there will be an exhibit on African architecture in the UCEN from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.. This temporary exhibit, presented by the African Student Association and UM-Flint Student Lovelyn Epelle, will feature 30-minute presentations at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 7, there will be a presentation on Eve Ensler’s work on violence against women in the Congo from 5 until 7 p.m. in Michigan Room C in the UCEN. The presentation will be followed by a discussion correlating with the subject.

On the fifth day of Africa Week in the UM-Flint Theatre starting at 6 p.m., The Vagina Monologues will be presented–a play that serves to bring attention to stopping violence against women.

On Friday, Feb. 9, the week’s scheduled event will occur outside of campus from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Flint Institute of Arts. Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence is an art exhibit that showcases a form of textile art known as ndwango.

A membership to the museum is free for college students and they can sign up online at: or at the museum.

At Totem Books from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.10, children’s stories from Africa will be read.

“As the Chair of Africana Studies Department, I am excited about Africa Week and the Black History Month program because these series of events play a vital role in enhancing campus wide and community awareness about vital issues of cultural diversity, inclusion, and equality,” said Dauda Abubakar, PhD. “Through conversations at the public lecture and the art exhibits, these series of programs animate positive discussions that enhance intercultural understanding and community cohesion around issues that bind us together as a common humanity.”

Africa Week’s events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit:  or call 810-762-3353.