Africa Focus Week

Photo from Africa Heritage Awareness Club Facebook Page.  By Allison Trunkey '18

Last week, March 1-6, Skidmore celebrated Africa Focus Week, promoted by African Heritage Awareness Club (AHA). The Club hosted several events, namely the Taste of Africa Potluck on Wednesday a documentary showing of Mo & Me in the library on Thursday, and a public discussion of the spiritual practice, Voodoo, and a dance at Falstaff on Friday.

These events celebrated the nuance and beauty of African cultures, and sought to highlight the development of international recognition of African and Afro-Caribbean influences. As the week advanced, AHA events related progressively more to our own campus: Wednesday’s potluck celebrated rich African flavors and cooking traditions, Thursday’s documentary remembered a significant African icon who brought global recognition to African peoples, and Friday’s spiritual discussion and dance integrated African traditions directly into student life.

Thursday’s documentary, Mo & Me, follows Salim Amin’s poignant exploration of the life his father, Mohamed “Mo” Amin, influential Kenyan photojournalist and martyr. Amin exposed the suffering of the 1983 Ethiopian Famine to a global audience, prompting Live Aid’s “We Are The World” response, and launching him into worldwide prominence that lasted through his coverage of Idi Amin’s Uganda, and until his untimely death in a hijacked Ethiopian plane in 1996. For examples of Amin’s work, visit here, and for information on charity work done in his honor, visit here.

AHA Club, as it says on their Facebook page, is dedicated to increasing “awareness of African cultural practices and diaspora by sharing knowledge among the Skidmore and Saratoga Springs community” through interactive events and discussions. The Skidmore campus regularly offers opportunities to celebrate its own cultural diversity, and this focus week joins the ranks of past focus and awareness weeks organized through the Office of Student Diversity, including Culture Fest, Coming Out Week, Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, and Black History Month.

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