2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Visual by Megan Koch

ACSA shows appreciation for all hair types this Black History Month

By Sophia Lopez, February 8 2022—

The month of February marks Black History Month, and to honour it, the African-Caribbean Student Association (ACSA) at the University of Calgary are calling students in the Black diaspora to participate in the DMX challenge.

In an interview with the Gauntlet, ACSA’s VP Marketing Maeva Kouakou discussed how the trending TikTok challenge is a great way to connect U of C students during Black History Month.

“A lot of Black women took part in it –– whoever was participating in the challenge would show a picture of themselves with their different hairstyles,” explained Kouakou. “So it could be braids, it could be wearing your afro out, or if you cover your hair for any religious reasons. It was just a fun challenge that really showed how versatile Black women are when it comes to the way that they present themselves.”

Kouakou mentioned how the ACSA is collecting student photos until Feb. 10, and that those photos will be put together to create a video honouring Black hairstyles and will be shared on their social media accounts.

“We are encouraging, particularly students of African or Black descent, to participate, and all they have to do is just email us or DM us a picture of themselves,” she said. “Just a fun picture that you like that shows off a certain hairstyle — and then just send it to us and you’ll be put into the video.”

In addition to this challenge, Kouakou urges all students to share information and learn more about Black culture through social media as a way to show support to the Black community.

“Speaking from the perspective of VP Marketing, I do a lot of our social media. A big part of how people can support us is to share the content,” she said. “Educating yourself, taking in that content, reading it, making the effort –– I think the more knowledge goes around, the better we can understand each other.”

The ACSA celebrates and shares African and Caribbean culture, and while the club aims to create a safe space for African and Caribbean students, Kouakou encourages all students to come participate in events and learn about the culture. With monthly events like Speak your Truth, where anyone can come and express themselves freely, Kouakou explained how events like these really can bring everyone together. 

“Whether or not you’re African and Caribbean — you’re invited,” said Kouakou. “So when we have things like Speak your Truth, whether online or in person, just come through, have fun with us, participate in what we’re doing. Everybody’s welcome.”

Kouakou highlighted the importance of Black History Month and what it’s truly all about, especially from an academic perspective. 

“Black History Month is about reminding people of the achievements of Black people and just affirming that we’re part of this world history,” she said. “It’s also important for other people to educate themselves on Black History Month, but also on the accomplishments that we’re showing off and on, our history and just to gain an understanding of who we are as well.”

The deadline to participate in the DMX challenge and send in your photos to the ACSA is Feb. 10. For more information on the ACSA and more Black History Month events, visit the ACSA Instagram page

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet