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African Diaspora Conference Celebrates Black History

The Brooklyn Campus commemorated Black History Month with the 4th African Diaspora Conference on February 12, focusing on African-American heritage, identity, migration and representation.

“Our idea with the Diaspora projects is to show how culture gets transformed when it moves from place to place, what happens when it gets absorbed and altered,” said Dance Department administrator Noel Hall, who helped coordinate the event.

“We want to give the campus and neighboring communities an opportunity to view aspects of various cultures that they may not otherwise see,” he said, adding, “We also hope to create a repository of data for scholarly research.” Other Diaspora conferences have focused on Hispanic, Asian and Eastern European cultures. In the fall semester, a Diaspora conference on India will take place on October 8.

Among the participants in the day-long conference was Trinidad-born poet Cheryl Boyce Taylor, author of two poetry collections, “Raw Air” and “Night When Moon Follows.” There was a performance by the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company, an acclaimed ensemble founded in 1981 by choreographer Abdel R. Salaam that blends modern dance, West African dance and martial arts. In addition, West Indian sculptor Veronica Ryan’s mixed-media installation of found and created objects, “Archeology of the Black Sun,” was exhibited in the Salena Gallery.

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