By Joy Saha
University of Maryland students hailing from as close as Baltimore and Washington D.C., and as far as Nigeria and Ghana, gathered in Stamp on Friday to acknowledge the contributions of various cultures of the black diaspora from Africa.
To celebrate Black History Month, the African Students’ Progressive Action Committee hosted the Black Cultural Expo to appreciate “the many different people that have connections to the African continent,” said the committee’s president Clydelle Agyei, a junior public health science major
“Our organization mainly focuses on African communities, but this time we wanted to broaden the spectrum,” said ASPAC co-vice president Karsten Dankyi, a junior neurobiology and physiology major.
“We wanted to do Africans, African Americans, Afro-Latinos. Just something that everyone could come and share and learn something in the process.The first half of the Expo featured five students showcasing their photography, painting, a cosmetic line and a clothing brand.
Isha Kamara, a junior theater major, displayed Iced Out Cosmetics, her personal cosmetic line that featured brightly colored lipsticks, collections of false eyelashes and a variety of bold facial glitters. For Kamara, her business is more than just makeup. It’s also meant to empower and represent both the black community and the queer community.
“I saw that there wasn’t a lot of inclusion in beauty. Beauty doesn’t really include a lot of dark-skinned people of color and it also [doesn’t] include a lot of LGBT members,” she said.
“[I hope] people who are [for example] a black gay man or a Latina non-binary person can go on the internet and see people that look like them in makeup so they can have the pride to go out in makeup every day.”
Two student photographers, Alex Nnabue and Emmanuel Massalee, presented their personal websites that feature their photos and videos.