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Iona Celebrates Black History Month With Art and Dance

Allison Saffo ’18 Marketing

The Iona College community kicked off its celebration of Black History Month in February with the opening reception of a special art exhibit titled “Black Culture As Is: Ya Feel Me.”

Displayed at the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery, the exhibition explored perspectives of African American artists who created pieces on the themes of emotional trauma, spirituality, self-exploration, optimism and cultural identity.

Iona also had the privilege of hosting Step Afrika! on campus. Step Afrika! is a professional dance company, founded in 1994, that dedicates its practice and style to the tradition of stepping, a form of dance in which the participant’s body is used as an instrument to produce rhythm and sound through footsteps, spoken word and hand claps. Step Afrika! is ranked one of the top 10 African American dance companies in the United States, and will soon be taking their performance to Broadway.

Several on-campus organizations helped sponsor the events during this month, including the Council of the Arts, Gaels Activities Board, Black Student Union, the Student Life Diversity Committee, Phi Gamma Chi Sorority, and the Student Leader Alliance for Multicultur-alism. This was a great opportunity to promote cultural awareness on campus and celebrate the lives of historical African American figures.

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