US Embassy in screenings or Black History month


February is a month of love; it is also Black History Month and, so, US Embassy in Lilongwe has organised film screenings and discussions to be held Wednesday and Thursday.

The free entry screenings and discussions at American Centre in Lilongwe will show documentaries about the lives of African- Americans who have worked to challenge bias and promote equality in United States of America.

US Embassy Public Affairs Officer Namita Biggins said Tuesday that films are one of the most attractive forms of visual education and entertainment.


“We use film screenings at the American Centre in Lilongwe and the American Corner in Mzuzu as well as at local schools and universities to educate and inspire youths to be active players in their own lives and as a base to start a discussion on various issues,” Biggins said.

She said that, just last week, they screened a movie Glory Road at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe to highlight the challenges faced by Black athletes in United States of America in 1960, and how they changed American sports forever.

“The US Embassy uses a number of other engaging activities to celebrate Black History Month in Malawi. For example, we hosted a guided exhibition last week that was open to the public,” Biggins said.


She further said that during the month of February, Americans celebrate the immeasurable contributions of the African diaspora and honour the legacies and achievements of those who fought for centuries against injustices that still persist today.

“African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all its forms including the denial of voting rights, segregation, lynching and police brutality. Starting with President Gerald Ford in 1976, every US president since has dedicated February to Black History Month,” she said.

Biggins said, today, Black History Month is also observed in Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Netherlands, although they celebrate it in October.

“In the United States, Black History Month is tied to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two influential challengers of slavery who were born in February,” she said.

Biggins said that as evidenced by the successful cultural movement in the 1920s called ‘The Harlem Renaissance’ in the United States, the fight for civil and human rights may be achieved through non-violent means such as literary, musical, theatrical and visual arts.

“Artists use their craft to start conversations, highlight struggle, societal issues, hope and solidarity in the face of racial oppression.

“Creatives use poetry, plays and films to confront stereotypes to imagine a present and future with significant African American leadership, and, most importantly, to inspire people to join resistance movements providing a platform of love and joy,” she said.

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