A group of English teachers will hold the country’s first Black History Month Festival in Daegu on Saturday.
Jet Cessant, one of the organizers, said the festival was being supported by the U.S. Embassy.
“Several English teachers pitched the idea (for the festival) to the U.S. Embassy, and they liked the idea so much they decided to sponsor part of the event,” he said
In Korea, stereotypes about black people still abound, but Cessant believes that this festival will demonstrate that African-American culture is about more than just hip-hop and basketball.
“African-American culture influences many trends in Korea, but the Korean perception of African-Americans is often very narrow and closed-minded,” he said.
“Black people are more than the stereotypes that the media portrays. We hope that the Black History Month Festival gives Korea a better understanding of contributions made by African-Americans both in the past and the present.”
The festival will kick off with a screening of Lee Daniels’ SAG- and BAFTA-nominated film “The Butler,” followed by a discussion about the African-American experience in both the U.S. and Korea.
The highlight of the day will be a stage show, featuring some of Korea’s most talented stars in everything from hip-hop and dance to poetry.
With both Koreans and foreigners already expressing an interest in attending the Festival, Cessant has high hopes for the future of Black History Month in Korea.
“We hope that the festival becomes an annual event in Daegu,” he said. “We also hope that other cities can host similar events.”
The Black History Month Festival will run from 11 a.m., with “The Butler” screening in the Daegu American Corner of in Jungang Library before live performances at The Stage in Daegu Department Store starting at 2 p.m. A gathering at Rock’N Tacos will round off the celebrations.
For more information, visit the event website at www.daegubhm.splashthat.com.
By Kate Bolster (firstname.lastname@example.org)