Forty-one years after, FESTAC 77 was commemorated recently with public lecture and exhibition during the Black History Month by Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC). The event held jointly with Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, featured paper presentation and cultural performances.
Acting Director-General, CBAAC, Mrs Ndidi Aimienwauu, welcomed guests to the occasion which was themed “Beyond racial myths, prejudices and stereotypes: African/Black Diaspora studies in a changing world.”
The occasion was chaired by Prof Babatunde Sofela, History Department, University of Ibadan, while the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Abel Idowu, (represented by Professor Kayode Adebowale) noted “this event is tied to history because it helps us to chronicle events in the past and also determines where we are presently.”
Guest lecturer, Prof Okpeh Ochayi Okpeh, who is the National President of Historical Society of Nigeria, in his paper, Beyond Racial Myths, Prejudices, and Stereotypes: African/Black Diaspora Studies in a Changing World averred:“The struggle against racial and ethnic oppression and the strategies of resistance to exploitation that has characterized the African Diaspora for more than five centuries seem all the more relevant as contemporary ethnic and racial conflicts proliferate around the globe.”
He concluded thus: “Racial stereotypes and prejudices have influenced the way African/Black Diaspora experience has been handled over the years, and why this necessarily has to be transcended by modern scholars as humanity advances.”
Guests later converged at Cornelius Adepegba Museum of Africa Arts, Institute of African Studies, Ile-Ife, Osun State, where works of former African leaders were exhibited and various cultural troupes entertained guests with their performances.