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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Black History and Multicultural Event celebrates diverse culture, perspectives

18th annual Black History and Multicultural Event hosted in Guigna Guange Hall

On Feb. 6, the Guigna Guange Hall hosted its 18th Annual Black History and  Multicultural Event. The event was filled with music, free food and inspirational speeches and stories from all perspectives of life. The thought of the event thrilled Vicky Ma, a first-year mechanical engineering student at UC Davis.

“It’s a good introduction to the rich and diverse culture for people who know nothing ‘bout it,” Ma said. “[The event] really brings awareness to something undermined in the past. It gives an opportunity to learn more about it and its connections to part of our community.”

The event, which took place on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., attracted many people who came for the musical performances, exhibits, speeches and free lunch provided by Cache Creek Casino. Many guests also brought in their own side dishes to share.

Musical performances were conducted by Clarence Van Hook, one of the events founders, along with a local mariachi band. There were also cultural dance performances by the groups Praise Dance and Native American Pomo Dances.

Guest speakers included UC Davis’ Chancellor Gary May. His talks were titled “Price of being Born Black in America” and “Why.” Other speeches made by other guest speakers included “The Multicultural History of Capay Valley.”

Along with the many festivities, the multicultural event included an essay contest for high school seniors. The prompt this year was “Cultural History in Yolo County.” The winner of the contest was announced and awarded $500 at the event.

Exhibits also dotted the event area, sponsored by Yolo County Historical Society and the Yolo County Archives.

 Following a long tradition, the 18th annual celebration is organized by Van Hook, Judge Dave Reed and a group of dedicated community volunteers.

The event started about 17 years ago as a black history celebration. Since then, the event has gained more popularity and evolved into a multicultural celebration recognizing other cultures and their contributions to the region. The event is always celebrated on the second Saturday of February.

The Greater Capay Valley Historical Society has extensively documented and recorded African American history in the region. In 1890, Green Berry Logan, the first African American to homestead in the region, blazed the trail for the small, growing community. Since the Logan family’s arrival, many other African Americans from across the country came to the frontier, and the once small, unknown town became rich with diversity. The location soon became known as “The Hill, The Heaven or the Summit.”

“California also did not encourage Blacks to settle here — but things were different in the Capay Valley. Our schools were never segregated,” according to the website.

Eui Hyung, a first-year economics major at UC Davis, emphasized the importance of the event on the greater community, as well as on rich cultural diversity.

“It is important, and needed as it’s a month needed to celebrate the significant contribution that African Americans made throughout our history,” Hyung said. “It’s important to celebrate this because it’s important to remember them and their achievements, and this event really captures that.”
Written by: John Regidor — city@theaggie.org


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