why do we celebrate black history month in canada

Every year, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present. Canadians take this time to celebrate the many who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today. During Black History Month, Canadians can gain insight into the experiences of black Canadians and their vital role in the community. anniversary since Black History Month was first officially celebrated by the Government of Canada. The month-long celebration was formally recognized following a introduced in the House of Commons by the first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine.


The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons in December 1995 and the Government of Canada officially celebrated Black History Month for the first time in 1996. In honour of this anniversary, the Government of Canada will recognize this important milestone through its events and promotional materials, including its educational poster. Black History Month will highlight key milestones and courageous accomplishments of those who helped shaped CanadaБs Black History. б We recognize contributions and moments from, the, the
and from all fields who have played defining roles in CanadaБs history. б б Learn more about, and the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Black History Month in the.


In December 2014, the Government of Canada declared January 21 to be Lincoln Alexander Day. The Honourable Lincoln Alexander (1922-2012) became the first black Member of Parliament in Canada on June 25, 1968. In 1985, he also became the first visible minority to be appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In honour of Lincoln Alexander Day, a has been designed.


Why a Black History Month? Rosemary Sadlier, Immediate Past OBHS President But why have a Black History Month? African Canadian students need to feel affirmed; need to be aware of the contributions made by other Blacks in Canada; need to have role models; need to understand the social forces which have shaped and influenced their community and their identities as a means of feeling connected to the educational experience and their life experience in various regions in Canada. They need to feel empowered. The greater Canadian community needs to know a history of Canada that includes all of the founding and pioneering experiences in order to work from reality, rather than perception alone.


As a people, with roots dating back to 1603, African-Canadians have defended, cleared, built and farmed this country; our presence is well established, but not well-known. The celebration of Black History Month is an attempt to have the achievements of Black people recognized and told. We need a Black History Month in order to help us to arrive at an understanding of ourselves as Canadians in the most accurate and complete socio-historical context that we can produce.


As a nation with such diversity, all histories need to be known, all voices need to be expressed. Black history provides the binary opposite to all traditional histories. One needs traditional history to engender a common culture; one needs Black history to engender a clearer and more complete culture. When the contributions of people of African descent are acknowledged, when the achievements of Black people are known, when Black people are routinely included or affirmed through our curriculum, our books and the media, and treated with equality, then there will no longer be a need for Black History Month.