Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February is Canada's Black History Month

Alberta has become the fourth province in Canada to proclaim February as Black History Month. In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons. The month-long celebration recognizes the contributions of people of African and Caribbean descent.

During Black History Month, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

It was recently announced that Civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond will be immortalized on Canada’s $10 bill. When the new banknotes enter circulation in 2018, Desmond will be the first woman who is not a Royal to have her face featured on Canadian currency. Called the “Rosa Parks of Canada,” Desmond defied the colour barrier at a New Glasgow, N.S., movie house in 1946.

Whether it be politician Leonard Braithwaite, writer Claire Harris. musician Clarence Horatio Miller, hockey player Grant Fuhr, baseball player Ferguson Jenkins, filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton, the aforementioned pathfinder Jean Augustine, or dancer John Alleyne the names of Black Canadians who have excelled and contributed to the fabric of Canada's culture are many. For more information visit the Canadian Encyclopedia page on Black History Month and for a more detailed account of Viola Desmond watch below.

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