OUT OF THE DARKNESS, INTO THE LIGHT
Published on February 03, 2023
OUT OF THE DARKNESS, INTO THE LIGHT
Montreal Theme for Black History Month
Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities. By acknowledging these contributions, we give voice to the voiceless and enrich our society and our knowledge with the diverseness of peoples of African descent who contribute to Canada in all fields of endeavour, whether it be the sciences, the arts, or in public policy. If Canadian society were truly diverse. Inclusive and equal for all – there would be no need for a Black History month. Recognizing, celebrating and promoting Black accomplishments should not be relegated to one month a year but a normal daily practice. Even though we have come a long way, we need look no further than local and international news to know that we must do a lot better.
We recognize that history is often in the control of the conqueror and only recently in the last few decades has a piercing light been shed on what Canadians thought they knew to be true and the great omissions in our learned history. In order to learn and understand the full truth, to be empathetic and true allies of our black brothers and sisters – to ensure that our society is moving in the right direction of equality and inclusiveness for all, we are obligated to listen to their stories and experiences in their own words and to take responsibility for our actions which may or may not contribute to ensuring everyone’s rightful inclusion in Canadian society.
We have put together a short list of ideas and resources to explore the rich and extensive history of Black communities in Canada – not just for Black History Month but for every day.
THINGS TO DO:
- Support Black-Owned Businesses
- Learn About Noteworthy Black Figures and Their Contributions
- Donate to Charities That Support Anti-Racism Equity and Equality
- Purchase, Read, and Share Books by Black Authors
- Support and Learn About Black Women
- Participate in Online Events
- Attend Virtual Black History Month Celebrations & Events
BOOKS, ARTICLES AND VIDEOS:
History “The Enslavement of Black People in Canada”
Between c. 1629 and 1834, there were more than 4,000 enslaved people of African descent in the British and French colonies that became Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.
A great selection of works that feature Black creators, stories, and perspectives to celebrate Black History Month, curated by:
Film documentaries and information
Fascinating website with great variety (i.e. Montreal in the Jazz era)
THE HISTORY OF WORDS AND ETIQUETTE:
- RWJBarnabas Health: Say This Not That
- Racial Etiquette: The Racial Customs and Rules of Racial Behaviour in Jim Crow America
Statement by the Canadian Labour Congress Fatima Gardaad, National Coordinator, Anti-Racism on Black History Month 2023
Black care workers have long played a vital role in our care system, providing essential support and care—both paid and unpaid—that we all depend on. But Black care workers also face racism and discrimination within their workplaces. This reality has worsened for many during the pandemic and as our care systems crumble. We must address anti-Black racism and build a more inclusive and equitable environment for all care workers. This Black History Month and beyond, we’re shining a light on the Black care workers who pour their hearts into caring for us and our loved ones. Let’s show we care. Sign up to receive updates and opportunities to take action during Black History Month. Together we can build a stronger, anti-racist labour movement that honours and supports Black care workers and communities. Systems of racism and discrimination thrive on inaction. We can’t let that happen. Take Action this Black History Month