February 6, 2014
Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate Black Canadians and their many accomplishments. Black History Month was designated by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926. He chose the month of February to honour U.S. president Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass who were both born in that month. The motion to have Black History Month Recognized in Canada was done in 1995 by Jean Augustine the first Black woman elected into Parliament. However, Toronto has been observing Black History Month since 1979. That’s when the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) successfully petitioned the city for official recognition.
During Black History Month the Canadian Government will be focusing on two historical black communities; Africville in Halifax Nova Scotia, and Hogan’s Alley in Vancouver British Columbia. Canada Post is issuing new stamps throughout the month to honour these communities.
Prime Minister Steven Harper issued a statement with the following “This month, I encourage all Canadians to learn more about the important role that black Canadians have played, and continue to play, in building our great country and shaping our national identity, and to participate in the events and activities taking place to mark this important part of our heritage.”