February 2021 marks the 26th anniversary of Black History Month in Canada, and it presents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people in Canada and elsewhere.
People of African descent have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter whose presence in Canada dates back to the early 1600s.
The commemoration of Black History Month dates back to 1926, when Harvard University-educated African American historian Carter G. Woodson proposed setting aside a time devoted to honour the accomplishments of African Americans and heighten awareness of Black history in the United States. This led to the establishment of Negro History Week in 1926.
Celebrations of Black history began in Canada shortly thereafter. The week became known as Black History Week in the early 1970s and was expanded into Black History Month in 1976. The House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada in December 1995 following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to parliament, Jean Augustine. – Continue reading Steve McLean’s feature on Samaritanmag.com