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By: Janice BandickPublished On: February 2, 2015
Black History Month is a time for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the black community. Black History Month is an opportunity to explore and celebrate the heritage, traditions and culture of African-Canadians.
Black History Month was officially recognized by Canada’s House of Commons in December, 1995. The first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine introduced a motion to designate February as Black History Month that was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.
Black History Month was recognized by the Canadian Senate in February 2008, after Senator Donald Oliver, the first black man appointed to the Senate, introduced a motion to have the Senate officially recognize February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada’s parliamentary position on Black History Month.
Black History Month is an opportunity for Canadians to recognize the past and present contributions that African-Canadians make to Canada in such areas as education, medicine, art, culture, public service, economic development, politics and human rights.
On February 1, 2015 the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism in Canada, issued the following statement to launch Black History Month:
“Every February, Canadians mark Black History Month, an important annual celebration of the accomplishments of Canadians who trace their family heritage to Africa and the Caribbean. The proud legacy of black Canadians goes back to the early beginnings of Canadian history. The great sacrifices and tremendous contributions of their community have helped to create the Canada of today… Canadians can find out more about prominent Black Canadians on the Government of Canada’s Black History Month website, which hosts the Black History Virtual Museum. As Minister for Multiculturalism, I also encourage Canadians to participate in the many celebrations that will take place across the country throughout February in honour of Black History Month.”
Black History Month is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the achievements and contributions of black Canadians who have helped make Canada the culturally diverse nation it is today.
For more information on Black History Month in Canada, please visit: