Arisnel Mesidor, M.A., RCIC
February is the month for celebrating Black History in Canada
North America has been celebrating Black achievements and contributions since 1926. Canada also celebrates Black History Month every year in February.
This year, the theme of the celebration is “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day.” The government invited all Canadians to learn more about Black communities, their contributions to Canada, and how they continue to shape Canadian history.
The Black History Month virtual celebration will be held on Facebook, on February 17, 2022, at 7 pm. Black Canadians and their communities have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, as a navigator and interpreter in the early 1600s.
The role of Black Canadians and their communities in Canada has largely been ignored as a key part of Canada’s history. It is rarely mentioned that some of the Loyalists who settled in the Maritimes after the American Revolution were of African descent or that many African-descent soldiers made many sacrifices in war as far back as the War of 1812.
Many Canadians are unaware that Africans were enslaved in the territory now known as Canada, or how those who fought enslavement laid the foundation for Canada's diverse and inclusive society. As part of Black History Month, Black Canadians and their communities have made many important contributions to the history and development of this country.