History in evolution

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | For the first time, the NHL will be adapting the thrust of its February campaign of “hockey is for everyone” to a focus of celebrating Black History Month. The league (NHL) and the players association (NHLPA) have joined to mark the new campaign focus with special websites have set up to highlight the achievements and contributions of black players throughout the years. Canadian Willie O’Ree…

New collector coin honours civil rights icon

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | In a small incident that has since become legendary, North America’s first fight for black rights will be honoured once again by the Royal Canadian Mint. In 1946, years before the Rosa Parks incident in the U.S., Canadian businesswoman Viola Desmond, refused to give up her seat in a “whites only” section of a movie theatre in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Arrested and charged with…

New stamp honours first black letter carrier

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Lynn Desjardins | February is Black History Month in Canada and this year, Canada Post is marking the occasion by issuing a stamp depicting Albert Jackson, likely the first black mail carrier in Canada. Jackson was born into slavery in the United States in the 1850s. His mother escaped with seven children including Albert who was a toddler at the time and came to Canada via the…

The story of the Black Porters on Canadian railways

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | It was a unique chapter in Canadian history.  The age of rail travel blossomed in the 20th century, and along with it a need for workers aboard the trains to help the passengers, particularly those in the sleeping cars. They were almost exclusively black, and later helped change Canadian immigration law, and by extension, the shape of modern Canada A new book tells their story…

Anti-violence campaign involves black youth in Ontario

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Lynn Desjardins | As part of a $47-million-dollar anti-racist Black Youth Action Plan, the government of the province on Ontario has mandated several campaigns including one that involves five videos and four live events. The project by Innovate Inclusion aims to reduce instances of violence. “The Violence 360 campaign takes a preventative approach by providing the black community as well as the community at large with examples…

Black History Month: time for it to go?

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Carmel Kilkenny | Black History Month may have outlived its usefulness according to Bee Quammie, a young writer, speaker and producer in Toronto. Listen to the interview At the beginning of February in 2017, Quammie aired her views on the CBC’s National news broadcast, talking about why it was “Time for Black History Month To Go”. She described being “fed up with the whole thing”, having the talks…

Positive change for black youth in Ontario is project goal

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Lynn Desjardins | The Toronto company, Urban Rez Solutions has launched a three-pronged project as part of a province of Ontario government campaign to reduce violence for its black citizens. The government has committed $47 million over four years to its Black Youth Action Plan and the funds will go to several groups in hopes of supporting 10,800 black children, youth and their families annually. ‘Telling our…

Breaking a colour barrier in sports

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | The year was 1934 in the central province of Ontario, and the sport was baseball. Baseball was the huge major summer sport in North America and stadiums were always filled. Long before Jackie Robinson would break the colour barrier in major league baseball with the Montreal Royals, a small town team made major headlines. Based in the southwestern corner of the province in the mostly…

Black families historic land claims moving forward

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Carmel Kilkenny | Black families in Nova Scotia are among the original settlers of this country. “Freedom and a farm” During the American Revolution the first wave of Black Loyalists, who were then slaves in the 13 colonies the began the United States, came north lured by the British promise of “freedom and a farm”. They served with the British forces and were settled on some of…

Ontario acts on violence against blacks

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Lynn Desjardins | Three groups are getting government funding to help reduce violence for black children, youth and families in the province of Ontario. The campaigns will work on prevention by looking at the root causes of violence. One project called Innovate Inclusion involves producing between three and five YouTube videos featuring young adults who have overcome violence. They will speak to the importance of self-worth and…

RCI • Radio Canada International
Luc Simard – Director of Diversity and Relations. Radio-Canada

Your opinion on Black History Month

Black History Month is only celebrated in North America and in the UK. Do you think it should be celebrated all over the world?

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