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“You cannot paint white on white, black on black.  

Each needs the other to be. “

African proverb

In February 2018, as every year, Radio-Canada marks Black History Month with a varied program on all platforms.
This site includes exclusive content and recent archives on the realities facing our black fellow citizens. Learn more

Portraits of Black Canadians

Find out more about black Canadians who contributed to the building of Canada and who are making their mark every day.

About Black History Month

The first Black person in Canada, Mathieu Da Costa, arrived on the country’s East Coast in 1605. He’d sailed with Samuel de Champlain, hired as a valued interpreter. But for the many Blacks who arrived after him, the experience was very different. Black history in North America, unlike “White” history, must take into account the hundreds of thousands of Africans who were brought to this continent against their will. The…

Denial of anti-black experiences are ‘suffocating,’ says advocate

By Lynn Desjardins | When people talk about being subjected to anti-black racism, their friends or acquaintances will often downplay it, says Anthony Morgan, a lawyer and a community advocate. He says being black in Canada can sometime be suffocating. ‘Silencing a lot of African-Canadians’ “Often the experience of black people isn’t recognized when it comes to suffering, anti-black racism, issues of poverty. So, while we have different laws and…

Toronto charity set to celebrate Black History Month

By Lynn Desjardins | Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre is set to kick off two weekends of activities in what it bills as Toronto’s longest-running celebration of Black History Month. This is the 22nd edition of the Kuumba festival and it will focus on “the current political climate through workshops, panel discussions, comedy, music, film and more.” Community activist and author Desmond Cole will moderate discussions on “some of the most pressing issues…

Forgotten identity: Alberta black history not taught in schools

Bashir Mohamed came into the world stateless. He was born in Kenya in 1994 as a Somali refugee. At the time, Somalia’s central government had collapsed and Kenya did not recognize those born there as citizens, so he was without citizenship.

Windsor woman rejects ‘African-American’ label

Linda McCurdy says Canadians have much to learn about our country’s lengthy black history By Peter Duck, CBC News A black woman says people in Windsor should rethink the term they use when referring to people such as herself. Linda McCurdy’s ancestors escaped from slavery in the United States and arrived in Amherstburg 185 years ago. “I’ve been here long enough not to have to identify with some place else.”– Linda McCurdy…

Linda McCurdy on Black History Month

On the first day of Black History Month, we spoke to local lawyer and activist Linda McCurdy.

ViewPoint | Why it’s time for Black History month to go

OPINION: Writer Bee Quammie delves into Black History Month in Canada

New Canadian postage stamp for Black History Month 2017

The annual month long celebration and highlighting of Black History and accomplishments in Canada begins tomorrow for the month of February. This year Canada Post has issued a stamp to commemorate the arrival of Mathieu da Costa, the first black man to set foot in what became Canada. Sometimes going by the name d’Acosta, he was an African from the Benin Empire of West Africa hired as a translator for…

Black Girls Magazine now available

‘Black Girls Magazine‘ was the brainchild of Annette Bazira-Okafor, the mother of two daughters, who realized they were living in a vacuum in Toronto. The epiphany came during Bazira-Okafor’s PhD research at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). “So you kind of have, as a black mother, to sort of get out of your way and make an extra effort to find something out there that represents who…

Ferry named after civil rights hero

Viola Desmond’s name graces the bow of a new ferry serving eastern Canada in honour of her fight against racism and segregation, reports CBC. In 1946, Desmond went to a movie theatre in New Glasgow, in the eastern province of Nova Scotia, and refused to leave the section reserved for whites. She was dragged away by police and thrown in jail for the night.

Black lives mattering in Canada: history and reality

Black Lives Matter, the Toronto chapter, began the week defending their actions at Toronto’s high profile Pride Parade. They held a sit-in during the process, to highlight their demands. After 20 minutes the parade resumed, one in which the Prime Minister marched for the first time. By week’s end, however, the reality of Black people’s lives in North America is perhaps being viewed through a different lense.

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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