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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…

Events change Black History Month, says journalist

The killings of unarmed black men by police in the United States has changed the conversation about race relations going into Black History Month this year, says freelance journalist Desmond Cole. https://www.rcinet.ca/bhm-en/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/02/Interview-Lynn_2015-02-04.mp3 ‘History must link with today’ Traditionally the month February features celebrations of prominent Canadians of African descent from the past and present, some of their struggles, and achievements. But Cole says there is no value in looking a…

CBC – 23 historical black Canadians you should know

February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the stories, experiences, and accomplishments of Canada’s black community. Here are 23 black Canadians who made major contributions to Canada’s culture and legacy. Read more

CBC – Ottawa celebrates Black History Month with TD Then & Now

TD Then & Now: Black History Month series kicks off in Ottawa January 20th, with a series of events to celebrate black culture in the community.

CBC – Black History Month: 6 black Canadian culture-makers

February is Black History Month in Canada, which provides an opportunity to celebrate some of the movers and shakers at the heart of this country’s arts and culture scene – and the icons who helped inspire them.

Black drop-out rate in Canada “a national disgrace”: Professor Afua Cooper

Black students in Canada are not doing well, and according to Professor Afua Cooper, the statistics are a “national disgrace”.   ‘School to prison pipeline’ Professor Cooper, a scholar, author and Dub poet, is the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies. Her mission is to raise the profile of African Nova Scotian history to Nova Scotians and Canadians. But she is not optimistic. Professor Cooper says with drop-out rates…

ARTS- book :Done With Slavery- author Frank Mackey

Many people might be surprised to learn that slavery did exist in the former French and later British colonies of Lower and Upper Canada. Author Frank Mackey in his Montreal office © courtesy F Mackey It ended well before Canada came into being as a country, but unlike most areas around the world, it did not come to a sudden end, but rather a more gradual one. Attitudes and treatment of slaves,…

Canada, apartheid, and Nelson Mandela

The death of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela in December, 2013, sparked a wave of condolences and memories around the world. In Canada, people remembered not only his actions but also his connection to Canada. Canada’s relationship with the apartheid regime in South Africa was sometimes contradictory. Announcing sanctions, but continuing to do business until 1977. In the 1980s, Canada’s Prime Minister Brian Mulroney broke with other western leaders to step…

Slavery Remembered

The UN declared 2004 the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition. Slavery has existed since time immemorial, but what began in Africa in the 9th century increased dramatically with the discovery of the New World in the 16th century. One of the greatest tragedies of humankind, there is no record of just how many people were violently displaced by slavery, but estimates run from 30…

Slavery Laws

The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers.

Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada

Distinguished Black and White Activists campaigned for the abolition of slavery

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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