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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. From our archives Danger, hardship, heroism and tragedy. All are features of black immigration to Canada in the nineteenth century. The story of black immigration to Canada began 400 years ago with the arrival of the French at Port Royal. John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, signed…

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…

Portia White

In Portia White’s hometown of Truro, Nova Scotia there is a monument in her memory. Following her international career she settled in Toronto and taught voice until she died in 1968.  In 2007 she was posthumously awarded the Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Fruit That Grows Anywhere: Alex Cuba

This Cuban Canadian feels comfortable living in a small town in Smithers, BC, Canada. And Alex Cuba doesn’t miss his Cuban roots because he has adapted well in his new country. He says his music is also Cuban-Canadian and he keeps searching in himself that fruit which can grow in both countries.

Up From the Roots

Set in Montreal, Quebec, ‘Up From The Roots’ examines the relationships that exist between the city’s various Caribbean-Canadian communities, as well as their roots and identity.

Remembering Our Original True Stories

This documentary follows a seventh generation Black Canadian man who goes to Jamaica for the second time, on a mission to document and reconnect with his Jamaican Maroons Roots. At Stepney Elementary School, in the birthplace of the legendary Bob Marley, as Papa Grand teaches and shares the oral history passed down to him from his Nova Scotian ancestors as well as from the Maroons of Acompong Town, Trelaney and…

Lou Hooper

Once Oscar Peterson’s piano teacher, Lou Hooper wrote ragtime classics like, The Cakewalk, Black Cat Blues, South Sea Strut and Uncle Remus Stomp.  Lou Hooper died in Charlottetown, PEI in 1977 not long after the debut of the ballet he wrote, called Congo.

George Frederick Johnson

George Frederick Johnson joined the army at 16 and witnessed military history during WW II.

Sam Langford

In 1955 Sam Langford was enshrined in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. And then in 1999, he was voted Nova Scotia’s top male athlete of the 20th century!

O Canada

In this animated spoken word piece, Lucius Dechausay, shares the challenges of forming a cultural identity in Canada: from Black history in Africville to his roots in The Dominican Republic.

William Hall

Black men fought in the battles that shaped our history and this is the story of the first awarded the Victoria Cross. A branch of the Canadian Legion in Halifax was eventually named in his honor and in 1967 William Hall’s medals were returned to Canada from England for display at Expo ’67 in Montreal. Now they are in the Nova Scotia Museum. Fils d’un ancien esclave, William Hall a…

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

The first black female newspaper editor in North America, Mary Ann Shadd Cary found a refuge and a springboard in Windsor, Ontario.

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

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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