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

Each needs the other to be. “

African proverb

In February 2020, 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

The Slavery Triangle

Liverpool, England was one of the major ports in The Slavery Triangle. Today it is home to the International Slavery Museum. Admission is free, to the permanent and temporary exhibits, but in Britain they celebrate Black History Month in October.

Donovan Bailey

Running was not Donovan Bailey’s first love, but eventually he realized he had something to prove on the track! Few Canadians will ever forget his glorious victories at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and his reign for a time, as the fastest man in the world! He was the first, of only two men to hold all three titles of Olympic Champion, Wolrd Champion and World Record Holder These days,

Suzette Mayr

Writer, Suzette Mayr’s most recent book, Monoceros, is a tragi-comic tale of bullying and teen suicide. She provides a unique voice from Calgary, Alberta, in her 4 novels, books of poetry and anthologies. Mayr often writes about the multi-cultural and inter-racial realities of Canada today. Her work has been nominated for several literary awards. https://www.rcinet.ca/bhm-en/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2012/02/24-Suzette-Mayr.mp3 Credits: Carribean Trip – (C.Bolten) CAV Music AVCD 749 Bobo – (Salif Keïta) Universal Music

Along the Tracks: Jamal Clarke

Along the Tracks, tells the story of Jamal Clarke, a strong, young community leader. Jamal grew-up in the Jane and Finch community of Toronto. That’s where he created “Friends in Trouble”, to strengthen the diverse community and provide an example and inspiration for the youth. A film by Ashley Bowes for the Digital Diversity contest Documentary, Toronto, Ontario, 2007, 8 min 03 s

Abdallah of Mile-End

Abdallah is a Djiboutian-born Canadian who lives in Montreal’s Mile-End neighbourhood, famous for its cultural diversity and vibrancy of life. Everyone who meets Abdallah is immediately struck by his sheer enthusiasm for life. He tells good jokes, too.

The Afro

“Where are you from?” A seemingly easy question becomes difficult to answer for a Canadian immigrant as she examines the complexities of origin. Using poetry, spoken word artist Amani takes us on a personal journey that defines her Canadian identity without denying her cultural history. A film by Lucius Dechausay Documentary, Scarbourough, Ontario, 2007, 3 min 45 s from the Digital Diversity contest of Radio Canada International

George Elliott Clarke

A seventh-generation Canadian, George Elliot Clarke has shared his award-winning talent teaching English and Canadian Studies at Duke, in North Carolina, at McGill in Montreal and then he settled at the University of Toronto, where he is currently the E. J. Pratt Professor.  He is an expert in Canadian and African diasporic literature.

Dr. Hervé Blanchard

The pioneer in pediatric liver transplants saved countless lives

Everybody Plays the Piano…But Not Like Oliver Jones

Oliver Jones talks about his life as a musician and how the music led his course to rediscover his roots. This world renowned pianist has worked with many artists and says the ones who have impressed him most are those who have remained humble. He has remained humble himself by remembering where he started. A film by Awakhiwe Dlodlo, for Radio Canada International Documentary, Montreal, 2010, 5 min 10 s

Charlie Biddle

Remembered as the father of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Charles Biddle lent his name to the club that kept the groove going year-round.  Biddles, now known as The House of Jazz, was a draw for jazz stars and fans, from around the world.  Charles Biddle was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.  The Saint Jean Baptiste Society said, ‘without him, Quebecers might not have developed


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?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...