“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

Black history curriculum updated in public board

‘It’s actually a kind of a necessity’ By Stacey Janzer, CBC News Inside the halls of West Gate public school you can see many styles of African art. Students have created their own African masks and some coloured patches for a freedom quilt. The Greater Essex County District School Board recently revised its African-Canadian studies for the elementary school grades. Called ‘African Canadian Roads to Freedom,’ the text suggests to teachers that

Black History Month blood drive in Montreal looks to address shortage

Adult education centre in Little Burgundy hosts special blood drive with Héma-Québec CBC News Héma-Québec aims to boost its blood donations from the black community with a Black History Month blood drive on Saturday in Little Burgundy. Despite an increase in donations over the past few years, Héma-Québec says work still needs to be done to bolster donations from minority groups. “Sickle-cell anemia has caused me many complications here and there in my life,” Delano George, 40,

George Elliot Clarke: The Motorcyclist (novel)

By Marc Montgomery George Elliot Clarke is a man of many words. Staunchly proud of his “africadian” roots in Nova Scotia, Clarke has gone from literary success to literary success. His latest work is a novel loosely based on the life of his father. It’s called “The Motorcyclist” Known primarily as a poet, Clarke is in fact Canada’s recently nominated Parliamentary poet Laureate. Playwright, literary critic, novelist, and Officer in

Reinterpreting Little Burgundy’s black history

By Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International | What do you do when you want to teach the youth the history of your community, especially, if that history is not featured in conventional history books? The Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC) in Montreal decided that the way to do it in the 21stcentury was by letting the youth to interpret that history various various art forms and then turn that into

Lawrence Hill: 11 books that shaped my life

Lawrence Hill is making a second run at the Canada Reads crown with his novel The Illegal, defended by Olympian Clara Hughes. The Illegal tells the story of Keita Ali, an elite marathoner fleeing persecution at home and deportation in the country he’s escaped to. As we gear up for Canada Reads 2016, Hill reflects on the 11 books that have shaped his life – from childhood favourites to the

Slave songs are a point of pride for Vancouver musician Khari McClelland

The songs of African-American slaves who crossed into Canada are more than 150 years old, but Vancouver-based musician Khari McClelland still takes pride in them today. McClelland’s great-great-great-grandmother Kizzy is one of those slaves, forgotten by the history books but remembered fondly by family. Even her last name has been lost. “She is totally the reason for my being,” says McClelland, a member of Vancouver-based gospel group The Sojourners. This is one of the few photographs of

Black history month: Slavery, blackface, even Lil Wayne in high school show

A twin brother and sister duo put on a show for Montreal high school students to prompt them to reconsider their beliefs about race and what they think they know about black history.

Profile: Lincoln Alexander

In 1945, Cpl. Lincoln Alexander was refused service at a Vancouver bar because he was black. Forty years later, the son of West Indies immigrants was appointed Ontario’s 24th lieutenant-governor, the first black Canadian to be appointed to a viceregal position in Canada. Born in Toronto in 1922, Alexander accomplished several firsts for Canada’s black community. During WWII, he was one of the few blacks who were allowed to enlist in

Francisca Mandeya’s journey from Zimbabwe to Nunavut

‘It’s surprising how we always want to look for difference where there’s actually a lot of similarity’ By Sima Sahar Zerehi, CBC News Francisca Mandeya gets teary-eyed when speaking about her three kids. She came to Nunavut as a refugee from Zimbabwe just over a year ago but she couldn’t bring her children with her. “Sometimes life doesn’t give you a choice,” said Mandeya. “I was in a position that I

Black History Month- Toronto Black Film Fest

Toronto Ontario is the most culturally and ethnically diverse city in Canada, and one of the biggest celebrations of diversity is coming this week.

It’s only been four years, but the Toronto Black Film Festival has grown by leaps and bounds. This is not only in audience participation, but in it’s importance and influence


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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