The origins of Black History Month can be traced to 1926, when Black historian Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week to celebrate the history, contributions and culture of African-Americans. February was chosen to link the birth dates of Black activist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
In Canada, official recognition came in the early 1950s when the Canadian Negro Women's Association successfully petitioned Toronto City Council to acknowledge the week. In the 1970s, the Council, after lobbying by the newly formed Ontario Black History Society, declared that February would be known as Black History Month.
National recognition followed on December 14, 1995 when the House of Commons unanimously agreed to a motion formally recognizing Black History Month and the importance of Black History for all Canadians.
To kick off this years events, Executive Officer Sgt. Emmy Iheme and Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator Cst. Pam Devine attended the Black History Month celebration at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. The group in attendance heard from several speakers including Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynn; Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell; Durham MPP, Granville Anderson; and keynote speaker Mrs. Mary Anne Chambers, former Minister of Children and Youth Services. Dont let anyone define your identity and potential, she said. It is easier to build a child than to repair a broken man. Mrs. Chambers urged everyone to invest in our youth and encourage young people to be the best they can be.
There are several events taking place here in Durham Region to mark Black History Month, please take some time to join in the celebration:
February 7, 2015 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Ajax Welcome Centre, 458 Fairall Street, Ajax:
Black history month 2015 Championing Our Future
February 8, 2015- 1:30-4:30 p.m at the Ajax Public Library, 55 Harwood Avenue South, Ajax:
Movie Get On Up (Introduction and discussion after the movie)
February 21, 2015 5:00 8:00 p.m. at J. Clark Richardson Collegiate, 1355 Harwood Avenue North, Ajax:
Performances, Food and celebration
Black History Month (JPG file, 1,427.4K bytes)