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February is Here and There is a Whole Lot of Learning and Commemoration To Do

February is here and there is a whole lot of learning and commemoration to do

Its February again.

For me, it's an important time to reflect on the history of black people. It is also a time for me to learn more about black people. As someone born some 12,000 miles away, in Zimbabwe, I will readily confess that my knowledge of Black Canadian history is very limited. I knew about Rosa Parks before landing at Pearson Airport but I didn't know about Viola Desmonds. I didn't have even an iota of knowledge around the life and work of Josiah Henson, Abraham Doras Shadd and Kay Livingstone.

Even more importantly, Black History Month (BHM) is an opportunity for me to use every platform I can access to encourage other people to learn and commemorate the history and stories of Black people.

Black people have been in these Kanata parts for four centuries. So I see Black history as Canadian history. I say that because a lot of people approach BHM with some fear. Maybe it's fear of saying the wrong things. Maybe it's fear that this is a place and space that they don't belong to.

I don't presume to know who belongs where. I can only invite you to learn as much as you can about this section of Canadian history.

This February, get outside your comfort zone. Find spaces in your city where Black History Month will be marked and commemorated. Don't be afraid to ask.

More information:
Josiah Henson
Abraham Doras Shadd
Kay Livingstone