bhm-header-wide.jpg

Every February, communities across North America come together in celebration of Black History Month which was officially recognized in Canada by the House of Commons in 1995, and later by the Senate in March 2008.

This dedicated time is to honour the contributions of Black communities to commemorate the past but look to the future and to celebrate Black culture and Black excellence. While the learnings and offerings in February are wonderful, the recognition of these achievements and contributions is a year-round commitment.

The Centre for Intercultural Engagement (CIE) has curated a list of suggested resources which provide a variety of opportunities for others to learn, engage, support, and celebrate this vibrant community.

Join the Celebration on campus

The Center for Intercultural Engagement in collaboration with the newly formed Langara Black Students' Union is hosting a series of on-campus events for the students and the community to celebrate and commemorate Black History Month.

Feb 7 - Launching Black History Month 
Date: February 7, 2023
Location: A Foyer (in front of Langara Global)
Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm 
There will be a live performance, trivia, prizes and more! 

Feb 9 - Black History Month: Conversation Circle (Registration required)
Hosted by Langara Global

Date: Thursday, February 9
Time:12:30 pm–2:00 pm
Location: C Building, C408

Feb 16 - Movie Night - The Woman King (students only)
Date: February 16, 2023
Location: TBuilding T001
Time: 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. 

Feb 28 - Fashion and Talent Showcase
Date: Feb 28th
Location: LSU Upper Lounge
Timing: 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Suggested Resources & Events

The CIE is aware this is not an exhaustive list and welcomes input from the community. If you have suggestions for articles, podcasts, webinars, events, etc., we invite you to contact our office as well. 

The Canadian Encyclopedia: Black History Month in Canada

  • Learn about the origins of Black History Month in Canada and how each province celebrated and acknowledge their Black communities before 1995 when Black History Month would be officially recognized by the Federal Government and celebrated every February. 

Government of Canada: How Black History Month in Canada Came to Be

  • As part of its recognition of Black History Month, the Government of Canada has dedicated a website with resources that speak to the origins of Black History Month.  

Hogan's Alley: Vancouver's Black Community 

  • Hogan's Alley was the colloquial name for Park Lane in the Strathcona neighbourhood between Main Street and Jackson Avenue. It was home to the Vancouver Black community. However, the population was displaced when the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts were built. Read more about the society that is looking to restore the Black community's space. They recently struck an agreement with the municipal government to help start reviving the community. 

Salt Spring Island's Black settlers set stage for today's community

  • Salt Spring Island was once home to one of BC's most important Black communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Evelyn C. White, a former Salt Spring Island resident briefly explores the island's history in this piece

Periodic Table of Canadian Black History

  • From entrepreneurs to musicians, writers to activists there is much to be learned from this unique site which provides an interactive and creative representation of Canadian Black History.  

What to Watch, Read and Listen to Learn More about Black History:

  • UBC’S Equity and Inclusion Office offers this list of movies, documentaries, books and podcasts for you to learn more about Black history in BC and Canada.

12 Black Queer Canadian Artists to Know

  • Out on Screen is highlighting Black Queer Canadian artists to know and provides a list to get you started.

Radio Canada International: Portraits of Black Canadians

  • Radio Canada International has produced a series of vignettes spotlighting some of the black Canadians that have marked the country’s past, as well as those that are marking Canada’s present.

ASE Community Foundation for Black Canadians with Disabilities

  • Learn more about this newly formed Federally Incorporated not-for-profit and volunteer organization that aspires to build on the foundations of resilience, endurance, and the overwhelming strength embodied by Black Canadians living with disabilities, and drive a critical shift in culture that embraces the boundless talents and qualifications of people with disabilities.

Community Stories - BC's Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character Influenced and Character the Vision of Canada

  • The BC Black History Awareness Society and Digital Museums Canada offers a wealth of resources including stories, videos, and pictures of some of the first Black people in BC.

The Government of Canada

  • The Government of Canada puts out a theme for Black History Month every year. At the time of writing, the Government of Canada has yet to release a theme. Please check back soon for an update.
  • Last year, Black History Month theme was “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day”. Check this page for their new digital toolkit and more.

Global News: 3 Black Canadians on Inspiring the Next Generation of Queer Leaders

  • Global News spoke to three Black queers on their hope for queer future. 

Royal BC Museum – Hope Meets Action

  • This online complement to the exhibition Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum, answers how we can better understand the experiences and contributions of Black British Columbians in order to correct historical erasure.

Black on the Prairies: 2022 “Place” Edition

  • CBC’s Black on the Prairies, Place Edition, places Blackness in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba at the centre of Canada’s story. For more stories about the Black experience in Canada, you can go to Being Black in Canada.

Other stories of interest:

(Every Sunday in February): Burnaby Public Library Lire des auteur.es noir.es / Read our Black authors

  • For young people aged 10 to 16 to read and share the works of African authors and authors of African descent. In the company of author and storyteller Wanda Jemly, participants will refine their literary tastes and African tastes while improving their public speaking skills. This is a free event but participants are encouraged to register to reserve their spot. 

FEB 9: Black Futures Month Celebration 

  • A night of musical performances in celebration and support of both local and global Black music, business and culture; a musical journey through Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop, R&B and Afrobeats at Calabash Bistro. Click here for more info. 

JAN 29:  PLR Vancouver Presents: Anti-Blackness and Running Culture (part 1) 
FEB 26: PLR Vancouver Presents: Anti-Blackness and Running Culture (part 2) 

  • Get your tickets to a look at how anti-Blackness and running culture intersect. For part 1 click here and for part 2 click here
FEB 16: Black Futures Month: Innovation Summit 
  • Ethos Lab is celebrating February as Black Futures Month by highlighting the Black presence in innovation in BC and beyond. Grounded by the pillars of Inspiration, Community, Culture and Entrepreneurship - the Ethos Lab Innovation Summit will spotlight Ethọ́s Lab's unique innovation ecosystem through interactive experiences, hearing from inspirational speakers, exhibits, and the showcasing of talents within the Ethọ́s Lab community including a marketplace featuring local BIPOC businesses and innovators as well as spotlighting youth-led brands and creatives. Learn more.  

FEB 17: Ethos Lab First Annual Youth Black-A-Thon  

  • Students in grades 7-12 can reserve their space to learn about Black History and compete to create something new.  

FEB 17: Root Dwellers Presents: Ndidi Cascade, Haleluya Hailu, Feven Kidane 

  • Get your tickets to this musical showcase celebrating and honouring Black History Month. 

FEB 17: VMF After Dark x AfroQueer YVR: BLACK RAVE 

  • AfroQueer YVR is an all Black staffed organization that seeks to create safer spaces of healing, love, and celebration. The Black Rave is an ode to black underground dance culture and music, coalescing in an all woman DJ line-up with tastemakers of the Vancouver Drag scene. The After Dark stage presents an opportunity to continue to elucidate their impact further giving voice to the mandate of the organization, creating safe spaces for Afro Diaspora to be seen, heard, and revel on the dance floor. 

Feb 19: African Arts & Culture Community Contributor Society:  Issamba Showcase 

  • AACCCS is a Black-Led, Black-Serving, Black-Oriented art & Cultural organization whose main mandate is to advance awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of African culture and traditions through the promotion of a broad range of cultural, educational, and artistic activities, events, and programs.  

Get your tickets to “The Ultimate Journey Through African Rooted-Rhythms" 

You can also check out the Issamba Centre for more information on upcoming events.  

FEB 19: VMF After Dark x DEEP FROM THE UNDERGROUND 

  • Deep From the Underground is a hip-hop & house music event that celebrates the cultural movements of these genres through dance, live art, DJ’ing and performance.  VMF After Dark: Winter Arts 2023 third night, Deep From the Underground will be celebrating 50 years of hip hop culture. Grab your tickets

FEB 23: Film Screening: Neptune Frost 

  • Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman present a formally daring, sonically dazzling Afrofuturist musical. Meant to be in conjunction with the Chan Centre EXP’s concert “Black Futures,” featuring Saul Williams, Moor Mother, and Irreversible Entanglements. Learn more.

FEB 25: Black Futures: Saul Williams / Moor Mother / Irreversible Entanglements 

  • The Chan Centre EXP presents an exhilarating exploration into Black Futures through the visionary work of revolutionary artists Saul Williams, Moor Mother, and Irreversible Entanglements. At the outer limits of hip-hop, free jazz, blues, noise, and poetry, this special EXP concert brings together dynamic visionaries to perform a collaborative concert that interweaves Afrofuturist currents within a stunning continuum of Black music. Learn more

(Throughout February): Events from the BC Black History Awareness Society (Victoria-based) 

  • For close to 30 years BC Black History Awareness Society has hosted a Black History Month program to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of historical and contemporary people of African descent. They have put together another great month with 6 public events

March 18: AFAM African Fashion Week Vancouver 2023 

  • Featuring Fashion shows, Arts, Music and Dance performances, Awards, Exhibition and Marketplace. Get your tickets here

BC Black History Awareness Society 

  • The BC Black History Awareness Society based out of Victoria, has many events on their roster this February, with 2 featured below. For the complete list, head to their event page.  

FEB 11: Royal BC Museum (Victoria) – BC Black History & Heritage Day 

  • Celebrate Black History Month at the Royal BC Museum with a dynamic display of booths from local organizations, hosted by the BC Black History Awareness Society. Heritage Day is an opportunity to meet and talk with direct descendants about their stories and family history. The exhibits include images, artifacts and archival documents. Get your tickets here.

FEB 16:Out of the Sun: On Black History and Storytelling 

  • Join bestselling Canadian author, novelist, and essayist, Esi Edugyan, who is noted for writing “richly imagined and impeccably researched stories that illuminate complicated truths about race and belonging” Learn more

 

CBC Radio: Part 1 - Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement 
  • “What does it take to erase 200 years of history from the collective consciousness of a nation?” - Charmaine Nelson, McGill Professor of Art History 

CBC Radio: Part 2 - Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years of enslavement in Canada 

  • From racial slurs to microaggressions, racism remains entrenched in Canadian society, and its root causes may reach further back than we think. 

Podcast: The History of People of African Descent in Canada 

  • In this podcast, Dr. Isaac Saney discusses and explains the history of people of African descent in Canada and the long struggle for freedom and self-determination. 

Podcast: A Seat at the Table – Episode “Setting the Table for Season 2” 

  • Martine St-Victor and Isabelle Racicot return to the table for a heart-to-heart talk about the ripple effects of George Floyd’s death, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the challenges of talking about race in Quebec, Canada and beyond.

Podcast: A Seat at the Table – Episode “Hockey's Diversity Problem with Anthony Duclair + Salim Valji” 

  • The NBA, WNBA, Premier League and several other sports leagues have been unequivocal about their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The NHL, however, has been quieter than most. Martine and Isabelle talk to Ottawa Senators forward Anthony Duclair about what it’s like to be a Black hockey player, and they bring journalist Salim Valji to the table to discuss why racism remains one of hockey’s most taboo topics. 

Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada – Episode “The Province of Jamaica” 

  • This episode looks at early Caribbean migration to Canada and reveal which islands could have become Canadian provinces. It also dives into the history of Black railway porters and how they and their wives made Winnipeg a hub of labour activism in Canada. 

Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada – Episode “Crash Course on Nora’s Place in Hogan’s Alley” 

  • When vaudeville performer Nora Hendrix ended up in Vancouver in the early 1900s, she became a fixture in Hogan's Alley, the neighborhood at the center of Vancouver's Black community. By the time she died at 100 years old in 1984, she had led the community and raised a large family. This included her grandson who would live with her in Hogan’s Alley from time to time. His name was Jimi Hendrix. 

Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada – Episode “Crash Course on Black Nurses” 

  • This Crash Course looks into the surprisingly young history of Black nurses in Canada and why many of these women had to travel to the U.S. for their education. It also takes a look at the story of the Black Cross Nurses and how Black nurses went from shutouts to leaders in a matter of decades. 

Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada – Episode “Shout Out to John Ware” 

  • Meet John Ware, the Black cowboy who helped build Alberta's ranching industry and became a legend for his skill as a horseman. Please be advised this episode contains strong language. 

Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada – Episodes “Porter Primers” 

Introducing ‘Porter Primers’ — 6 short episodes that shed a little light on Black porter history with the help of historian Dr. Dorothy Williams. Episodes include: 

  • Why were all porters called ‘George’? For this first episode, Dr. Williams explains why porters were referred to as “George” and how it’s linked to slavery, the Antebellum Period, and a railroad car manufacturer. 
  • How porters created Black neighbourhoods Where porters went, Black neighbourhoods often followed. Historian Dr. Dorothy Williams breaks down how porters — and the location of railways — catalyzed the creation of historically Black communities and institutions across Canada. 
  • The rise of jazz In the early 20th century, musicians and audiences flocked to Montreal for its jazz scene, earning the city the nickname “Harlem of the North.” Historian Dr. Dorothy Williams explains how porters were instrumental in introducing jazz to Canada and how they served more generally as “conduits of culture.” 
  • Side hustles Sleeping car porters were notoriously underpaid and had to fight for tips, condemning most to poverty. Historian Dr. Dorothy Williams describes how porters turned to side hustles and other entrepreneurial pursuits to survive, and regain the agency they lost as precarious railway employees. 
  • A historic fight to unionize When the CBRE, Canada’s railway union, was created in 1908, it intentionally shut out Black porters. What ensued was a historic and decades-long struggle for Black railways employees to be heard at the negotiating table. 
  • Building a multicultural Canada Canada’s much-touted multiculturalism was hard-fought-for and started to materialize in the aftermath of immigration policy changes in the 1950s and 60s. A lot of that change is thanks to Black sleeping car porters and their ability to politic with influential passengers on their train routes. 
What to Watch, Read and Listen to Learn More about Black History: UBC’S Equity and Inclusion Office offers a list of movies, documentaries, books and podcasts for you to learn more about Black history in BC and Canada.

 

There are a number of ways you can support the community all year long:

  • Donate to mutual aid funds that support local Black communities and non-profits
  • Try some delicious food from a Black-owned restaurant
  • Do a quick google search or find a Black-owned business in your area here: https://blackbusinessdirect.ca/
  • The list goes on!

Do you have other ideas? Let us know your thoughts at cieoffice@langara.ca.