Ours to tell

Ours to tell

“Ours to tell,” is the theme for Black History Month 2023.  In 1995, the Honourable Jean Augustine secured a unanimous win to ensure Black Canadian history, our story, is heard for the entire month resulting in the month of February being chosen for Black History month.

Our story is more than unwilling passengers on slave ships, former slaves to our Master and we are more than Fugitive Slaves. We are Kings and Queens, inventors, activists, entrepreneurs, and Politicians like Rosemary Brown.

Our story is more than the traumatic slave trade and when told must include the notable contributions of Black Canadians in society over the years. Our story includes Black Canadians such as:

Kathleen Livingstone – Founder of the Congress of Black of Canada and a former United Nations women’s council member
Viola Desmond – Entrepreneur and activist
Lincoln Alexander – Retired Lawyer and Former Lieutenant of Ontario
William Hall – First Black person to receive Victoria Cross for his bravery in securing the British garrison in Lucknow, India
Bruny Surin – Gold medalist at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
Carrie Best – Founder of the first Black newspaper in Nova Scotia, The Clarion

When Canadian history is told, somehow contributions of Black Canadians are excluded. OUR STORY must be told beyond February; our story must be told every day in our educational systems across Canada.  Nelson Mandela stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world.” An inclusive education curriculum will equip Canadian students with more knowledge about the story of Black Canadians and their contribution to building a better Canada. It will provoke more dialogue, understanding, and inclusiveness.

As we celebrate the 28th official Black history month, let us remember, Black History is OURS TO TELL, it is Canadian history.

Nikisha E

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