Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Here's why we celebrate Black History Month - OTTAWA CITIZEN

by Godwin Ifedi 
Originally published:  February 21, 2017

Canadians groaned, along with the rest of the world, as Donald Trump confounded expert analysts and conventional wisdom to snatch the U.S. presidency from Hillary Clinton. Coming on the heels of the historical election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president, this was a significant, if bewildering turnaround from the American electorate.

This February, as we celebrate Black History Month, it is necessary to place Canada’s own record of inclusiveness in perspective. When the Parliament of Canada proclaimed February as Black History Month in 1995, it was a pivotal moment for Canadians of African ancestry to celebrate the validation of their contribution to Canada’s diverse mosaic.

Black History Month has evolved, not only as a celebration, but a re-affirmation by all Black persons of their Canadian-ness, equal to and entitled to all the rights, privileges, responsibilities and obligations of being a member of this unique nation. We acknowledge that we are part of a great nation, distinctly different, but bound together by diverse languages, cultures, traditions and religions.