28 moments of black Canadian history: SYNOPSIS
When it comes to Black Canadian History, what do you know?
Perhaps you only recently heard of Viola Desmond, the incredible Black woman who refused to move from the whites-only section in a theatre in Nova Scotia – but might this be the extent of your knowledge?
Consider this, when it comes to Black History Month and the lessons you might have had in elementary school, what do you remember? Perhaps you’ll remember lessons on Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks – mostly African American history and nothing on Global Black History. Although African American history is very important to know, the fact that it is the only thing we get to hear about highlights the great erasure of Black Canadians in our history lessons.
We hope to address this issue with 28 Moments of Black Canadian History, Leap Year Edition. For each of the 29 days of this upcoming February, we will be releasing videos of a Black Youth speaking about their experiences in Canada, their goals, aspirations, and interests. They will then be giving a small history lesson on an important moment or figure in Black Canadian history.
Through this project, we ultimately hope to establish a link between our present and our past, allowing us to have a greater understanding of our collective challenges and successes.
This project touches on the history of Black communities in Canada. As Afrodiasporic people, we are connected by histories and realities of oppression, genocide, colonialism, and trauma. Importantly, we must acknowledge the connection of our history with the violence faced by Indigenous communities on Turtle Island (North America) since contact.
This project was completed in Ottawa and Montreal, the traditional and unceded territories of the Algonquin and the Kanien’kehá:ka. We hope that this land acknowledgment serves as an encouragement to take the time to learn more about this land’s history and its Indigenous communities as it isn’t enough to just acknowledge the keepers of this land. We encourage everyone to get informed and to actively resist (neo)colonialism in the many forms it takes.
For every day of Black History Month, a two part video will be released. In each video, the individual featured will firstly be speaking about their passions, aspirations and experiences in Canada.
In the second part of the video, the individual will be giving a lesson on a moment or figure in Black Canadian History. Join us on this educational journey!