Black History Month
by Mellissa Grant and Walid Dowdie
Black History Month is a celebration of people of African descent. Its goal is to inspire learning and discovery that goes beyond the ascribed 28 days in February and continues throughout the year. That can mean exploring the literature of writers like Angie Thomas and Eternity Martis; recognizing the contributions of Carrie Best in the formation of Canada; or learning about Elijah McCoy’s inventions. By identifying and discussing the achievements of Black Canadians in my English and History curricula, I hope to raise awareness of the suffering endured and the achievements made by the African diaspora in Canada.
Black History Month is a reaffirmation that our voices, our history, and our lives do matter. It is an understanding that we have always been here, and we are a part of the fabric that makes up Canada. Let’s remember that throughout February and always.
The 2022 theme for Black History Month is: “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day,” which focuses on recognizing the daily contributions that Black Canadians make to Canada. No matter where you live, we invite all Canadians to learn more about these communities, and how they continue to help shape the story of Canada.
At WillowWood, our students were once again given the opportunity to reflect, celebrate and recognize the significant contribution made by Black Canadians past and present. Students and Staff felt a sense of pride in raising the Black Lives Matter flag at the front of our school and participated in meaningful discussions, research projects, shared stories through art, music, and poetry incorporated in our learning.
The rich tapestry of African Canadians and Black History is relevant not only during the month of February but should be woven into our curriculum as it was reflected in the halls of our school community.