Celebrate Black History Month in February
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/01/2022 (498 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
February marks Black History Month in Manitoba and Canada. While the word history is in the title, the month is not just about looking back but also understanding how we got to where we are today. This month, with all its events and educational opportunities, is for everyone.
Some of the more prominent stories we hear around Black History Month are often the most well-known across the world, but we have some great volunteers and community members generating local events and information to help Manitobans get better acquainted with our local Black history.
The Black History Month celebration committee, led by Black History Manitoba, has organized several events happening throughout February and I encourage anyone interested to take part. From virtual history education to virtual field trips, there are several different opportunities to learn and participate.
The committee’s theme for this year is Look, Listen, See and Act. The month’s events kick off with a virtual opening ceremony on Jan. 30. There are three virtual field trips with the Manitoba Museum happening throughout February, as well as a virtual history lesson on Feb. 21. Story book readings for kids are available on Black History Manitoba’s YouTube channel, as well. You can find more information on the committee’s website at www.bhmwinnipeg.com or by visiting Black History Manitoba’s social media pages.
One highlight this year is the launch of The Porter, a CBC television series that was filmed in Winnipeg. It tells the story of events that led to railway workers from both Canada and the United States joining together to establish the first Black labour union in North America. In 1917, Black employees of the railways were not permitted to join the existing unions, so sleeping car porters began to organize their own. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights’ website notes the groundwork for that union was laid right here in Winnipeg by four porters — John Arthur Robinson, J.W. Barber, B.F. Jones and P. White.
The Porter airs Feb. 21 on CBC and Black History Manitoba is holding a red-carpet premiere on February 20.
In addition, a commemorative Black History Month stamp was just issued by Canada Post. This year’s stamp features Eleanor Collins, Canada’s ‘first lady of jazz’. Eleanor, who is 102 years young, is a singer, television host and entertainer born in Edmonton in 1919. She eventually relocated to Vancouver and was featured in many television series beginning in the 1950s, eventually earning her own national variety show on CBC. Eleanor was not only the first Canadian woman to have a national show but was also the first Black artist in North America to host a nationally broadcast television series.
I look forward to experiencing some of these upcoming events with you and hearing about some of the events taking place in our local schools as well.
Southdale constituency report
Audrey Gordon is the PC MLA for Southdale.