Black History Month’s history

Dr Carter G. Woodson was born in the United States in 1875, died in 1950 and he instigated “Negro History Week” in February 1926. February was chosen because it was, for great slavery abolitionists, Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, their birth month.
This historian revealed through his career and his work, another version of history. He created a scientific analytical flow of black people in universal history. He fought society’s racism and prejudgments.
His biggest dream was to integrate African history in schools study program. He would not be content that African history was taught, but that it was so in a respectful and sensitive manner as to promote diversity.
“Negro History Week” became “Black History Month” in 1976 during the America’s bi-centennial festivities. It was made so to faithfully and objectively commemorate Black people’s history. It is celebrated in all metropolitan regions of North America, Africa, France, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

The first Black person in Canada, Mathieu Da Costa, arrived on the country’s East Coast in 1605. He’d sailed with Samuel de Champlain, hired as a valued interpreter. But for the many Blacks who arrived after him, the experience was very different. Black history in North America, unlike “White” history, must take into account the hundreds of thousands of Africans who were brought to this continent against their will. The experience of slavery, in Canada and in the United States, has wreaked havoc for generations. Canada played a key role in the liberation and eventual return of some slaves to Africa, but for many others, their lives had already taken root here.

Black history refers to the stories, experiences, and accomplishments of people of African origin. Black history did not begin in recent times in Canada, but in ancient times in Africa. People connected by their common African history and ancestry have created Black history here. The African-Canadian population is made up of individuals from a range of places across the globe including the United States, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Canada. 

In the past, African-Canadians were referred to by many different terms, some of which indicated their legal status. They may have been called negroes, or coloured people. During enslavement, they may have been called slaves "having no ownership of oneself " or Creoles "having familiarity with more than one culture." Today, Black people in Canada primarily refer to themselves as Black (a political or cultural concept, not just an adjective) or as African-Canadian (among other possible terms including AfriCanadian and African-Nova Scotian or Jamaican-Canadian).

Rosemary Sadlier