February is Black History month; what's up in your neighbourhood?
On February 1, the city of Montreal began Black History month by announcing its intention to access federal government funding for two projects: the completion of the Charles H. Este Cultural Centre and the restoration of the Empress Theatre.
What's happening in your city, community or neighbourhood to celebrate Black History month?
The city of Montreal launched Black History month yesterday with a pledge to secure federal government funding to complete the Charles H. Este Cultural Centre in Little Burgundy as a museum and a black community centre, and to restore the Empress Theatre in N.D.G. as a permanent home for the Black Theatre Workshop.
The money would come from the $7-billion earmarked in last Tuesday's budget for municipal infrastructure programs, said Marcel Tremblay, the executive committee member responsible for the city's cultural communities.
New Brunswick has a number of events lined up for Black History month. And Nova Scotia, where February is also celebrated as African Heritage month, 2009 marks the 25th year of honouring black history.
Provincial celebrations will include an exhibit entitled On the Road North: Black Canada and the Journey to Freedom, which will be held at the Moncton Museum from Feb. 16 to 20. The exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA), Pride Race Unity Dignity Education (PRUDE), Le Centre d'accueil et d'intégration des immigrants et immigrantes du Moncton métropolitain (CAIIMM), and the Government of Canada. PRUDE will also be delivering presentations on black history in New Brunswick to schools and other public institutions.
The Multicultural Association of Fredericton will introduce Black History Month themes in their English-as-a-second-language lesson plans, and working with those themes in their classes.
MAGMA will host a movie night every Wednesday in February, featuring black-history-related films to which the public is invited. Discussions on black history will be introduced as part of its curriculum. As well, MAGMA will take four students from each high school in the greater Moncton area, and a group of 20 others comprised of teachers, board members and staff, to the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia.
The community events calendar and more information on African Heritage Month are available on the African Nova Scotian Affairs website at www.gov.ns.ca/ansa . The calendar is updated as information on events is received. Weekly updates will be available by calling 902-424-3842, beginning Saturday, Jan. 31.
Black History Month was founded in 1926 by Harvard educated Black historian Carter Woodson. It started as a week in February to celebrate the history, contributions and culture of African Americans. In 1976, the week was expanded to a month.
In Nova Scotia, the celebration of Black History Month began in 1984 through the efforts of the Black History Month Association. It is now known as African Heritage Month.