Black History Month


By: Erin Bast, President; Jalynn Chilibeck, VP External; Amanda Brouwer, VP Academic


February is recognized as Black History Month in Canada, the United States, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. This month is dedicated to acknowledging, uplifting, and celebrating the innovations and accomplishments of Black people in our societies. Throughout the past century, Canada has seen many changes and although Black History Month was started in the United States, it is important for us as Canadians to stand alongside the global community and support the voices that have been fought for over many decades.

Black History Month started in 1926, when a week was dedicated to learning about and recognizing the contributions of African Americans to American society. This was set to line up with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14 since both dates were already celebrated within the Black community and had been since the late 1800s. In 1969, the Black United Student Group leaders from Kent State University took a big step in extending this week into an entire month. Their dedication led to this event being accepted by their institution, leading to the first Black History Month being celebrated in 1970. It took six more years for it to become an officially recognized event by the US Government, and in 1995, Canada followed their lead and officially recognized February as Black History Month. This February marks Canada’s 33rd official Black History Month.

Despite the many layers of racism and discrimination even today, Black Canadians continue to demonstrate strength and resilience, as well as contribute and add to the fabric of Canadian Society.

This February, please take time to support and learn about the history of Black History Month, participate in an event dedicated to the recognition of Black History Month or a Black Canadian, or support a Black-owned business.


Black History Month Events:

February 2 – 27 | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will display red, yellow, and green outdoor lighting.

February 9 | 9:00am – 11:50am | Microsoft Teams
Senator Wanda Thomas presentation and discussion regarding racism, past and present.

Contact Rosemary Ignacio at [email protected] for the Microsoft Teams link.

February 12 – 29 | Library
African & Caribbean fabric and book display.

February 12 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm | Forum
The Social Work Student Society will be hosting an interactive table.

February 13 | 11:00am while supplies last | SA Stairs
Traditional beef patties supplied by Chubby Jerk BBQ & Kitchen.

February 16 | Details to be finalized
Black Trivia Night hosted by the Black Student Society.

February 26 | 2:00pm – 4:00pm | Forum
Jolly Rice Competition hosted by the Black Student Society.