Feb 17, 2021

By Christine Ross

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This year’s Black History Month comes after a year of painful racist events that sparked global Black Lives Matter protests. Anti racism advocates say now is the time to celebrate Canada’s rich Black history that dates back 400 years.

“We need to tell the stories of people who have been here, who have added to this rich tapestry that we call O Canada,” says
Mawuli Chai, Vice President of the Ontario Black History Society.

His group is inviting people of all colour to be a part of the conversation this Black History Month in celebrating  pioneering Black Canadians.

“Lincoln Alexander, Donovan Bailey, Viola Desmond, Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, Rosemary Brown and a series of others,” adds Chai.

Mawuli Chai, Vice President Ontario Black History Society

But sadly, the Society discovered their stories are often not taught in schools so its launched a campaign with the hashtag #BlackedOutHistory to lobby the federal and provincial governments for changes to the curriculum.

“We took a grade eight textbook and out of 255 pages only 13 contained limited Black history in this country, and when you look at the astonishing revelation, you then see the disparities within our educational system.”

After a pandemic, and the killing of American George Floyd, Black History Month evokes a different tone this year.

“I think coming out of George Floyd being killed and the world seeing that happen has shifted the consciousness of people.”

For more information on the school campaign and other month long events, visit

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