Black History Month begins

Black History Month in Canada dates back to 1979, when founders of the Ontario Black History Society successfully petitioned the City of Toronto to proclaim the month of February as a time to honour the legacy and contributions of Black Canadians. Sixteen years later, the House of Commons voted to recognize national Black History Month through a motion introduced by Jean Augustine, the first Black person elected to Canada’s legislature. This decision was reinforced in 2008 when Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Canadian Senate, saw passage of an act to officially recognize Black History Month each year. Each of these steps was made possible by Black Canadians determined to shine a light on the often overlooked role played by Black Canadians and their communities since the early 1600s.

At Trinity College School, Black History Month officially kicked off in the Senior School with an awareness day on Thursday, February 2nd, led by the Black Student Alliance (BSA). Students were encouraged to wear clean casuals in Pan-African colours (red, green, yellow or black). The Pan-African flag was introduced in 1920 by Marcus Garvey, an activist who worked to unite and advance people of African descent globally.

Among the activities planned for this month in the Senior School is the annual Black Alumni Night. This event was created by the BSA in 2020 as an opportunity for Black students to hear from alumni about their educational, career and life paths.

In the Junior School, students in the Alliance Against Racism and Discrimination group are working hard preparing information sessions for their peers.

As well, both the Junior and Senior School libraries have created displays of materials by and about Black people, as a means to educate and inspire.

We look forward to sharing highlights of Black History Month initiatives throughout February.