Click "Enter" to submit the form.

February is Black History Month – 2014

In December 1995, the Parliament of Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian Woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine, M.P. of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, who at the time was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.

The 2006 Census reported that in Ontario 473,760 people (17.3%) identified themselves as Black, making them this Province’s third largest visible minority group, of whom 352,220 live in Toronto.

In Ontario, the black community worked to improve the status of racial minorities from the earliest period of settlement. The 20th century saw an organized effort to eliminate discrimination in hiring and terms of employment for black citizens. In 1944 the government of Ontario responded to changes in public attitudes by passing the first anti-discrimination legislation in Canada, the Racial Discrimination Act. This Act explicitly declared that racial and religious discrimination would not be tolerated. The Act was designed to combat the once prevalent discriminatory signs that were displayed in store windows, beaches and other public places.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission was created in 1961. Its function was to administer the Ontario Human Rights Code which was enacted in 1962. It was the first legislation of its kind in Canada and protects the people of Ontario against discrimination in employment, accommodation, goods, services and facilities, and membership in vocational associations and trade unions.

As we celebrate Black History Month this year, it is appropriate to remember a man who was the hero of his country’s anti-apartheid struggle. Nelson Mandela, affectionately known by the name Madiba, dedicated his life to ensuring that South Africa became a nation free from racial division. He won the Nobel peace prize along with the last apartheid-era president FW de Klerk in 1993 for their negotiations to end apartheid. As the first democratically-elected President, Madiba introduced a new constitution for South Africa and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past abuses of human rights. He also reformed land ownership, improved healthcare and battled poverty. Madiba became a global symbol for the fight against racism, and was seen as the father of his nation.

In Canada, Black History Month celebrates the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians, past and present. The celebrations honour the legacy of some of the many individuals who have helped to make Canada such a culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous country.

For a number of years, Canada Post has issues a series of stamps to commemorate Black History Month. This year the series recognizes two Canadian neighbourhoods with significant links to Black History – Africville in Halifax and Hogan’s Alley in Vancouver.



Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

Follow us