Download or order the Black History Month posters.
Every year, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present.
Canadians take this time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today. During Black History Month, Canadians can gain insight into the experiences of black Canadians and their vital role in the community.
Proud of our history
In 2014, Canadians and the world will recognize two significant anniversaries: the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.
Black Canadians proudly served in both these conflicts. Notably during the First World War–and after much advocacy on their part–black Canadians were recruited for the No. 2 Construction Battalion. It was the first all-black regiment raised in Canada. Years later, despite many barriers to their participation, including restrictive recruitment policies that continued into the Second World War, thousands of black Canadians persevered and served both at home and overseas in a wider variety of roles than had previously been the case.
To learn more about the contributions of black Canadians throughout Canada’s military history, visit the Canadian Black History Virtual Museum or the photo gallery. Veterans Affairs Canada is also featuring a Black Canadians in Uniform website, which includes video interviews with black Canadian veterans.
Each year, Canada Post develops special stamps to commemorate Black History Month in Canada. The 2014 stamps feature two communities of historic significance to black Canadians:
Africville was a small community located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, composed almost entirely of black residents. As the community developed, leaders struggled to access common municipal services, including education, water and policing. Conditions degraded, the area became known as a slum and, in 1964, the City of Halifax relocated 400 residents, destroying a community that had built a strong sense of historical continuity.
(Source: Canada Post)
Hogan’s Alley was the unoffcial name of a four-block-long dirt lane that formed the nucleus of Vancouver’s – first concentrated African-Canadian community. Though relatively small, the alley had a huge cultural impact, offering Vancouverites unique restaurants and a lively nightlife – filled with the sound of blues and jazz. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the community fell prey to construction of the Georgia Viaduct, but many stories of life in Hogan’s Alley have been preserved in local oral history.
(Source: Canada Post)