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Black History Month 2012

Updated on February 7, 2012

Black History Month Celebrations In Canada's Capital

Torch Band
Torch Band

John Ware

Black History Month 2012

Although relegated to the files of the ancient and forgotten, Black history is world history. The achievements of Blacks have been systematically erased from most official archives therefore it is up to us as Black people to document and reassert our contributions to modern history.

Like the Native Americans Black history was an oral tradition that withered in time due to neglect and the colonization and subsequent displacement of Black peoples. Today we find that others who placed a value on the recording of their history were able to use that insight to their advantage.

If we say that our ancestors were the first to develop an electrical generator they will say, "well where is the proof?". Never mind that all our AfRAkan artifacts were raided and now sit in vaults in Europe. It is therefore incumbent upon us as Black people to not only retrieve our history out of obscurity but to also place a value on its documentation.

Post colonization the continent of AfRAka is rebounding and making incredible strides in technology, business, and agriculture. A particular emphasis is being placed on achieving higher education in medicine to combat disease and in Information Technology(IT) in order to catch up with the rest of the world.

In the West where Blacks have had to fight for inclusion into mainstream society post Slavery we also find that much has changed. We have become Presidents, billionaires, influential sports icons and normal contributes to society. Society at large has also accepted the fact that Blacks wish to identify and assert their cultural identities.

Today we are documenting our own history so that it will never be lost again. At the same time our influences to mainstream society is being recognized by important appointments to higher posts in Law and Politics. This year in Canada the post office has issued two stamps to commemorate Black History Month. The two stamps high-lite the memory of two very influential Black Canadians. They are John Ware and Viola Desmond.

John Ware was a former American slave who became a pioneer of Alberta's ranching industry. It is believed that he was born in Texas around 1845 and settled in Calgary Alberta in the early 1880s after being hired to drive a heard of cattle to a ranch near by. He became renouned in the area for his hard work and skill in cattle farming. He was so respected by his fellow white ranchers that upon his death in 1905 his funeral drew the largest crowd in his honor.

“Skilled with the lariat, he pioneered steer-wrestling and won his first competition at the Calgary Summer Fair of 1893, setting a precedent for what would become a highlight of the Calgary Stampede,” said Canada Post on its website.

Viola Desmond

Black History Month Celebrations In Canada's Capital

Pazapa dance school
Pazapa dance school
Drumming
Drumming
Drummers
Drummers
Venezuelan dancers
Venezuelan dancers
Pazapa dance school
Pazapa dance school
Pazapa dance school
Pazapa dance school
Hip Hop troop
Hip Hop troop
Hip Hop troop
Hip Hop troop
Indian dancer
Indian dancer

Viola Desmond was a Nova Scotia entrepreneur and civil rights champion who was arrested in 1945 (a full 10 years before the Rosa Parks incident that sparked the US civil rights rebellion) for deliberately sitting in the whites only section of a movie theater. She was then dragged from the theater and thrown in jail where she spent the night.

The following day she was tried without counsel, convicted and fined $20 for defrauding the province of the additional one cent tax for seats in the whites only section of the theater. Despite a lengthy legal battle, Desmond's conviction was never overturned. However, in 2011 the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia granted Desmond a posthumous pardon and the government of Nova Scotia formally apologized.

For these and all previous Black History Month stamp issuances, we thank Canada Post and the Black History Society of Canada. Such acts though insignificant to the general public ensure that the contributions of Black people and the struggles that we continue to endure in our quest for equality are not so easily washed over. For Black people they provide examples to our youth so that they will understand their self worth.

I am certain that there are numerous other important historical accounts of the Black experience that are important to our history and need to be recognized. With care and due diligence they will be brought to the fore.


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    • profile image

      dennis groves 

      6 years ago

      great to honor our black people of nova scotia .they deserve this month in their honor.

    • profile image

      Michelle 

      6 years ago

      IMHOTEP BRTHR IntegRAL. You can look for Yarmouth Nova Scotia to start.

    • mintinfo profile imageAUTHOR

      mintinfo 

      6 years ago

      IMHOTEP SSTR Michelle. Yes, Nova Scotia has a very rich and troubled Black history unlike most of the rest of Canada. Nova Scotia was home to some of the largest but segregated Black communities. Perhaps I will do some research on it and publish another Hub for Black History Month..

    • profile image

      Michelle 

      6 years ago

      I find that most of the Canadian Black history starts in Nova Scotia.

    • profile image

      Michelle 

      6 years ago

      Your page is very informative, you have done an excellent job.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 

      6 years ago

      You're welcome, mintinfo. And you never know, we may be distant cousins :-).

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 

      6 years ago from Utah

      Excellent work, very interesting to hear about our struggles in Canada. Voted up, marked useful, interesting and shared!

    • mintinfo profile imageAUTHOR

      mintinfo 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback PWalker. We share the same last name but my heritage is Jamaican.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this informative and enlightening hub on some of Canada's Black history. We here in the States tend to forget that many Blacks escaped from slavery in the US and ended up in Canada.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Well done account of contributions of African Americans to US History. Well illustrated also.Great Hub!

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