The precursor to Black History Month, "Negro History Week", was created in 1926 in the United States by Carter G. Woodson, historian, and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. At the time of Negro History Week’s launch, Woodson asserted that teaching black history was necessary to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within wider society:
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world,
and it stands in danger of being exterminated …”
In December 1995, the Canadian House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Hon. Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously.
In February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the 'Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month'. The approval and adoption of this motion completed Canada’s parliamentary position on Black History Month.
Black History Month is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about the many contributions Black Canadians have made to Canada.
1. Retrieved from BC Black History Awareness Society: https://bcblackhistory.ca/learning-centre/black-history-month/
2. Retrieved from Government of Canada - Canadian Heritage: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history-month.html