Black History Month on the Hill

A special reception was held on the Hill to mark the beginning of Black History Month. This year marked the 150th anniversary of William Hall receiving the Victoria Cross. He was the first black person, first Nova Scotian, and first Canadian sailor to receive the award. A special stamp was unveiled to honour Hall.

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Liberal MP Marlene Jennings (centre) and Bloc MP Nicole Demers.

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Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

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Tory Senate leader Marjory LeBreton.


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Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.

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Transport minister John Baird.

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Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda.

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Bloc MP Claude Bachand.

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The food.




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Black History Month on the Hill

  1. Is it correct and proper to express some uncomfortable misgivings about the very concept of Black History Month? I recognize that it was born out of a frustrated sense that our knowledge of history has failed to properly incorporate the history of all Canadians. But doesn't the perpetuation of Black History Month not also "permit" the ongoing segregation into an "us" history and a "them" history?

    I don't claim to have the right answers to the above questions. I just feel a little weird every February when black people's history shows up — likening itself to the ceremonial absurd rodent shadow hunt.

    • You Reformers are something else…

      • Interesting. I have not once voted Reform, and I have never been a member of any political party.

        But thanks for ignoring the invitation to join a conversation, since that choice would have avoided your impressive social contribution of misapplying some reductive label to a person you have never met.

    • is there room "to express some uncomfortable misgivings about the very concept of Black History Month"? sure. i saw Angela Davis, do so in an eloquent and valuable way on Thursday at York and it was a great lecture. Is it because it engenders "the ongoing segregation into an "us" history and a "them" history"? Perhaps, and that was partially touched on by Davis. But it is hardly the primary source of "ongoing segregation".

    • Do you know, madeyoulook, i don't know that you are wrong- having separate months to recognize afro-canadian history- as you put it, an 'us' and a 'them' history seems to do nothing but 'other' people who history has traditionaly ignored. And if we're going to do that, then why not have a a Gay History Month or a Chinese History Month? It would seem to perpetuate the idea that there is more than one history, that all of our stories are not equally important. I would be happy enough to see the need for such days die away as we begin to recognize the important acheivements, historically, of all Canadians, regardless of race, sexuality, colour or creed.

    • Nice move, Holly Stick.

  2. While many other north american companies are deciding to celebrate the acheivements, sacrifices, contributions, history and stories of Black History Month Swiss Chalet and Toys R Us have made a clear statement that they do not care. It would be perfectly normal to advertise a different name without dubbing/renaming the entire month or even to use the same name and run it another month, there were many other possibilities, this was clearly a choice and a bad one at that. We should hold these companies accountable for stupid decisions made by their marketing team. For this insult I have pledged to stop eating at Swiss Chalet and stop buying my family members toys at Toys R Us.. I am not in any way asking anyone to do the same- you are free to accept this insult in your own way. What I do ask is that people voice their opinions to let these companies know this is not OK.

  3. Swiss Chalet and Toys R US renamed Black History Month to Family Fun Month!

    Lately I have been seeing many swiss chalet commercial advertising their latest promotion where they offer a $10 Toys R us gift card when you buy a kids meal. Other than the fact that the ads are completely misleading as stated here" http://www.facebook.com/notes/toys-r-us-canada/fe… ", but also how could companies like swiss chalet and toys r us choose Black History Month of all months to be renamed "Family Fun Month" I am not implying that there is anything more to it that just a stupid idea, but what I know is that someone in marketing should be fired. I find it impossible for these companies to actually think doing something like this would not offend many people.

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