Anytime is a good time to learn about topics you are interested in, and February is a time when there is a focus on Black History, for example in this recent Government of BC release – “Please join us in commemorating this month by learning more about the history of Black British Columbians and the many contributions they have made and continue to make. By learning more about the communities that shape our province, we can build a better future for everyone.” <https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023PREM0005-000115>.
The mission of the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration Society (PCHC) complements the intention of the Government of BC release, and actively works toward cultivating an inclusive understanding of our shared cultural heritage.
The PCHC website, at <https://www.pchc-mom.ca/> includes an Education tab that consists of Black (and other cultures’) migration stories and histories. It includes, for example, a link to the BC Black History Awareness Society website <https://bcblackhistory.ca/> and Black Strathcona: One Community / Six Decades / Ten Stories, at < http://blackstrathcona.com/>.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21, 2021), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office and PCHC co-hosted the launch of Challenging Racist “British Columbia”: 150 Years and Counting. This is an “open-access, multi-media resource that documents how this recent cycle of anti-racist activism is part of a broader history of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities challenging white supremacy for over 150 years – particularly since 1871 when BC joined Canada.” You can purchase this booklet from PCHC for $10. You can also download it (free) at <https://challengeracistbc.ca/>.
Viola Desmond, Halifax, Nova Scotia, circa 1940. Public Domain <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Viola_Desmond#/media/File:Viola_Desmond.jpg>
The next time you handle the vertical $10 bill, recall that in 1946, successful businesswoman Viola Desmond refused to leave a whites-only seating area of a movie theatre. For this she was jailed for 12 hours. More about Viola at <https://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/vertical10/banknoteable-woman/ >. You can also attend the “musical exploration” Hey Viola! Which will be performed live at the Gateway Theatre between April 13 – 22, 2023. <https://www.gatewaytheatre.com/events/hey-viola/>. Hope to see you there!