This week’s question:
During the month of February – Black History Month – Canadians will celebrate the achievements of African Canadians who have done much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation that it is.
Do you believe that young people in the Caribbean community are sufficiently aware of the history of black people in Canada?
Joe G. Thomas
No, I don’t think they are sufficiently aware. But I also don’t blame them for not knowing. Activists and educators like Dudley Laws, Charlie Roach, Marlene Green and Len and Gwen Johnson, made remarkable contributions to make Canada a much better place for all of us to live. We, as elders in our community, need to make sure that our children know and appreciate this history.
No, they’re not. But that’s true not only of our youth. Our adults, of the Caribbean and broader Black community, are also not sufficiently aware of the history of African-Canadians. However, the blame is not completely of the person. We’re dealing with a situation where the history of Black people has been ignored or diminished and is not readily accessible in school texts or at places like museums.
Dominican Trade Representative
Despite much effort, there is still much work to be done. I am aware in my dealings with young persons that the great accomplishments of Blacks in the Canadian and American landscape are still unknown to many of them. At events celebrating Black History, the audience is generally boomers and seniors. There is an inherent responsibility on those of us who know better to help in closing this gap. If not us, whom?
Dr. Tyrone David PMP
IT Business Consultant.
I do not believe that young people in the Caribbean community are sufficiently aware of the history of black people in Canada. I say this because there are so many proud accomplishments that we have to be thankful for, based on the good works of our parents and grand parents. Many people tend to focus on the few negatives without researching or claiming the achievements of our society. Within tales of the Underground Railroad there are so many heroes worthy of mention. Add to that those who fought for our civil rights and we will find that as a black society we have a depth of presence and intelligence equal to any other group and superior to most.
CEO, Jones & Jones Productions
Some are but many are not. The responsibility of building awareness in our children about our history and contributions begins at home and continues through our organizations and lobbying our educational intuitions to include our stories. We go way back from Mathieu Da Costa who was translator for Dugua and Champlain in the early 17th century. Born in Benin, he was a free Black African who spoke French, Dutch, Portuguese. This translator for French and Dutch explorers also spoke to First Nations people when he landed on Canada with the explorers. Some say he was the first off the ship – like the birds Noah sent to explore the territory after the flood. He came back
CEO Affinity Group
In my opinion our young generations of black Canadian need to have knowledge of themselves through our historical ancestry and the diverse amount of information that is filtering through the various media of Internet, Facebook and research facilities. Museums should be a part of our trails in accessing all that is available.
The pre-Adamite and post-Adamite periods give a background of our beginnings and as we travel and live around the world, our stories and cultural heritage are rich and truth of how we began must be told- our inventions and educational achievements as well as our present- day enterprises and wealth of wisdom. We are around from the beginning…Moors and many other dynasties of greatness. Let’s showcase our people and leave legacies for future years on this planet.