It is a source of great satisfaction for our newspaper every year to see more and more opportunities for all to participate in and to benefit from Black History Month.
February is the month that enjoys the signal honour of being so designated, thanks to the pioneering efforts of the Honourable Jean Augustine and to the long years of dedicated work invested by a number of organizations and individuals, including the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) and its President Rosemary Sadlier.
The fact that thousands of events, projects, concerts and artistic performances so constructively fill the agenda of Black History Month is a success story in itself.
In that context, The Caribbean Camera strongly recommends the events being hosted and supported by the OBHS, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale (Wednesday, Feb. 18), the Pan Arts Network and its four constituent Steel Orchestras (you missed it last Saturday), RBC and its Student Essay Competition, A Different Booklist, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Toronto Police Service.
Those and all the other activities serve to entertain, educate and celebrate by highlighting historically significant events and experiences, individuals and groups. They remind us of individuals and groups whose suffering, sacrifices and achievements built the foundations of modern society: justice, equal rights, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
But Black History Month is also about the present, and especially about the future to which we all aspire.
While these activities showcase the enormous amount and variety of artistic and cultural talent which the Black community contributes to Canada, they also indicate the potential for even more initiatives that can enhance the livelihood of the performers and artistic managers, as well as contribute to the material and social needs of the public at large.
In that vein, The Camera therefore encourages you to seize additional opportunities for taking yourselves and Black History Month to even greater heights.
You may use the month to engage in some tried and tested options such as:
- cleaning, painting or restoring a community or public space;
- getting your company to adopt a school;
- launching a joint venture between school students and a company that is involved in producing healthy foods or promoting healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, green industry and socially conscious living.
Or you may simply choose to give time, support services and gifts to persons in need, the ill and the aged.
Alternatively, you may create and develop your own cutting-edge projects that cause meaningful change in the way we behave, work and play.
Make Black History Month meaningful to yourself by being the change you wish to see in your country and in the world.