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Black History Month 2021

"No history, no self. Know history, know self."

The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board strives to be a dynamic, responsive, vibrant, peaceful, and inclusive place to learn and work. Celebrating Black History Month is one step in honouring that objective.

Black History Month was created to recognize a deficiency in parts of our society. In the past, some have neglected to celebrate and recognize the inherent rights, stories and achievements of Black Canadians. Black history, Indigenous history, European history, Asian history, are all part of the same social and historical narrative that has created Canada. Each is equally important in our history. If we ignore any one of these narratives, then our understanding of the Canadian story is distorted.

Our moral imperative as Canadians and as a Catholic community, is to honour the contributions of our Black Canadians in the creation and development of Canada. In December 1995, Canadian Parliament officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine.

Our theme for Black History Month this year is "No history, no self. Know history, know self", which is based on the words of Dr. Jose Rizal who said, “A person who does not look back to where he came from, would not be able to reach his destination.” Although February is the pinnacle of celebrating Black History, we are called to continuously learn and seek change.

Again this year, Black History Month celebrations and activities will occur in our schools across the system providing opportunities for education and reflection on the contributions of Black Canadians and the plight for freedom and equality. These learnings honour strength, resiliency, courage, community, peace, acceptance, and respect.

The Gospel teaches us in many ways, that all humans are worthy of respect and dignity and we must be allies to those who need support. We must actively engage in processes that lead to reconciliation and advancement of the human race.

Each one of us is called by name, in the image and likeness of God. (Isaiah 43:1)