Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month and are asked to recognize the contributions of black Canadians, past and present
Between 1800 and 1865, Canada welcomed more than 20,000 free slaves as the Underground Railroad became a passage to potential freedom in Canada. During this time, Harriet Tubman helped free over 300 slaves as she helped lead fleeing slaves through the intricate network and to eventual freedom in Ontario, some through Halton Region.
All Canadians should never forget the important events, people and stories which not only play an integral role in Black History, but in Canadian History as well. We remember the obstacles that Black Canadians overcame and the important role many had in building Canada. From civil rights activism, to influencing music, art and culture, African Canadians – whose origins may range from the Caribbean, Africa, United States, South America, or Europe– have made their mark and have helped change the course of Canadian history time and again.
So this month, let us take the time to honour people who moved from repression to bravery, persecution to freedom and slavery to leadership. It is when we come together to learn about our histories, our struggles and our culture, that we begin to recognize each other as citizens of Canada and inevitably the bonds of our communities become strengthened.
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