Ontario has formally recognized February 2016 as Black History month through a proclamation. The province is looking to sign the historic month into legislation so it will be officially recognized on an annual basis.
“A lot of people assume that it’s something we celebrate every year, so it’s not something that has to be formally recognized, but I feel that in itself is just proof that the subordination of a people and marginalization institutionally happens every day,” says Ethno cultural Support Services Worker at Western University Serwaah Phebih.
Phebih says she’s very happy to finally have this recognition, but more needs to be done to make people pay attention and want to celebrate the month.
The African Students Association Agrees, they say black history is a huge part of North America’s history and should be brought into the curriculum in schools because that’s where the learning starts.
“Whenever someone thinks of a black person you think of a thug, or something ghetto, but when we actually teach people that black people can actually do all these good things—we’re engineers, we’re doctors, we’ve invented so many things—then people will actually start to realize that’s we’re people just like them,” says member of the African Students Association Christine Wachira.
Wachira adds, black history month is for everyone, so don’t be afraid to come join in on the celebration.