Celebrating 20 Years of Black History Month in Canada

February 23, 2016
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I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.
— Jackie Robinson (1946 Montreal Royals, the first professional Black baseball player in the major leagues)

February is Black History Month in Canada and the United States. This year marks Canada’s 20th anniversary of celebrating Black History Month. (In the United States, Black History Month has been officially recognized since 1976.) This year, another milestone has been reached as Ontario passed legislation on February 16, 2016 to “formally recognize February as Black History Month on an annual basis.” This makes Ontario the third Canadian province, along with Quebec and British Columbia, to officially recognize the achievements and contributions of people who have defined Canada’s Black history.

NAMC montessori black history month canada poster
Black History Month 2016 poster, courtesy of the Government of Canada

Black History Month in the Montessori Classroom: An Important Part of Canada, The US, and the World

In the Montessori classroom, discussing Black History Month is a significant way of introducing the many and continuing accomplishments of Canada’s Black community. From Mathieu Da Costa, who worked as a translator for Samuel de Champlain in 1605 and is recognized as the first Black person to come to Canada; to Willie O'Ree, the first Black player in the National Hockey League; to Anne Cools, the first Black person to become a Canadian senator, the substantial and diverse historical contributions of individuals lend themselves to rich and fulfilling exploration by the students across every area of curriculum.

For ideas of how you can present Black History Month in your Montessori classroom, we offer the following suggestions:

— NAMC Staff
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