Honoured by the Government of Canada since 1996, Black History Month is an important opportunity to educate yourself and actively support the Black community in our city. Here are 6 things to do this month to educate yourself on Black History here in Canada and support the community.
1. Support Black talent in the arts at African Fashion Week
Held annually during Black History Month since 2018, the AFAM African Fashion and Trade exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to admire the work of African fashion designers, performers and creators in Vancouver. African Fashion Week will be filled with high fashion, live music, and dance performances in a comprehensive exhibition of the arts that plays a major role in supporting Black talent in the arts. Check it out on February 19th!
2. Donate to a local Black-owned organization
Canadian-based Black owned organizations and non-profits can use your support year-round, but now is an opportunity to raise awareness for their important work.
- Black Mental Health Promotion Toolkit is a wonderful resource that promotes mental health and wellbeing for Black Canadians.
- Black Women Connect Vancouver is another local organization that focuses on empowering and supporting Black women by creating a community.
- Black Lives Matter Vancouver offers numerous local resources for community support, legal aid and mental health options. Check out their website for more information.
- Black Arts Vancouver aims to further artistic expression in Pan-African youth in Vancouver. Until March 22nd, you can also check out their exhibition Sankofa: African routes, Canadian roots at the Museum of Anthropology.
3. Shop at one of these fantastic Black-owned businesses around Vancouver
AFAM Vancouver has a huge, comprehensive list of over 500 Black-owned businesses in our city that you can check out. You can find everything from restaurants and bars, to gyms or hair salons. Furthermore, Afro-Biz offers another directory for Black-owned businesses in Vancouver. The Black Business Association of BC does amazing work promoting these local businesses, offering networking opportunities, mentorships and professional resources as well and could always use your support!
4. Educate yourself on the important legacy of the Black community in Canada’s history
The Government of Canada website offers an abundance of resources to educate yourself on noteworthy historical figures and Black Canadian communities that you might have otherwise not known.
5. Visit the Hope Meets Action exhibit in Victoria
The Royal BC Museum in Victoria is hosting their Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum, the story of Afro-diasporic British Columbia history past, present and future. The exhibit is on until March 31st and aims to reclaim and retell the history of Black belonging in the province and admission is completely free. Hosted by BC´s Black History Awareness Society, there will also be a live discussion and storytelling discussion on February 12th for Black History and Heritage Day.
Check out more information on the exhibit here.
6. Join the online conversation Being a Hope Amid Crises with Dr Cornel West
This live webinar will explore themes of economic, democracy, racial justice and Black identity with esteemed author and speaker Dr Cornel West. Also hosted by BC´s Black History Awareness Society, this event on February 16th is a noteworthy opportunity for further education.