It was the Canadian Negro Women’s Association that introduced the celebration of Black History Month to Toronto in the 1950’s. This black Canadian community initiative was adopted by the Ontario government in 1979, thanks to its championing by the Ontario Black History Society. In 1995, the House of Commons declared a national Black History Month, which went into effect in 1996.
Black History Month exists to remind us all of the rich contributions within our society from people of African and Caribbean decent, and of their ongoing struggle for equity and social justice. Teachers have the opportunity to engage their students, not only during this month but throughout the school year, on recognizing the strengths and resiliency of communities that historically have been marginalized, as well examining issues of racism and the impact of discrimination on these communities.
The 2021 ETFO Black History Month Poster (artist Leone McComas) explores how the commonly used and accepted map of our world is not accurate and rooted in bias and colonialism.
It uses themes of space and geography to encourage students to think critically about the world around them. The use of Afrofuturism provides a glimpse into the limitless possibilities for young African Canadians.
As the Mae Jemison quote captures: “Never be limited by the limited imagination of others.”
For further information, please contact Matthew Sinclair at