Black History Month plays an important role in human rights education and teaching people about Black New Brunswickers who worked to overcome challenges and discrimination and make our province a better place. It is a time for us to unite, acknowledge the undue hardships, and celebrate the progress achieved thanks to Black Canadians.
On May 25, 1815, more than 300 former slaves arrived at the harbour in Saint John, having fled bondage in the Chesapeake Bay region of the United States. They eventually founded the community of Willow Grove, just outside of Saint John, and many of their descendants still live in the province.
February has been recognized as Black History Month in Canada since 1995, promoting education about an often-overlooked part of the nation’s history.
Black Canadians continue to shape the province in many ways through arts, sports, poetry, academia, technology, advocacy and entrepreneurship – and the fabric of New Brunswick’s communities is strengthened by the daily contribution and hard work of Black Canadians.
Black History Month serves as a platform for education, remembrance and the pursuit of social justice. I would like to recognize the organizations and community groups who work to deepen our collective understanding and appreciation of the considerable role Black history plays in shaping our province. I encourage everyone to take a moment to consider the valuable legacy of Black Canadians, both past and present.