February is Black History Month!
“African-American history is filled with the tales of inspiring individuals—many of whom overcame great odds to leave their mark on the [Civil Rights movement] … examine the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, including inventors such as George Washington Carver; activists like Malcolm X and Rosa Parks; athletes such as Willie Mays and Michael Jordan; and entertainers like Bessie Smith and Oprah Winfrey. Their names, and their stories, have become synonymous with the rich legacy that is African-American culture” (source).
Did you know?
The earliest Black communities were established in the Maritime Provinces; Birchtown, Nova Scotia became the largest settlement of free Africans outside Africa (source).
African-American surgeon Charles R. Drew is credited with the invention of the first large-scale blood bank.
August 1619: The first Africans as slave labour were introduced in America. A Dutch trader exchanged his cargo of 20 Africans for food in Jamestown, Virginia. It is believed that these Africans were sold into conditions similar to indentured servitude – a common practice in England and colonial America. The American slavery system became more codified in its inhumane treatment around 1680 (source).
- 1839: Joseph Cinque lead 37 African slaves in a revolt aboard the Amistad slave ship, killing the captain and taking control of the ship. The ship was later recaptured by the U.S. The matter was tried in the Supreme Court, where it was ordered that the slaves be returned to Africa and freed (source).
- 1849: Harriet Tubman (1820 – 1913) escaped from slavery and became one of the most celebrated and effective leaders of the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman lead hundreds of slaves to freedom before and during the war. She was never captured while rescuing slaves and, as quoted, she “never lost a passenger” (source).
Take some time to explore Black History this month… You will definitely come across some new and interesting facts! Here are some great links:
take a stand against bullying – wear pink on February 29th!
We encourage everyone to support Pink Shirt Day on February 29, 2012. It promotes a message of inclusiveness and anti-bullying. Pink Shirt Day started when two young men, David Shepherd and Travis Price, high school seniors at Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia in 1997 saw a young man in their school being bullied for his choice of clothing and took a stand against it. By encouraging all students to wear pink, boys and girls, they made a statement and took a stand against bullying that spoke volumes and changed the climate of a school, and that change has now rippled across the country.
Our schools have many events planned to celebrate Pink Shirt Day and highlight the zero tolerance for bullying in our community. Let us join them in showing our support for a community void of bullying!
We can through our actions and choices allow the voice of the weaker or the more isolated to be heard. To create a safe environment for everyone in community; to have a dialogue about issues rather than a debate; to seek to understand rather than assume; to listen rather than be heard. We can speak out against bullying and work towards a community that belongs to everyone. The Good Neighbours Committee works towards the goal of a welcoming and inclusive community for all and invites community members to participate in the many projects happening through the Spirit of Vanderhoof Diversity Project, Legacy Initiatives. For more information about Pink Shirt Day, go to www.pinkshirtday.ca.
– Omineca Express
Next Month: Aboriginal Awareness Week
This year, Aboriginal Awareness Week will take place during the week of March 5-9. Contact Jasmine Thomas at 250-981-6492 or Sarah John at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out details about activities and to get involved!