Ontario is celebrating the uniqueness, vitality and continuing contributions of the Black community in Ontario by officially recognizing February 2016 as Black History Month through a proclamation.
The government also intends to introduce legislation in the near future that, if passed, would formally establish February as Black History Month in Ontario on an annual basis. “Black Ontarians have made vital contributions to Ontario’s economic, social, and cultural landscape- and our province is fortunate to benefit from this legacy,” Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport said.
Ontario first proclaimed February as Black History Month in 1993 to mark the 200th anniversary of a law banning the importation of slaves into Upper Canada. Since then, Black History Month has continued to be celebrated but has not had official status.
Black History Month was first brought to Ontario in the 1950’s by the Canadian Negro Women’s Association.