By: Charlene Aviles, Peak Associate
Black History Month celebrates the Black community’s resilience and accomplishments; and honours those who continue to take risks in advocating for justice and equality. With this in mind, the BC Black History Awareness Society has created a series of interactive programs, which include a hip hop lesson, musical performances, and symposiums.
Putting Black British Columbia History to Work: Contemporary Implications of Historical Blackness | Zoom | February 7 from 2–3 p.m. | Free with registration
Guest speaker and UBC professor Handel Kashope Wright will be giving a talk on Black history in BC. Wright will focus specifically on Mifflin Gibbs, Sylvia Stark, and Sir James Douglas’ role in “racist erasure.” The talk will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. Participants must register online to receive the Zoom link to this virtual event.
Symposium on Black Migration and British Columbia | Zoom | February 17 from 2:30–4:15 p.m. | Free with registration
During this conference, Sherry Edmunds-Flett, a doctoral candidate in the history department at SFU, and a group of other scholars from Canada and the U.S. will delve into the past of Black migration to BC. Through a discussion on their recent research, the scholars will analyze reasons for immigration, modes of transportation used during migration, along with the significance of each. Register for the event through their website.
The Fifth Element | Zoom | February 20 from 1–3 p.m. | Free with registration
Immerse yourself in the world of hip hop and learn the elements of “Knowledge, Djing/Lyricism, Breakdancing/African dance, and Graffiti.” Hip Hop Hall of Fame member Ernie Paniccioli will be joining to discuss topics such as creativity and cultural identity for Black and Indigenous youth.
Ross Bay Cemetery Tour | Zoom | February 21 from 2–3 p.m. | Recommended donation of $5
This event, hosted by John Adams of the Old Cemeteries Society and Valin Marshall of the BC Black History Awareness Society, offers an in-depth tour of the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria, BC, where over 50 Black pioneers are buried. The event is free but the Old Cemeteries Society is accepting cheque donations by mail. Visit their website to receive the Zoom link and a donation address.
Pablo Càrdenas Plays Oscar Peterson | Live Stream | February 26 from 7–8:30 p.m. | By donation
For this one-time-only performance, pianist Pablo Càrdenas, bass player Rob Johnson, and drummer Curil Lojda will cover the classic jazz hits of eight-time Grammy award winner, Oscar Peterson. The event will be live streamed on the Hermann Jazz Club’s website, YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. They are requesting donations through their website or by mailing a cheque.
The BC Black History Awareness Society is a local organization that educates on the cultural and historical significance of Black British Columbians by facilitating conferences, workshops, and more. They also offer support to members of the community that are facing socioeconomic barriers. To donate to the BC Black History Awareness Society, visit their website.