African Heritage Month

The commemoration of African Heritage Month can be traced back to 1926 when Harvard-educated Black historian, Carter G. Woodson, founded Negro History Week to recognize the achievements of African Americans. Woodson purposefully chose February for the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, both key figures in the emancipation of enslaved Blacks. In 1976, as part of the American Bicentennial celebrations, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month.  

The vast contributions of African-Canadians to Canadian society have been acknowledged informally since the early 1950s. However, Nova Scotia, particularly the Halifax Region, has been a leader in the promotion and awareness of African Heritage Month. Highlights of the development of Black History Month in Canada through the efforts of Nova Scotian trailblazers include the following:  

  • 1985   First “official” Opening Night for Black History Month (January 29) at the Halifax North Branch Library.
  • 1987   First meeting of the Black History Month Association
  • 1988   First Black History Month in Nova Scotia
  • 1996   Black History Month renamed to African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia

It is important to note that Nova Scotia and the Black History Month Association set the path for Canada in the recognition of African Heritage Month. Further, the significance of this influence as one of national proportion in the following occurrences compels recognition: 

  • December, 1995 - The House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine.
  • February, 2008 - Nova Scotia Senator Donald Oliver, Q.C., the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced a motion to have the Senate officially declare February as Black History Month. The motion received unanimous approval.
  • March, 2008 - The adoption of Senator Oliver’s motion was the final parliamentary procedure needed for Canada’s permanent recognition of Black History Month.  

Source: Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs/ African Heritage Month Information Network

(The dates below reflect events happening in 2021.)

Sunday January 24th, 2021

BLK Mxn's Mental Health: 'Space to Heal, Share & Connect

11:45 am (AST) 75 min Virtual + Convo Lunch 

Organized By: Dalhousie Black Faculty & Staff Caucus Executive

Please note: The Black Womxn's Mental Health and Black Mxn's Mental Health Workshops our for Black identifying Dalhousie Faculty, Staff, Facilities and Students only.

Contact Information:

Keisha Turner, Co-chair Staff
Dominic Silvio, Co-chair Faculty
Email: dbfsc@dal.ca

Tuesday January 26th, 2021

Virtual African Heritage Month Provincial Launch 2021 

10:00 am (AST) Virtual Event

Organized By: Black Cultural Cente for Nova Scotia

Virtual African Heritage Month Provincial Launch 2021 hosted by the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. 

Website: live.bccnsweb.com

YouTube: youtube.bccnsweb.com

Contact Information:

Tel: 902-434-6223 

Email: contact@bccns.com

Wednesday January 27th, 2021

Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture with Michèle Audette

3:00-5:00pm (AST) Virtual Event 

Organized by: Dalhousie University 

Join the second Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture, featuring Indigenous rights champion Michèle Audette.

Michèle Audette has made outstanding contributions to Indigenous women’s rights in Canada. She served as Associate Deputy Minister for the Status of Women in Québec and President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. In 2016, she was appointed Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). She continues to advocate for change in provincial and federal policies to address discrimination, violence against Indigenous women and social inequalities.

Watch on YouTubehttps://youtu.be/Y0tFGBS3HvY

Wednesday January 27th, 2021

Kickoff: Meditation with Jonathan Dododza

2:00 pm (ATS) Virtual Event 

Organized By: Dalhousie Black Faculty & Staff Caucus Executive

Family and friends welcome.

Contact Information:

Keisha Turner, Co-chair Staff
Dominic Silvio, Co-chair Faculty
Email: dbfsc@dal.ca

Tuesday February 2nd, 2021

Impact of Racism on Health: Especially during the Covid-19 period

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Virtual Event 

Organized By:  Dalhousie Black Student Advising Centre (BSAC)

In the past year, there has been quite a bit of discussion surrounding the impact that COVID-19 has had on communities of colour. In particular, on the effect that it has had on Black communities across Canada and the United States. According to medical experts, the lack of access these communities have to healthcare and the high levels of poverty found within them have made them even more vulnerable to the pandemic. On February 2nd, 2021 Come join us virtually as we discuss the effect of racism on our health.


Speaker: Dr OmiSoore Dryden
Moderator: Tiffany Gordon
Entertainment by Eriana Willis-Smith

Contact Information:

Oluronke Taiwo
902-880-4602
taiwooa@dal.ca

Monique Thomas
monique.thomas@dal.ca

Additional Information:

Facebook Event link

Wednesday February 3rd, 2021

Moving with Joy! With Joy Chiekwe

4:00 pm (AST) 45 min Virtual Workout 

Organized By: Dalhousie Black Faculty & Staff Caucus Executive

Family and friends welcome. 

Contact Information:

Keisha Turner, Co-chair Staff
Dominic Silvio, Co-chair Faculty
Email: dbfsc@dal.ca

Thursday February 4th, 2021

Personal Reflections on Wellness, Race, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

10:00 – 10:45am Virtual Event 

Organized by: Dalhousie Wellness Day - Organizational Health at Dal

Join Monique Thomas, Community Outreach and Transition to University Coordinator, and Jalana Lewis, Director of African Nova Scotian Community Engagement, for a conversation about their experiences navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the BLM movement and keeping up with their 9-to-5 jobs.

During the session Monique and Jalana hope to explore how their connection to community helped keep them grounded. They will also share some tips and resources for colleagues looking to better support one another through challenging times.

Representative’s contact:

Jalana.lewis@dal.ca

Aditional Information 

Registration link

Wednesday February 10th, 2021

BLK Womxn's Mental Health: 'Space to Heal, Share & Connect

11:45 am (AST) 75 min Virtual + Convo Lunch 

Organized By: Dalhousie Black Faculty & Staff Caucus Executive

Please note: The Black Womxn's Mental Health and Black Mxn's Mental Health Workshops our for Black identifying Dalhousie Faculty, Staff, Facilities and Students only.

Contact Information:

Keisha Turner, Co-chair Staff
Dominic Silvio, Co-chair Faculty
Email: dbfsc@dal.ca

Thursday February 11th, 2021

African Heritage Month Art Installation with Haiti Tynes

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Virtual Eventl

Organized by: TD presents African Heritage Month at Halifax Public Libraries

We hope you join us for a very special art workshop with the most magical guest illustrator, Haiti Tynes! Haiti is the niece of the great Maxine Tynes, and to say that artistic talent runs in the family would be a grave understatement. 

To help you create with Haiti Tynes, we are offering Curbside Pick-up or delivery of art supplies to registrants. 

To register, email, text, or phone Anneka at janesa@halifax.ca or (902) 476-9012.

Contact Information:

Anneka Janes

Telephone: (902) 476-9012

Email: janesa@halifax.ca

Aditional Information:

Halifax Central Library event link

​​Thursday February 11th, 2021

Panel Discussion on Fitting African Centred Perspectives into Social Work

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Organized By: Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) of the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University

The Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) Conversation Series, School of Social Work, Commemorates African Heritage Month with the first in our two-part panel discussion and interactive comversations on ''Fitting African Centred Perspectives into Social Work Practice'.' The event is scheduled for 5:30pm on ​​Thursday, February 11, 2021.​

Speakers: Charnell Brooks; Zelda Hippolyte; David Archer​; Nwanneka Ejiofor and Barbara Roberts

Moderator: Robert Seymour Wright

With Closed Captioning

Contact Information:

Ifeyinwa Mbakogu, Chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC)

Email: sswdec@dal.ca

Aditional Information:

Everyone is welcome. Register on Eventbrite to attend here

Wednesday February 17th, 2021

Stretch & Mobility with Keisha Turner

4:00 pm (AST) 45 min Virtual Session 

Organized By: Dalhousie Black Faculty & Staff Caucus Executive

Family and friends welcome

Contact Information:

Keisha Turner, Co-chair Staff
Dominic Silvio, Co-chair Faculty
Email: dbfsc@dal.ca

Tuesday February 23rd, 2021

5th Halifax Black Film Festival

Organized By: Halifax Black Film Festival

Save The Date: for the 5th edition of the Halifax Black Film Festival from February 23 to 28, 2021! #HBFF21

Contact Information:

info@halifaxblackfilm.com

To buy tickets, please visit their website

​​Wednesday February 24th, 2021

Panel Discussion on Teaching While Black (1)

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Organized By: Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) of the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University

The Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) Conversation Series, School of Social Work, Commemorates African Heritage Month with the first in our two-part panel discussion and interactive comversations on 'Teaching while Black.' The panel discussion hopes to explore, teaching in the academy: its meaning, challenges, significant moments, and effects as expressed by the professor of African Descent. The event is scheduled for 5:30pm on ​​Wednesday, February 24, 2021.​

Speakers: Prof. Josephine Etowa; Dr. Buster C. Ogbuagu; Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch​; Dr. Emmanuel Yiridoe and Dr. Sara Torres

Moderator: Dr. Pemberton Cyrus

With Closed Captioning

Contact Information:

Ifeyinwa Mbakogu, Chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC)

Email: sswdec@dal.ca

Aditional Information:

Everyone is welcome. Register on Eventbrite to attend here

Wednesday February 24th, 2021

The Shaar Shalom Lecture

7:00 pm (AST) - Virtual Event

Organized By: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

This year's lecture will be presented virtually and will feature Dahabo Ahmed-Omer and Wes Hall of The BlackNorth Initiative. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions to our guest speakers.

For full event details, please visit THIS LINK.

Contact Information:

Dr. Jennifer Bain, Associate Dean Research
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
fassadr@dal.ca

Additional Information:

The Shaar Shalom Lecture at Dalhousie University is a significant annual lecture made possible through the generosity of the Shaar Shalom Synagogue of Halifax. The Shaar Shalom’s unique partnership with Dalhousie University seeks to explore the broad themes of tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity, and difference in contemporary society, and demonstrates our shared interest in bringing in-depth discussion of these themes to wider civil society.

Thursday February 25th, 2021

The Fusion Sessions: Reggae Roots with Jah’Mila

Organized By: Symphony Nova Scotia

With deep roots in Jamaica and a home base in Halifax, Jah’Mila is an authentic, powerful voice of reggae in Nova Scotia. Combining smooth vocals, sharp song writing, and her signature passion and positivity, Jah’Mila’s vivid, unforgettable music celebrates reggae’s rich history, and reinforces its role as a voice of the oppressed. Now, together with Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser and musicians from Symphony Nova Scotia, Jah’Mila blends her own songs with hits from icons like Sister Nancy and Bob Marley to create Canada’s first-ever fusion of reggae and orchestra.

Contact Information:

Email: info@symphonyns.ca

Phone:(902) 421-1300

Website: symphonynovascotia.ca