African Heritage Month 2015
"Social Justice - Roots of Progress"
In December 2014, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the next decade to be the “International Decade for People of African Descent: Justice, Recognition, Development.” African Heritage Month 2015 commemorates this declaration with the theme “Social Justice – Roots of Progress”.
“Social Justice – Roots of Progress” represents the history of enslavement, segregation, racism, and injustice. However, it also represents the future, signalling growth, innovation, and leadership. The “roots” represent motivation for current and future generations to continue the pursuit of justice.
The first Provincial Heritage Day will honour African Canadian civil rights activist Viola Desmond. Ms. Desmond was the living embodiment of perseverance in pursuit of social justice and equality for all.
African Heritage Month in Canada
The commemoration of African Heritage Month in Canada can be traced to 1926 when Harvard-educated black historian Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week to recognize the achievements of African Americans. While some have criticized the selection of the shortest month of the year to honour Black culture, Woodson purposefully chose February. In doing so, he aimed to pay homage to the birth dates of key figures in the emancipation of enslaved blacks: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass (who is reputed to have claimed February 14, 1818 as his birthday) and former President Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809). In 1976, as part of the American Bicentennial celebrations, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History
For more information visit the African Nova Scotian Affairs website.